With his signature beard and singular charm, one can’t help but want to have a beer with Kyle Kinane, host of 30 Seconds Over Washington, an eight-episode web series that pokes fun at political ads, and whose Comedy Central special, Whiskey Icarus, premieres November 24. Having moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to further his stand-up career, the 34-year-old Chicago native now estimates the number of shows he’s performed to be well into the thousands. Kinane performs almost nightly, making a living off his dream job.
“What is the role of the stand-up comedian in today’s world?” I asked Kinane as he sat down in my living room. He took a deep breath before answering, “I’m split halfway between ’This is a necessary element’ and ’You just fucking make fart jokes and expect to be a part of the world.’” I was somewhat relieved that he was torn over his beliefs, as it revealed that he was someone, like me, who did in fact see the inherently personal and societal benefits of the comedian, but also occasionally let the thought creep into his mind that, while this vocation is beneficial insofar as it brings people happiness, it’s not necessarily vital to daily life.