Jamie Kilstein – Revenge of the Serfs
Jamie Kilstein @ Nova Eastend Cinema
8:15pm, Fri 5 Mar 2010
Right. So, if you’ve read more-than-a-few of my posts about comedians, you’ll have figured out that I like my comedians to be a little bit… well, aggressive. Political. Message-y. Progressive; left.
And Jamie Kilstein pretty much hits the nail on the head on all of those counts.
In front of a quiet but reasonable crowd (maybe fifty people, though the Nova made that seem diminutive), Kilstein tackled his prey with venom. Sure, there were some easy targets amongst them (Obama and Rick Warren, racism, homophobia, religion), but one can attribute that to the less-enlightened US audiences he usually contends with (oooh! nasty stereotyping!). Regardless, his slutty-girl-with-iPod bit (along with the ideology of Church of the Smiling Vagina) were just brilliant; the tale of how a reconciliatory gesture to his Dad went horribly wrong is both funny and touching.
Kilstein’s style frequently flips between conversational – where he’ll bridge into a new topic – and motor-mouthed angry ranting. I love the rants; there’s so much anger and passion, and they’re so fast and forceful that he’s frequently gasping for breath in the middle of them. And that makes it genuinely exciting as an audience member; it’s incredibly easy to get swept along by his torrent of expression.
Kilstein also co-hosts the Citizen Radio podcast (with wife Allison Kilkenny), which is a pretty good listen, too. In fact, they’ve posted something that’s awfully similar to tonight’s show here (or the original BreakThru Radio link). And, as a special bonus for you, here’s one of their best shows ever.
Now, I’m not saying that we agree on everything – veganism is not something I’ll ever consider whilst bacon is still salty-delicious, and I detect an anti-gamer sentiment within him – but I’d pay good money to see Kilstein again in a heartbeat. He ended the show with an almost apologetic “come talk to me about anything outside… oh, and I’ve got a CD. 15 bucks, or whatever you can afford”; I understand that this is where money can be made by artists, so I thought I’d snaffle a CD. When I got outside, Kilstein was in the middle of a small group of people, in earnest discussion with one chap about how he should become vegan. There was a bit of back-and-forth, all good discussion; then the chap said something along the lines of “you make some good points… but I’m a big L Liberal. And we all know climate change is a myth.”
A number of jaws dropped. Kilstein looked lost for words.
After that “debate” died down, I would up getting my CD – Kilstein didn’t have any change, so I just said “take the fifty.” He stammered, and insisted I take the CD for free; “piss off,” I said, “I know how these things work for you artists.”
And that made me feel happy. And virtuous.