They say you cannot hypnotize someone to do something that they outright don’t want to do. If so, think twice before volunteering to be Hypnotized by Anthony Cools at the Paris Hotel in the 2018 show, especially with your significant other in attendance. He or she might see a side of you that you were keeping to yourself until the fourth date … or marriage … or the estate sale.
Styled “The Uncensored Hypnotist,” Cools sits near the top of the heap of x-rated comedy mesmerists. The man is drop-dead hilarious, an expert at working a crowd, and the things he gets people to do on his stage while “under” are the stuff that laugh-induced hernias are made of.
Smooth as Sinatra in his conservative suit and tie, Cools’ attitude – “I hope you’re ready to party!” – could not be more at home in Vegas. He asks the audience, packed into his intimate theater space at the Paris, for volunteers. The seats are not very comfortable. Could that be intentional? Once his patsies are seated onstage, Cools quickly puts them under. Perfect strangers flop over on each others’ shoulders and laps, seemingly fast asleep.
Cools starts them out with an innocuous, but hilarious, warm-up. His volunteers, he declares, are an elite symphony orchestra. When he snaps his fingers, this impromptu group of non-musicians begins to pantomime cello bows and clarinet reeds with all their hearts. What isn’t funny about watching your bro make a meal out of an invisible violin solo?
It gets dirtier. Boy, does it. A psychological dissertation could be written on the differing reactions of the volunteers to the imaginary loud and smelly flatulence of their neighbor – everything from polite attempts at a straight face, to scowls of disgust, to leaping from their chairs to escape the phantom odor.
Cools ratchets up the audience – “The louder you cheer, the dirtier I get!” Volunteers are told that upon hearing a music cue, they will feel an insufferable burning sensation in their anuses, and feel the irresistible urge to smother the burning by rubbing their posteriors on the ground. The music cue? “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.
The piece de resistance comes when Cools convinces his volunteers that they are completely nude and waiting to audition for a porno movie. A plastic chair set at center stage is their scene partner … and they really really need this role! Upon snapping his fingers, Cools invites them one by one to the chair to show off their moves. To the strains of George Thoroughgood’s “Bad to the Bone,” women who should know better drop to their knees and simulate sex acts. Men look like buffoons as they affect “sexy” struts, then turn the chair over and defile it in positions you never knew existed.
There, now you know it’s coming. I didn’t spoil anything. It is hysterical every time, because each off-the-street reveler brings his or her own spin to it. No pun intended.
You might want to reconsider volunteering if you covet a political career, or a career teaching Sunday School to kids. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, until your joker of a buddy tweets a pic of you dry-humping a chair. “If you people brought cameras, f***in’ load ’em now,” Cools deadpans as he gets ready to send his hypnotized victims, er, patrons on another NSFW adventure.
Verdict: This show is not for the easily-offended or the prudish. If you love potty language, sex, and poop humor, Anthony Cools at the Paris Hotel and Casino 2018, will make you laugh until all of your cheeks hurt.