Kyle Kinane knows he doesn’t have all the answers. In fact, he doesn’t really have any of them. If he did, he wouldn’t be in stand-up comedy. “I don’t like listening to comedians tell me how the world works,” Kinane says. “If you knew how the world works, you’d be a stockbroker, or you’d be a banker or a CEO. Comedians are comedians because they’re not good at other things.” That’s why the gruff-voiced comic’s sets are anchored by anecdotes about the mundane that play as delightfully absurd. When Kinane did tackle politically relevant material in his set for the Netflix series “The Standups” earlier this year, it came in a farcical bit about how Ku Klux Klan members surely partake in cuisine from the cultures they oppress. “There’s no way that KKK members are only eating Eastern European-based foods,” he jokes. On Thursday, the 41-year-old comedian and voice-over artist brings his act to D.C.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Thu., 7 p.m., $25.
You voice a drug-sniffing — and drug-addicted — police dog on the new Netflix animated series “Paradise PD,” out Aug. 31. How would you describe the show?
For an era where people just want to be outraged, here’s some comedy to be outraged at. There are real horrors in the world, but if you want to be upset by jokes, here you go. It’s crass and crude and offensive and I had some huge belly laughs just recording the parts, and some of those laughs came at knowing what people will think of it. That excites me.
What’s your take on the scrutiny comedians face for objectionable humor?
It’s such a tightrope. A lot of comedians do have an impact on the way people think. People look at them as some sort of barometer of society or having some sort of philosophical insight. But you know why comedians get to be philosophical? Because they don’t do s— all day. There’s no wisdom — it’s just free time. So, I don’t know. The whole world is just puddles of hot water waiting for somebody to step in.
It makes sense, then, that so much of your humor is just poking fun at yourself.
I’m going to be self-deprecating because the only thing I’m an expert on in this world is myself, and even then not all the way. Nobody knows the depth of their own psyche.
Your stand-up is anchored by lengthy stories that branch off in unexpected directions. What appeals to you about that kind of bit?
That’s just because I’m not good at this. I can’t write a lot of jokes, but I can take one joke and stretch it out to where it’s pretty insufferable. That’s just a gimmick to fill time. Boom, all of sudden it’s, “Hey, all right, I did an hour. Cool. People laughed at the three jokes that I told.”
You’ve released four albums, with your most recent coming in 2016. How has your approach to stand-up changed over the years?
You piss and moan about your life and how crummy it is, and people relate to it, but then they relate to it enough that you get to be kind of successful at comedy and then it’s disingenuous to be like, “Man, my job sucks and I’m broke.” Some comedians are trying to hang on. I don’t know if they’re truly miserable people or they feel that they can’t change their character, but I’m not going to let my stage character take my well-being hostage, if that makes sense. Yeah, I’m not turning out as much material anymore. It’s because I’m happy.