New album, new tour, new documentary: Kenny G is always in on the joke

Art Streiber

Kenny G is having a moment: He’s played on recent records by The Weeknd and Kanye West, his first album in six years is out now, and he stars in the new HBO documentary Listening to Kenny G, which examines why some people hate his music.

Kenny says he didn’t mind starring in that movie — just like he doesn’t mind that for years, he’s been mercilessly roasted on shows like South Park, Family Guy and Saturday Night Live.

“I’m always in on the joke,” he tells ABC Audio. “I like humor, so…if it’s at my expense, I’m just thinking, ‘If it’s funny, it’s just funny.’ I have no problem laughing about a South Park episode that makes fun of me because I play a note that makes everyone crap their pants.”

He adds, laughing, “I look at it like this: I’m on the radar of the guys that are making South Park. I must be doing something right!”

The fans coming out to see Kenny’s current Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour 2021 must think he’s doing something right: Contrary to popular belief, his concerts are far from a snooze.

“People think they might want to come see me and just have it all be beautiful ballads. But…if I did that, it would be a more…boring concert,” he explains. “We throw in…some crazy stuff, and that makes the concert way better…at the end, they’re going, ‘Wow!'”

The tour is partly named after Kenny’s 1994 album Miracles, the best-selling modern-day Christmas album.  But Kenny, who’s Jewish, admits that he initially didn’t get why the head of his record label, Clive Davis, wanted him to do a Christmas album.

“He goes, ‘Kenny, Irving Berlin wrote ‘White Christmas’ [and] he’s Jewish,'” Kenny recalls. “I said, ‘Good point, Clive!'” 

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