“His gigs were part strip show, part heavy-metal concert, all primal-scream therapy.”
If you’re young and don’t know anything like me, you might never have heard of Sam Kinison. I heard about him once when I started comedy and now I have one of his comedy records and we get along just swell. Kinison is up there with the greatest comedians of all time. Why? I actually don’t know. I actually don’t find him very funny. But I do think he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever seen and if I was friends with him I know I’d think he was hilarious. That’s why I like listening to him so much.
I know my mom wouldn’t like him because he screams and yells all the time in his stand up, something he might have picked up as a short-lived Pentecostal preacher. Kinison was a weird, crazy guy and he died too young and too suddenly.
He did a lot of stand up. And something I didn’t know until reading this article was that apparently every one of his sets was different. That’s insane. He told different jokes every time he was on stage. So, a lot of his material has been lost over the years, especially since not everything was video recorded in the 80’s (that’s why you can’t find too much of his stand up online and why I’ve gone to albums).
Comedy Dynamics is coming out with The Sam Kinison Comedy Collection, which will pull together all his “lost” specials. Apparently there will be a bunch of stuff that hasn’t really been seen before. How do they do that? I don’t know. But it sounds cool and I’ll be looking forward to it.
Here’s some of his stuff. By the way…sorry if you’re like, “Duh! I KNOW who Sam Kinison is!” But it’s better for me to pretend you don’t than to pretend you do. And hey, you get to see a little more of him! Lucky you!