Kyle Kinane and Janeane Garofalo flipped a coin to decide the order to perform for their Wednesday night show at UP Comedy Club (heads for Garofalo going first, skull – it was a Montana state quarter – for Kinane), and it turned out to be the perfect determinant (the flip was heads). Garofalo's alert, conspiratorially conversational style provided a nice preface and foil for Kinane's brand of brazen late-night rambling.
After a solid opening set from hilariously distraught local comedian Adam Burke, which touched on the Mayan calendar, religion and the limitations of men's fashion (so limited that somehow “Don Draper and Kid Rock have the same hat”), the Coin Flip led into a casual but engaging Janeane Garofalo performance. Reading from a notepad that appeared to contain observations about Chicago (including a shout out to NBC meteorologist Brant Miller) and a few recently gathered thoughts, Garofalo was suitably wry as she encouraged men to clip their toenails, women to avoid shaving their “[gesture towards swimsuit area]” and young people to stop pretending to have nut allergies. She offered the perfect excuse for avoiding any unpleasant engagement: Say you're going to the Scottish Highlands – too specific to be made up, too far away to get back in time for whatever it is; she also reminded the audience, in a great moment of sincerity, not to “bow down to the yoke of patriarchal oppression.” Her most inspired comedic moment, though, involved brandishing and narrating a folder full of puppy pictures to avoid charges of being “cold” for not wanting children. Onstage she was anything but cold, however, coming across as the audience's witty, smarter, more experienced friend.
Kinane, who got his start as a comic in Chicago, also took the stage like an old friend, albeit the one who gets kind of drunk and starts shouting a story at you. A comedian with a gift for finding the epic and absurd in the everyday, he reminisced, hilariously, about a Chicago party he'd attended at which the police had shown up to take away a dead body from an upstairs apartment. He told a story about taking a van cab to a Wendy's drive-thru and spending $112 on the experience (never tell the cab driver “We're going on an adventure...he'll automatically put $80 on the meter”). He talked about getting unsliced pizza and blank fortune cookies, as well as about pretending to be Jason Bourne in a Panda Express (along with the detail of pretending to be Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” during the Wendy's escapade, Kinane seems to have developed a niche for action-oriented fast-food dining experiences). But the highlight was an absolutely jaw-dropping ten-minute segment contemplating the logistics behind the story of a man he'd sat next to on a plane who had started eating pancakes out of a Foot Locker bag. Note: if you're going to be sitting near Kyle Kinane, you're better off laughing at his jokes than eating pancakes from a bag. Fortunately, given the circumstances Wednesday night, deciding between the two wasn't a problem.