If you go
What: Andy Kindler
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: The Tiger Room at Calhoun Soups, Salads and Spirits, 1915 S. Calhoun St.
Admission: $20; Eventbrite.com
Comedian Andy Kindler will perform Friday at The Tiger Room.
The comic hosts Hulu's "Coming to the Stage" and his stand-up work often includes commentary on fellow comedians. Kindler answered a few questions via email. Responses have been edited.
Q. What was your first experience with comedy that made you think "this is for me”?
A. When I was 5 years old, I was riding in the backseat of the family car and misread a billboard. It was for Esso gasoline (now friendly Exxon of Exxon-Mobil!) and it read “Put a Tiger in your tank.” I smushed all the words together by mistake and asked my family what “Putatiger” meant? I pronounced “Put” like Putin. The whole car laughed and I had no idea why but loved getting the attention. The rest is non-history. Also, that was the last time one of my jokes killed!
Q. In addition to stand-up, you've appeared on TV as a host, judge, voice artist and actor. What do you feel most "at home" doing? Is there anything you haven't done that you'd like to do?
A. I'm more at home doing stand-up more than anything else. The only thing that would be better is if I never had to leave my home to do it. I'm exhausted. I haven't acted in a movie, which is something I really want to do. I assume I'm still being victimized by the McCarthy Era blacklist. I remain a Communist. I love the sameness!
Q. Does the tone or role of comedy change with world events, and how would you describe the importance of comedy in today's social climate?
A. It does change with world events. I assumed Trump's “election" would result in the end of the world which would adversely affect my road schedule. I can't stop talking about Trump in my act, over dinner or “in the sheets.”
Q. I imagine there are many barometers depending on who is asked, but for you: What makes a stand-up successful at the job? Is it just making the audience laugh each night, or should a comedian be trying to do more?
A. I don't consider just making the audience laugh a barometer of a successful stand-up, and I have never really figured out what a barometer is. You can make the audience laugh with bad comedy. How many years was “How I Met Your Mother” on the air? I think you have to do material that makes yourself laugh and hope you are not the only one. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Q. What is a "must have" for you on the road that might surprise people?
A. Nothing about me would “surprise people” except how good I am “in the sheets.” That's the most disturbing callback I have ever resorted to. I “must have” good coffee on the road, and I'm a coffee snob. I'm also a pretentious coffee snob. I wear a fedora while I sip. I love freshly roasted high quality light roast coffee that has a soft finish, just like my act. I just made up “soft finish,” and I'm very pleased with myself.