For comic Andy Kindler, the joke’s on him

I know of no other comedian who tells jokes the way Andy Kindler does, particularly when the joke is — purposely — on him.

Kindler is a veteran comic, actor and writer who had a recurring role on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and has appeared on Letterman and Conan numerous times. He has two Comedy Central Presents specials, has done voiceover work on “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” and “Bob’s Burgers” and is a regular at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

His body of work in television speaks for itself, but it’s Kindler’s stand-up that keeps me coming back for more, although I’m finding it difficult to describe his style which, I think, is a compliment to Kindler.

When I watch Kindler clips, A. I want to go see him live and B. I always belly laugh when he does what he does beginning at the 1:02 mark of this video, which you should watch in its entirety. Pay particular attention to what happens starting at 2:11 as well.

The way Kindler pokes fun at himself while continuing to crank out jokes is so funny, self-deprecating and in the moment that it blows my mind. Other comics get laughs from commenting on whatever weird thing it is they might do on stage, but none that I know of can, or are even willing, to go with it the way Kindler does. He’s one of a kind.

In this week’s Inside Jokes, Kindler discusses, among other things, working with Heidi Klum, people who go to comedy shows and don’t laugh and a Pauly Shore show that I’m almost positive only Kindler watched.

Enjoy and don’t forget The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes at the end.

TC: You have a legal team. Have you ever had to use them?

AK: No, but I used to have a joke that went: I had to change lawyers. Is it a bad sign when your lawyer says in the middle of a negotiation, “Hey, I’m no legal expert.” This was a fictional lawyer of course. All my comedy is fake.

TC: One of the more interesting TV credits on your resume is TNT’s “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special” in 1999. What was your contribution to that show?

AK: A childhood friend, Ken Pisani, was the producer. He had seen an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where my character got a job writing for Sports Illustrated. So it all kind of fell together. I spent three days with Heidi Klum on Necker Island, an island in the British Virgin Islands owned by Richard Branson. Believe me, Heidi could really keep her hands off me. I was the comic relief for the swimsuit special, not the model, just in case anyone is confused. I know I am.

TC: It seems there are always a few people at stand-up shows who don’t laugh, even if the comic is killing. I saw this last week at a Marc Maron show and he was hilarious from start to finish. What do you make of these non-laughing audience members and do you notice them, if there are any, when you’re on stage?

AK: I can sense someone rejecting me in another room. My range is about one mile. Although I’m no crowd pleaser, or crowd soother even, I’m very aware of how I’m doing with the crowd. Actually, too aware. Comics are insecure. If the audience isn’t doubled over with laughter, we assume we’re bombing.

TC: Do you watch any trashy TV shows? Real Housewives, Honey Boo Boo, anything?

AK: My wife and I enjoy hating the Real Housewives of Various Areas. I loved watching “Paulytics,” a Pauly Shore special on Showtime. I think the title speaks for itself, but if you can’t hear it, it’s Pauly Shore trying to be a political comedian. He does a racist impression of Barack Obama that would have caused controversy if anyone had watched the special besides me.

TC: Did you get into Twitter early or join the fun reluctantly?

AK: I joined reluctantly, but now I love it. I’m addicted. I spend hours tweeting or thinking about tweets, and then head over to the Interactions and Comments area to see what people thought about my tweets, and judge myself accordingly. It can’t be healthy, but at least it’s NOT a living.

For more Andy Kindler, visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:

Real talk, @tonycastleberry has been open and honest about his steroid use from Day 1.