On Kyle Kinane’s 2010 debut comedy album Death of The Party the comedian jokingly declared that his creative writing degree with pay for itself. Fast forward a few years ahead and though originally declared in a joking manner this is starting to prove true for Uncle Bar-B-Que and his dumb dumb stories.
Kinane is a contradiction of sorts, with glints of complete and totally intelligent thought juxtaposed with his schlubby looks, unkept beard, and blue collar demeanor. He’s the comical equivalent of your uncle with a fondess for Pabst Blue Ribbon and late night drunken shenanigans – the one you love to hang out with but he makes your parents nervous when the leave you alone with him. Even if you are a legal adult.
This contradiction is a line Kinane walks perfectly that allows him to drop a hilarious drunken dick joke and follow it up with a well-placed and thought out observation or phrase delivery. Kinane strives to be a better comedian and makes it pretty well known on Whiskey Icarus that he loves the art of comedy and works hard at it but like Louis C.K. once said, “you don’t have to be smart to laugh at a dick joke… but you’re an idiot if you don’t.”
The album opens up with a hilarious tale about how he drunkenly spent $100+ dollars just to get some fast food. Food plays well into the narrative of the album. Kinane isn’t obsessed with it, but just often finds himself with late night hunger pangs or happens upon a pancake eater on an airplane (of all places). As with most comedians, there’s an airplane bit or two but Kinane’s aren’t just there because he has fun anecdotes to share. They’re such unbelievable stories that he’d be doing us an injustice not telling them to us. It also makes us question… all things, and tests what we know about what the protocol is for food and x-ray machines.
Kinane roams almost aimlessly as he stares at the floor, mixing theories about his shame and loneliness, then will turn on a dime. Kinane dives deeper into seemingly benign incidents – believing a blank fortune cookie or unsliced delivered pizza aren’t random incidents in his life rather subliminal messages to his ID confirming that he might just actually be the schlub underachiever he portrays. It’s possible. But he then follows it up with heavy and well thought out ruminations like re-affirming his faith in God, failed relationships, and the minimal accomplishments he’s made at the age of 35.
But he’s no bummer, in fact, he knows how to have a good time. Look no further than the tracklisting of Whiskey Icarus and you will find it’s identical to Kiss’ Destroyer album for an Easter Egg joke (Death of the Party made a nod to Cheap Trick’s Dream Police).
Perhaps the best summation of Kinane’s comedy is when he reveals that he’d like comedy to be treated as high art. He spends as much time honing his craft as any other artist would. But he feels a bit uncomfortable with leaving that notion hanging out there, and immediately puts a hole in that statement with a self-deprecating joke. If given more time to get comfortable with his pure thought, Kinane will be a monster comedian. He’s already a tremendous talent and the thought of what he’ll be capable of in the years to come is exciting beyond belief.
It’s hard to predict the future but with any luck, Whiskey Icarus will be snapshot of Kinane’s current hilariousness and just a hint of what we’re in store for.