GIGGLE CITY: Kenny Robinson goes over the line
Kenny Robinson, Darren Frost and Kathleen McGee are all fond of “working blue,” but in order to make a living have had to trim the sex and profanity for certain audiences, from time to time. Not this time. This time they’re free. Fly free, filthy comics! This time the show is “RATED XXX.” And when you see a sign like that, Frost says, “You will be offended.” Frost faces the Giggle City gauntlet on Thursday in a special two-for-one Dirty Giggle Week. Today, we check in with Kenny Robinson.
(Adult language and mature content below. Reader discretion is strongly advised. We’re serious. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.)
Q: If you could be any (other) celebrity, who would it be and why?
A: I’m torn between Forest Whittaker because the man’s such a great actor, or I love Quincy Jones, he has a career that’s touched so many generations and influenced so many people. Anyone else I could think of that would be cool to be has passed, so I may as well stick with people who are still alive.
Q: What’s your worst heckler story?
A: I used to do a thing where I would suck a woman’s toe on stage. This woman volunteered and the husband was in the club upstairs drinking and it turned out it was their honeymoon. So somebody told the husband, “The comic’s sucking on your old lady’s toe,” so he comes out and he wants to attack me. He didn’t even see me sucking her toe. So I had the mic stand ready to club him with it should he attack, but the Rochester Yuk Yuk’s had very good security because it was a very rough place where the even the owner used to throw people out. So the guy was roughly removed. Another time there was a riot in the back of the club and there were these pregnant women snorting coke and drinking and they fought with the waitresses and the doorman was 6’ 4” and he got dropped to the floor with a kick to the groin. And there I was on stage, just watching it and continuing on with the act once all the glasses were broken and they threw all the people out. I always want to keep the show going, you know?
Q: Do you have a favourite joke you don’t do anymore?
A: I used to do this Barbie and Ken bit where I called her a cunt and then I did 5 minutes why we’re not supposed to use the C word. The reason is that it’s not named after an animal. All the words we use for a women’s sexual organs are named after animals: Beaver, pussy, mink, clam, camel toe, snapper, twat – I know twat’s not an animal, it’s the sound your balls make when you fuck somebody from behind – the point is there’s no animal that’s named a cunt. But one of these days the scientists are going to go down to Australia, because you have to go Down Under to find one of these critters. And they’re going to lift up a rock and a slimy, furry thing’s going to crawl out and order drinks and stick it on your bar tab. I stopped doing that, but I brought the Barbie and Ken back for the cruise ships and cleaned it up.
Q: Do you have to be a pessimist to be a good comedian?
A: Jim Carrey makes 20 million a movie and there’s not a pessimistic bone in his body. Cosby doesn’t seem that negative. All my heroes had bad attitudes and a big streak of negativity in them and maybe even self destructiveness. You’re talking Lenny Bruce, Carlin, Pyror, Kinison, those are my guys. And they were not, you know, We are the World.
Q: Do you have something new that’s going over well?
A: I’ve been doing a bit that didn’t work in Alberta. It worked in Ontario. I do this bit about how the NDP is really pimping the death of Jack Layton and they keep asking, “What would Jack want? What would Jack want?” I say, basically Jack would want not to be dead. He’d like not to have cancer. He’s like to still be alive banging his old lady and having her tie that silk scarf around his cock and balls … That’s what Jack would want. In Ontario people would be shocked, people would laugh. But in Alberta, there’s kind of a silence, like, “Who’s this Jack guy he keeps talking about?” In Ontario, the CN Tower was orange that weekend and it seemed like in Alberta it was a note at the bottom of the page, maybe, judging from the reaction I got from the audience. Another bit I love is Obama and how he SHOULD smoke. In case he has to vaporize North Korea I don’t want him on the patch.
Q: Can you get away with banging on Obama more than other comics?
A: Working in the States on the cruise ships, as soon as you say Obama, you get people hating him. I was working Niagara Falls and there’s a lot of Americans there, and a couple of times I had them walking out complaining I was too liberal. I giggled that for all the times I walked somebody out for being profane or obscene, now they’re walking out because they thought I was liberal. That’s what happens when McCain voters who like fart jokes come to the show.
Q: Question just for you: Where’s the line for you?
A: A lot of the younger comics are doing the dark comedy, with incest and rape and pedophilia. I’m not a big fan of those jokes, but I believe if you set them up properly you can get away with them. I don’t have a line that I draw, it’s just there are certain topics where I ask, is this really going to do my career any good? Is that really going to make a difference with the crowd? I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so a lot of the stuff I see these kids doing – been there! Done that! Been banned from campuses for four years!
Q: Where did you get banned?
A: A few colleges in the middle ‘80s, Queen’s College. Now these schools have you sign contracts promising you won’t say anything offensive. I’m past the point where I play universities, but my argument is that how the hell do you know you’re offensive until some fucker tells you he’s offended? I use the N word, I use Chinaman. Never am I aiming my slurs to put somebody down. I got in trouble last week for a joke about how my son pistol whipped a kid with a water gun. I asked him, why did you do that? “Well, I ran out of water.” Well you don’t pistol whip a friend. He said, “That’s how we do it in Scarborough.” I said, we don’t live in Scarborough anymore. He said, “Yeah dad, you can take the nigger out of Scarborough, but you can’t take Scarborough out of the nigger.” I did that joke and nine times out of 10 it works big time, but I had somebody in the audience who took exception to it. White guilt.