Published Jul 27, 2018At the Kill Tony podcast recording at Montreal's Just For Laughs, a guy named "Kruppa" is called to the stage to do a minute of standup. He's a tall white dude wearing a fedora, and his jokes are, well, bad.
The judging panel of Tony Hinchcliffe and Brian Redban, and their guests Jimmy Carr and Jay Oakerson, are there to critique Kruppa's lightning round set. It was probably a good idea to wear the hat — it distracts from his single-name moniker. Redban cues the Indiana Jones theme and there's a reference to the Undertaker. Then, it's revealed that Kruppa's day job is in marketing for the Montreal Alouettes, and now the notion of Canadian football drives most of the jokes. Too easy? It still works.
The Kill Tony podcast is a weekly live show that is part showcase for up-and-comers, part wakeup call for assholes. The premise is great — show goes on the road with a fishbowl of random names to be selected for a minute-long set. There's a warning bell (meow) to finish the thought, and a final (super loud bear roar) to end it abruptly. When the set is finished, a panel of pros dissect the performance and ask questions. On the side is Jeremiah Watkins, who interjects in-character as an ex-con, a Westworld cowboy and a radical feminist.
Hinchcliffe and Redban have succeeded in this format because of who they, and their guests, are. It's not meant to be malicious, but it can be. And if it is, it's usually deserved (and therefore funny). In Kruppa's case — yea, this guy bombed, but he's not a dick. He's a brand new comic finding his way, and there's respect granted for it. Besides a few harmless hat jokes, Kruppa is not ripped to shreds. Further, when a local female comic tries her luck, she lands a few laughs and this is acknowledged. For someone new to the craft, it can have a constructive result — and now you can say you've done *insert comedy festival here*.
But, let's say you're someone who's a little misguided. Let's say — and this really happened — you decide to try some white supremacist material at the Kill Tony podcast. Apparently, among white supremacist groups, Italians and the Irish are not really "white." That's the "joke." And if you happen to be that guy, you're fair game. Pull no punches. This guy even looks like Richard Spencer, and we can all hope he gives up this comedy thing.
Kill Tony is the comedy podcast we need in 2018.