Kyle Kinane has had a wild life, which has served as grist for his widely acclaimed comedy. He's got a new album, "I Liked His Old Stuff Better," which is being released on vinyl for Record Store Day.
Kinane used to play with punk band the Grand Marquis. The band was named after the Mercury Grand Marquis car, though the band's spelling and pronunciation remained under debate, Kinane said. One such argument:
"Apostrophes aren't punk rock, man! You can't put an apostrophe on it!"
The comedian said he's always lived by the band's motto: "It's not talent, but it's at least entertainment." He eventually decided that music wasn't the way to go:
"Looking down at a guitar and realizing, no matter how hard you try, you're not going to be Eddie Van Halen. [But], you know how people laugh in between songs? What if we focus on that small segment of the live performance?"
When Kinane was a kid, his biggest inspirations were Johnny Carson and "The Kids In The Hall." He told his kindergarten teacher that Carson was his favorite thing on TV, and he managed to get his mom in trouble for letting him stay up so late. Kinane says he loved being able to stay up and see people getting together and have a good time on TV.
When it came to watching "The Kids In The Hall," Kinane says he loved the strangeness: "Who are these weirdos? Is this just what Canada is?"
That strangeness also applied to the first standup comic he connected with — Mitch Hedberg. When Kinane saw him, he thought, "He doesn't belong here. He's not talking about a wife and kids. Because I don't have a wife, I don't have kids, I can relate to this guy just being a weirdo and an outsider, and staring at the floor the whole time."
Kinane credits seeing Hedberg with helping him see that he could do stand-up.
Kinane's new album, "I Liked His Old Stuff Better," was inspired by not trying to get locked into one thing.
"Just because being cynical got me some laughs, and it was kind of funny to complain about stuff, at what point do you give up that? That's like a teenage attitude," he said.
"I'm 38. No, I'm short-changing myself on life experiences. Instead of thinking this is going to suck, why not go in [thinking], Maybe this is going to be great, and let's let the experience prove me wrong — as opposed to denying myself joy, right off the bat."
Kinane says that being able to make money by doing comedy makes him feel guilty — he said he'd feel less guilt if he'd just decided to rob banks.
"I've joked before, it's not a skill, it's a personality trait I'm trying to capitalize on. That's all it is," Kinane said.
And, it's worked for him. He's also made his parents very proud, though he gets a little uncomfortable knowing that his mom Googles him every morning.
"It's the juxtaposition of having supportive parents, but then they're supporting you doing something you really wish they never heard about," Kinane said.
For all the success he's had so far, Kinane said he remains deeply grateful.
"I still wake up [thinking], You're allowed to do this. At some point, the universe may be like, You're done, go get a real job. And I just go, Hey, thanks, that was a great time, I appreciate being allowed to do that for a time."
Watch Kinane on his childhood favorite "The Tonight Show" from earlier this year:
Kinane also happens to be the voice of Comedy Central:
Kinane on Comedy Central: