Fort Worth — Let us be glad for the Ohio Dogman, Midwest’s version of Bigfoot. Without being regaled with its tales for much of his childhood, the belief-embracing, consciousness-expanding aspects of comedian Ryan Singer might never have come to be. For what other comic would slip into their act references to the chaos magic of William Burroughs, or extol you to sweet talk your water bottle or bathtub in the manner of Masaru Emoto, or make deep comic bits riffing off the movie Inception? When not spinning jokes, Singer is creator and host of the popular “Me & Paranormal You” podcast that showcases people with extraordinary experiences, unusual beliefs or abilities.
Singer’s set at Amphibian Stage Productions on Friday wasn’t all heady. The comic, who is turning 40 and also performs tonight, references the Addams Family-ish white streak in his wildly curly hair and extolls the joys of gray pubes: “When you have silver hairs on your balls, there are no more rules. I’m a grown up. Freeeeedom!” He ponders why the essence of being an adult is that you have permission stick your body parts into orifices, and explains the history of America using snacks as metaphors. The show continues through Saturday.
A contradictory confluence of junk food, metaphysics, science and sex, the Red Bull-imbibing Singer doesn’t ask much from you, only to expand your boundaries and let your imagination free. It is, as he often says, “more fun to believe.” A long bit on milkshakes explores which fast-food place has the best ones, the joys of seasonal flavors, the evils of warm Reddi-Wip on cold ice cream, and joys of wide-mouth straws is classic stand-up. Yet from there he ponders the possibility of sentient straws and offers that, “No matter how dark, there’s sugar at the end of the tunnel.” Easy to see why he and ice-cream junkie Marc Maron connect so much.
In a time where comics gorge on cynicism, it’s refreshing for Singer to make us laugh about being “steamrolled with awe” by NASA who is “teaching us all how to be impressed.” What’s not to love about a rolling robot on Mars taking planetary selfies? With the elements of life such as carbon being born of the fusion furnaces of imploding stars, Singer insists that “stardust equals space jizz.” We are all, in one way or another, says Singer, “looking for juice from the universe.” Or from many of them, for somewhere in a parallel universe he says there is a Ryan Singer show in which intelligent octopi applaud his jokes with wet slimy tentacles.
READ Amy Martin's story about Amphibian Stage Productions' comedy series.
VIDEO Singer’s video of his bit “United Snacks of America” has more than seven million listens on Pandora.