Seven Minutes In Purgatory, an idea we’ve written about before in our Staff Picks feature, is an admittedly pretty high-concept comedy show created by formerly-Chicago, now-L.A.-based comedian Ian Abramson. The basic idea is that you put a stand-up comedian alone in a room, give them soundproof headphones, and have them perform their set without the benefit of any audience feedback. There is an audience, but they are watching a live video feed of the performance in another room.
Denied the laughter of strangers that is as mother’s milk to this generally cripplingly self-aware lot, some performers freak out almost immediately. Others boldly forge ahead with pre-prepared material. Kyle Kinane, who headlined a recent Seven Minutes in Purgatory show at UCB Sunset in LA, seems pretty okay with the experience at first, but as he keeps talking a sense of dread begins to creep over him. “This is like a hostage video!,” he exclaims three minutes and 30 seconds in, before launching into a riff about how well his captors are treating him, feeding him “hot dogs and Gatorade warmed by the desert sun.” It’s pretty hilarious, as Kinane usually is. Video of his way-over-seven-minute set is below.