Nick Thane has always envied those agile enough to do a back flip. He has watched street performers do back flips for three or four hours and one time, he was in a bank packed with people when a guy in the back of the room with a baby in one arm and a gun in the other shouted, “I will shoot this fucking baby in the head unless someone does a back flip right now!”
So he did one. Or so he says.
Nick Thane and Mike Super both suspended audience members’ belief on Friday night at the College Union Board (CUB)-sponsored comedy and magic show in Kendall Hall.
Thane opened the show with a comedy act ranging in subject matter from race to relationships to masturbation to having to use his father’s screen name when he first got America Online at the age of 14. (It was “salmonerd.”) He presented the crowd with one-liners (“Dear Texas, thanks for all the instruments,”) idiosyncratic stories detailing, for example, the behavior of a friend getting high, and Demetri Martin-esque guitar-comedy songs including pieces like “Butterflies.”
In “Missed Connection,” Thane comments on the feature of Craig’s List that allows users to contact people whom they could share a “connection” with. If you are his missed connection, he asks you to e-mail him at Playa5000@yahoo.com.
“I actually wish they had seated you all in the upper level,” Thane said at the beginning of the performance.
He harped on that again at the end of the show, implying that Matt, an audience member brave enough to sit in the front row at a comedy show, would go home and post a missed connection letter to Nick professing his attraction to the comedian.
Mike Super included audience members in his act in a more benevolent way, using them as witnesses to the sincerity of his tricks. Super has won numerous awards and has been touted as “The #1 Mystifyer in The World” by NBC, where he will soon begin airing his own television show.
He talks quickly, cuts rope quickly and performs card tricks even quicker. His act combined illusion and comedy, as well as the help of quite a few audience members. Two highlights included his signature “voodoo” presentation and his final bit involving a paper rose.
In his signature trick, he took a student out of the audience and performed “voodoo” on him with a doll. When he tapped the doll, burned the doll or poked the doll, the audience member reacted in shock. For his last trick, he turned a napkin into a paper rose, levitated it and then set it on fire, leaving a real flower in its place.
Super ended his show on an emotional note, creating snow over the audience as a heart-felt dedication to his recently deceased mother.