Janeane Garofalo and Kyle Kinane at 2012 Just for Laughs | Comedy Review

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Photograph: Courtesy of Just for Laughs

A coin toss determined the order of a very funny show last night at the UP Comedy Club. Former Chicagoan Kyle Kinane joined Janeane Garofalo as part of a TBS Just for Laughs double billing. Garafolo lost (or did she win?) the toss and performed first. I would've preferred it the other way around, although Kinane was no slouch.


With a notepad perched upon a nearby stool, Garofalo started off with a few easy jabs at Chicago, including the meat-market bars lining Division Street in the Gold Coast and also our fondness for red meat. "Is there anywhere to get steaks?" she quipped. It was a slow start, but she caught fire quickly by slamming both Allure magazine (which she apologized for reading) and Jessica Beal, who claimed in an interview with the mag that being beautiful has hindered her. "Her beauty is the only reason we're talking about her," she said in with bone-dry delivery.


Garofalo's stammering cadence and focus on her own neuroses reminded me of Richard Lewis or Woody Allen. "I disagree with the idea that you have to love yourself first," she said. "Others need to get the ball rolling." She also railed against men in flip-flops for having long toenails and dry heels. "There's probably lotion in your bed," she said encouraging the men in the audience to save some of their masturbation lubricant for their feet. I similarly found myself smitten with her language. She would drop phrases like "value neutral" and "bowing down to the yoke of patriarchal oppression."


In the case of the latter expression, I was a hair disappointed her material wasn't more political. It was feminist to be certain. Garofalo wasn't afraid to be honest about her age and clear feelings about God, children and marriage (she doesn't seem to believe in any of them). All of this was amusing to be sure, but Garofalo steered clear of the 2012 election and all things GOP. Instead she focused on everyday irritants like camping, women who shave their nether regions and nut allergies. A penultimate yarn about Natalie Portman was priceless.


"Stay with me on this," said Kyle Kinane at the top of his set—a nod to the fact that it was after midnight before he hit the stage. More nicely groomed than usual, Kinane was nevertheless full of stories reflecting an unkempt life, including the discovery of a dead body at a house party and a retirement plan that revolves around picking up used scratch-off lottery tickets.


Two stories in particular killed. In the first, Kinane recalls being too drunk to get in his car to satisfy a late-night craving for Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets and instead spending $80 on a cab to satiate his hunger. Framing the story as an '80s action thriller, Kinane nailed it. He also launched into a diatribe about a fellow airline passenger who took it upon himself to randomly consume flapjacks during the flight. With the precision of a surgeon, Kinane picked the incident apart and found humor in every detail, including how the carb-filled treats could have passed airport security. This could become his signature bit.



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