Kristin Lindner: Stand Up Comic, Stand Up Citizen

By David Gavri

Kristin Lindner is not just a successful stand up comedienne, but she is also a successful wife and a mother of three. Her cleverness and quick wit provides an amusing outlook to life and the joys of marriage and motherhood, making audiences laugh until their sides split. A veteran in the comedy scene, Kristin was a recent finalist in Houston’s Funniest Person contest. She’s a favorite at The Comedy Showcase, and she will be headlining there this weekend. Don’t miss it!

How long have you been doing comedy?
How long, well… [Owen Dunn sneaks into the conversation]

Kristin to Owen: He’s asking me how long I’ve been doing comedy. Do I lie or do I tell the tru—

Owen Dunn: Oh ya you lie. If it were me, I would lie.

[Laughs]

So Kristin, your very first year as a comedian and already you’re a headliner, how does it feel?

[Laughs]

But seriously, you’re headlining at The Comedy Showcase. Tell us about it.

I’m very excited! It’s a wonderful place. I’ll be there Friday night and Saturday night at 8:00 and 10:30 on both nights. The incomparable Andy Huggins will be hosting, so it’s gunna be awesome, awesome, awesome! I’m very excited. The Laff Stop is where I got my start, and since it is no longer—may it rest in peace—I consider The Showcase my home club. It’s run by Danny Martinez who is an amazing human being, also a comic, and one of my favorite people in the world. It’s gunna be a good time.

What was it like the first time you ever headlined?

I was sooo sick nervous. As I stared at my name on the marquee, I thought, “If I screw this up, that’s it, that’s the end of the show, there’s nobody there to save me.”

What are some things that headliners go through that other comedians may not experience?

Check-drop can be a scary thing. Because the whole time, the audience has been with you; you’ve built a great rapport with them. But once the waiter drops the check, everybody immediately looks down and starts paying. So you’ll notice a drop in the crowd’s attention.

How should one handle the check-drop?

You know, I got some great advice from one of my favorite people in comedy, Don Learned, who was the owner of The Laff Stop and The Laff Spot. He told me not to talk about the check-drop to the audience, not to point it out, and not to make fun of it because you will lose them if you do. And he was absolutely right. I feel that if I had mentioned it, I would have lost them.

But then again, one of my favorite comics in the world, somebody I completely respect and adore—Bob Zaney—totally acknowledges the check-drop during his act. He’s amazing at working with the crowd. For me, I don’t think it’s my style, but everybody’s different.

So how did you get into stand up comedy?

I was already married with three children. It’s given me some really good material. But I was a theater major in college and I got into stand up because I like the fact that there’s no script, there’s no director telling you what to do— it’s all up to you. Sometimes I wish I had started comedy much earlier, but I still feel that this is exactly where I should be.

You’re a Houston comedy veteran. Give us your thoughts on the scene.
The Houston scene is amazing! It’s very supportive. People help you out with jokes and tags, and they don’t expect anything in return. I’ve heard that in other cities, people will help you, but then they want money and credit for it. It’s great that we aren’t like that, it’s a very supportive environment. But we still get jealous. [Laughs]

Who are your comedic inspirations?

Bill Cosby Himself, was the first comedy performance I ever saw. Robin Williams was also very inspirational for me. Growing up, I used to religiously watch A&E’s Comedy at the Improv.

My favorite working comics: Ellen Degeneres is absolutely amazing. I think Brian Regan is the end all be all. Jim Gaffigan is awesome. There’s a trend there—I think that writing clean and writing for a universal audience is the most amazing thing you can do. Kathleen Madigan—she’s so smart and so funny. Greg Warren is an example of someone who can make it from anywhere. That guy works his ass off!

A writing inspriation is Louis C.K. He inspires everybody in comedy. It was always understood, that in order to produce a one-hour act, it should take around 10 years. And Louis C.K. broke that mold and showed that it is absolutely not the way it has to be. He is stunning.

What advice can you give to the younger comics?

If you know that this is what you wanna do, then do it full on. It’s one of the few jobs, that if you apply yourself—actually sit down and write every day, perform as often as you can, and you commit yourself to improving your craft—you will succeed. It’s an amazing job.

For more info on Kristin Lindner click here

Interviewed and written by: David Gavri

Twitter: @DaveGMoney

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