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Kyle Kinane’s Guide to Getting Loose

The comedian teaches us how we can find serenity in grocery store aisles, conspiracy theorists, and more.

Photo Credit: Laurie Fanelli

Kyle Kinane has earned a following with gravel-voiced, self-deprecating stories, often about what he ate or drank– or wished he didn’t. He’s appeared on Netflix in Judd Apatow’s series “Love,” and you can also hear him on Comedy Central, where he’s their voice-over announcer. His new special premieres on that channel on Oct. 15. It’s called “Loose In Chicago.”

“Being a comedian and constantly having attention on me in the evenings to make people laugh, sometimes you’ve got to shut it down for a while and just entertain yourself and well, get loose,” Kyle explains. “So here’s a couple things that help me get loose in the world.”

Late-night grocery shopping

Kyle Kinane: One of my first things that I like to do to get loose is go grocery shopping in the middle of night. Having worked in retail, to where everything’s perfect on the shelves, you just walk in through this fluorescent light and it’s quiet except for a little bit of music. Inoffensive ’80s pop hits that are coming through. There’s no hustle and bustle. I don’t have to be anywhere afterwards. It’s like a calming sense, like being in a cathedral almost.

One experience I had? I was just wandering down the deodorant aisle and Old Spice came out with all these different types of scents. And I was just having this whole thing just by myself, just sitting there smelling them. That’s when I realized deodorant is basically candles for guys.

One of them was called “Showtime.” And I cracked it open and took a big ol’ sniff and out loud said, “[Expletive] ‘Showtime’ it is!” And I laughed at it immediately. If anybody is watching security camera footage of this grocery store, they just saw a guy cradling a 12-pack of beer sniffing deodorant and just getting real happy all the sudden.

Listening to “Coast to Coast”

The next thing on the list that I like to get loose is I listen to a podcast called “Coast to Coast. ”

It’s a conspiracy theory podcast, and it was on AM radio for the longest time. I didn’t get into it until recently. I like to put it on right when I’m going to bed. He’s such a soothing voice! And it helps me go to sleep, but I don’t know through osmosis, I don’t know what I’m believing in now.

One of the things I like about though is the host will entertain anyone’s idea. And he listens to them all with objectivity and gives them all a platform and will just inquire –without judgment without sarcasm. And it’s kind of a nice thing to hear. Especially, in the midst of an election, everybody’s throwing around their opinions and what they think is best for everyone else. It’s an accepting of like, “All right, there’s all these different types of people out there.”

And some of these conspiracy theories, it’s not all about how the government’s going to take you down. Sometimes they’re just entertaining and it’s fun. And that’s kind of a looseness that’s an indication that you’re doing OK if you can worry about extraterrestrials or somebody who thinks aliens live in a mountain.

Getting lost

My third example of getting loose is a very general sense of getting lost. The backpacking stuff I’ve tried. I know it’s not some major feat to sleep outdoors for a night. I mean, boy scouts do that. They send children out to do that for badges. But for someone that’s just from the suburbs and is proud that they can make eggs without a microwave — sometimes — this was big for me.

I’m not a mountain man. I don’t know what I’m doing. The first time I tried this — it’s bear country. Anything that might smell remotely of food, you have to keep it 50 to 100 yards away from your camp.

The first night I went backpacking, I dumped freeze dried chicken tetrazzini all over me. I was shaking it up, I didn’t close the bag, and I basically seasoned myself for the bears. But, one time I did hike far enough where I knew the sun was setting, and I was like, “Well, I have to camp here. I can’t hike back ’cause it’ll be too dark.”

And it’s something I never thought I would be able to do. I just slept in the snow. I mean I had a tent and everything, I was prepared. But just the sense of being by yourself in the wilderness, when you know there is no outside judgement, it allows you to behave in a way.

I mean, there was some nudity in the mountains that night. And it was cold nudity, but it was something like, “I’m under moonlight alone.” I got loose is what I’m saying. I guess physically, I got loose.