Left Wanting [by Guest Reviewer Lauren Owens]
Mike Loder was dealing out the comedy this Tuesday at his late-night show, Wanted Thoughts. Not many people dared to brave the 9pm start, but those who did were committed to laugh.
The enticing title, Wanted Thoughts, was a warning of what was to come as Mike delivered his insights on the changing world of dating, his favourite strip clubs and a barrage of sex stories.
The crowd were in a great mood and though there were less than a dozen of us – that didn’t throw Mike for a second. His banter with the audience made me feel like we were getting the kind of show the Fringe Festival aspires to deliver. Mike’s advice to a Canadian woman on how to keep her man happy had the women laughing, and the men nodding in thoughtful agreement.
And his suggestion to police to abandon the more aggressive weapons like taser guns and batons and instead go with “poo on a stick”, actually seemed like it had merit.
Mike was at his best when he was honest and original – and while these gems were in there, there were far too many tall tales about sexual conquests, and regressive thoughts on the various “mongs” of society.
His hope for the evening, Mike told us, was that his show would be “like a warm kitten’s paw in your ear”, but instead his delivery felt jilted, unrehearsed and forced. At one stage he had to pause and run through his notes to see what joke he could tell next. Inevitably, it was another sex story with a tired punchline.
The evening had the potential to entertain with humorous insights into the life and thoughts of Mike Loder – but instead it felt like a caricature of what Mike thought we wanted to see. By the end of the hour I felt like I was listening to a teenage boy desperately trying to impress his classmates with tales of imagined conquests.
Wanted Thoughts had potential to shine but fell short with Mike’s unpolished delivery and lack of originality. A witty evening but the laughs were too far and few in between.
Wanted Thoughts plays as part of the Auckland Fringe at Q Vault until 28 Feb. Details see Q.
Lauren Owens is an Auckland-based writer, film-maker and reviewer – with a passion for escaping the city and heading to the hills.