This story doesn’t have much to do with television, but this blog seemed the most appropriate place for it. There probably isn’t much merit to telling it, but it’s been bothering me for a few days now, so:
Bob’s Burgers was my favorite show on TV last year. I don’t think an animated sitcom has reached its combination of outlandish humor and real family bonding since the heyday of The Simpsons. Andy Kindler voices Mort, local mortician and owner of the funeral parlor next door to Bob’s Burgers. I like the show, I think Mort is a good character, and I also found Kindler’s appearance on The Jeselnik Offensive pretty funny, so I decided to follow him on Twitter.
Flash forward to a few days ago, when Drew Magary wrote this trifling little blog entry in GQ that included a diss of Kindler– primarily because Kindler suggested Louis CK was not as funny as his reputation would indicate, although in larger part because Kindler just seemed to be complaining about things he didn’t like rather than offering anything constructive.
After this was published, Kindler spent two days tweeting disses of Magary and GQ and retweeting everyone who agreed with him, nonstop. It was a little overwhelming, especially because the contents of his tweets were ridiculous. (He actually suggested that Magary’s blog entry online proved GQ lacked editorial integrity, among other things.) You can read his Twitter history from around August 2 to August 4 to verify this for yourself.
Now, just to be clear, I have no opinions on either side of this issue. I didn’t hear or read Kindler’s address, and while I disagree about Louis CK and his show, I also think Kindler has been funny in other roles. So, whatever. It seems like a minor thing to me. The only thing that really bothers me is that Kindler has been tweeting and retweeting about it nonstop.
Having gotten a little tired of it, I tried to make a suggestion that might have helped him deal with it better– namely, the idea that by spending so much time and energy focusing on Magary’s criticism, he was giving it more validation than if he’d just brushed it off. (After all, if the guy was the “nameless nobody” Kindler kept suggesting, then why did his criticism matter?) So I sent this:
Okay. I can see how this could be misinterpreted. Maybe it seems like I’m being rude or agree with the criticism. Again, I don’t carPerhaps my point wasn’t very clear, but I never got the chance to clarify my remarks, because Kindler immediately responded with insults and instructions to unfollow him. He then blocked me before I had any chance to clarify my meaning.
(Mr. Kindler, what did you “expect”, exactly? That if you were a jerk to someone, he’d stop talking to you? Congratulations on being able to predict an extremely predictable outcome.)
He even went back through my timeline to find an unrelated tweet so he could insult me again:
So there you have it. I tried to suggest to Andy Kindler that he was better and funnier, not to mention older and mature enough, than to let something minor like this get to him. Instead, he proved me wrong. I find his behavior immature, petty, and spiteful. And now I recognize the common throughline: He’s a comedian who spends more time complaining and telling other people what isn’t funny than actually being funny. Perhaps my mistake was thinking the funny, creative person was the real Andy Kindler.
I’m disappointed. I guess I still hope funny people will be decent in person, too. I feel like we could have come to an understanding if we’d talked it out, although he never gave me the chance. I won’t support anything he does after this and I’ll encourage others not to. (I’ll still watch Bob’s Burgers– I mean, I’m not paying him money to watch it, and his role is so minor that the show wouldn’t really be worse if he left.) I’m not perfect, or even particularly close– probably not even in this incident. But I definitely don’t behave like this, the Internet equivalent of slapping someone in the face and then running away. I just don’t like being treated that way. I find it offensive and dehumanizing. It still bothers me two days later, which is why I write about it, not because I expect some sort of recompense, retribution, or even sympathy. I just had to say it.
I’ve met a small number of celebrities, some of whom have lunatic public personae and have actually committed felonies, but none of them were a jerk to me the way Andy Kindler was. So congratulations, Mr. Kindler– you were a bigger ass to me than Mike Tyson and Jose Canseco combined.