Andy Kindler 2022 JFL Hologram State of the Industry Address

Kindler beaming into the 2022 Just for Laughs festival to deliver his annual speech.
Photo: Courtesy of Proto and Howie Mandel

Since 1995, Andy Kindler has skewered current comedy trends and controversies in his annual State of the Industry Address at Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival. In this year’s speech, delivered on July 28, he found a new way to kill by bombing, then joking about bombing: through the magic of hologram. Rather than risk catching COVID, Kindler performed remotely from Los Angeles and was beamed onto the JFL stage using hologram technology made by a company called Proto. He had a lot to say about the novelty. “I’m bombing no matter what gimmick I use,” he joked. “Yes, that’s right. I’m a hologram. Coachella got Tupac. And you’re getting Jew-Pac.” He continued, “It’s nice to not be here tonight. I almost didn’t not make it here. My hologram had trouble at the border. They wouldn’t give it a work permit. They kept saying, ‘We don’t think this will work.’” Kindler’s hologram was brought up onstage by Bob Odenkirk, whom Kindler referred to as “Odenkirk Kenobi,” before pleading with him to banter longer because he was “thin on material .”

As is customary each year, the meat of the address was dedicated to Kindler going after some of the year’s biggest names in comedy — comics he believes are hacks, opportunists, and offensive. But this year, given the state of world events, his material carried a little more bite. “I started doing this speech in 1995 because I thought hack comedy was dangerous — to comedy, not to humanity,” he explained. “I was mad at Leno for taking over The Tonight Show and making it suck. That was the end of the world to me, at that point. Now, we’re actually at the end of the world, and there are many fascist comedians trying to make it worse!” Some of the names that attracted Kindler’s ire this year were Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, and John Mulaney, but his strongest and most persistent target was himself: “If you’re enjoying today’s speech, maybe you’d like to sign up for my new MasterClass, Self-Sabatoge: The Andy Kindler Way.” Watch Kindler’s full speech below:

Video courtesy of Proto and Howie Mandel.

Some highlights from the 30-minute speech:

On Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais: “I read that NASA will be using the Webb telescope to try to calculate the vastness of Dave Chappelle’s ego. … I really think Chappelle sees himself as mean Jesus. ‘Andy, isn’t Jesus the devil?’ No, that’s Ricky Gervais. Mean Jesus is still the messiah of comedy. He’s just mean. And if he hurts your feelings and you say something about it, he gets meaner because it’s your fault for not understanding comedy genius … I watched his special, and he keeps saying during his special, ‘It’s gonna get worse. Strap yourselves in. I’m going all the way.’ People don’t have to strap themselves in. It’s not like he’s delivering truth people can’t handle. He calls feminists ‘frumpy dikes.’ That’s the whole joke. And then he says, ‘Watch out. It’s going to get worse.’ He’s right. The special gets worse.”

On Joe Rogan: “We should shoot homeless people.” That’s what Joe Rogan suggested on his show. You know that crazy show where he’s got a big thing on his head? He might have been being sarcastic. It’s not bad enough that Rogan punches down — now he wants to shoot down … As we care into mass poverty, homeless bits are even more hilarious, right? ‘He’s joking about shooting the homeless person! [Exaggerated laughter.] I feel better about my life because I can laugh at the homeless!’ Homeless plus long-COVID equals comedy gold. I’m not sure which is worse: when Rogan plays smart and gives dangerous medical advice, or when he plays dumb: ‘I’m just a comedian. Why are you listening to my dangerous medical advice?’”

On John Mulaney: “At least John Mulaney went the traditional route with his horrible handling of success. He just blew up his own personal life and those around him. He didn’t try to take down the Center for Disease Control. Thank you, John. You backed out graciously … of his marriage, is what I’m saying.”

On Bill Maher: “Bill Maher, in his special, opened with five minutes on how much people wearing masks make him mad. Mr. Libertarian loses his shit when he sees someone who’s choosing to wear a mask. He’s one of the only people I’ve ever seen who tries to talk people out of religion and science.”

On Netflix: “I’m just hoping there’s room for me at the home for aging comedians: Netflix”. Actually, Netflix is ​​changing gears. It’s very exciting. They want to cultivate a brand. They have created niche programming. They are the home of anti-trans content. ‘Come to Netflix for the best in othering. Our soul is lava.””

On fascist comedians: “The internet has changed everything. It’s great that we live in a world where you can connect directly with your fans. The problem is that followers corrupt, and a million followers corrupt absolutely. The only thing comedians handle worse than criticism is acceptance. If you can sic the army of people who accept you on anyone who criticizes you, you are now a fascist comedian. Congratulations.”

On Kevin Hart: “I’m in Van Nuys, and you people are in a Montreal ballroom laughing at nothing. It’s just like a Kevin Hart show.”

On Patton Oswalt: “I hope you’re all enjoying the festival. There’s so many great shows to see. Patton Oswalt is hosting the Patton Oswalt Gala. I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine Patton celebrating himself. [Defensively] He’s a friend. He loves me. He knows I’m bitter. He’ll tell me it was fine … if he answers the phone.”

On Rob Schneider: “Who knew that Rob Schneider’s hot take on the Canadian trucker boycott would cause an international crisis? Why is Rob Schneider so angry? It’s not our fault he’s an unrelenting hack. We didn’t force Rob to go over the top of every movie he’s chewed the scenery in. We didn’t insist that he staple himself to Adam Sandler’s coattails. That was his choice!”

On Ellen DeGeneres: “Ellen tried this hologram shtick. It didn’t make her more likable. People could already see through her.”

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