Andy Kindler is not afraid to tell you what he hates about the entertainment industry. In fact, he’s practically built an entire career around it.
“I’ve been tweeting at Comcast saying ‘No matter what I do, I still get Leno on my TV,” Kindler joked by phone last week, ahead of his five-night headlining run at Acme beginning Tuesday.
Too enraged by comedy to keep his mouth shut but too in love with it to walk away, Kindler has spent the better part of his 30-year career airing his grievances about all things show business.
“I genuinely have a positive outlook, but it’s not an easy business,” Kindler said.
Even with a résumé that boasts regular appearances on “The Late Show” and a voice-acting role on Fox’s animated series “Bob’s Burgers,” Kindler is no household name. But he is the quintessential comic’s comic. Considered a founding father of the alt-comedy movement of the early ’90s, he’s an esteemed member of a generation of comedians that includes stars such as Marc Maron and David Cross.
In a couple weeks he’ll be returning to Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival to deliver his annual State of the Industry address. The speech, which has become a hallmark of both the festival and Kindler’s career, is a sort of mock indictment outlining everything wrong with contemporary comedy. Last year’s targets? Dane Cook, Aziz Ansari and Jay Leno, just to name a few.
Kindler even had some choice words for standup juggernaut Louis C.K. He ribbed C.K. for playing up his prolific output, while critiquing media outlets for treating him like the sacred cow of comedy.
“He makes a big deal about the fact he’ll only do [one hour of comedy] for a year. Ya know, Louie C.K. was this close to coming up with the unified field theory. One day, [if] he could have had one more day! But he doesn’t do anything for more than a year.”
Kindler spent 30 minutes ranting to comedy website Laughspin last year, calling C.K. “egotistical” and “pretentious.” It’s criticism that has generated backlash among some fellow comics, he said.
“Some of my negative feelings were definitely rooted in the fact that [C.K.] and I were close and then we weren’t close,” he said. “There was some friction there, it was very high school kind of stuff. But I wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t really have something to say.”
Kindler has no shortage of qualms about the industry. But he thinks standup is in pretty good shape, attributing some of its health to the popularization of alt-comedy. He adores wunderkinds such as John Mulaney and Hannibal Buress.
“There are more great standups than ever before,” Kindler said. “Standup is going through a renaissance, but TV is still pretty terrible.”
When: 8 p.m. Tue.-next Thu.; 8 & 10:30 p.m. next Fri.-Sat.
Where: Acme Comedy Co., 708 N. 1st St., Mpls.
Tickets: $15. 612-338-6393 or www.acmecomedycompany.com.