Volunteering for “Marc Savard Comedy Hypnosis” is for the game-bordering-on-masochistic. For those of you smart enough to hang back in the audience, you’ll laugh so hard you cringe.
V Theater Group, LLC
“Some people don’t believe in hypnotism,” Marc Savard boasts to the audience at one point. He’s got what he presents as incontrovertible evidence – the tears streaming down a grown man’s face. He has hypnotized this carefully-selected brawny volunteer for a very special suggestion – upon shaking Savard’s hand, he is overcome with soul-crushing sadness, which can only be alleviated by a hug.
Look, if you volunteer at a hypnosis show, you expect to be humiliated. Still, volunteers at “Marc Savard Comedy Hypnosis” at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino really get put through the wringer. In addition to pointing out the man’s tears, Savard holds his microphone close so we can hear the distraught volunteer’s whimpers. A grown man bawling – hilarious! The crowd is in stitches. There are a few brave moans of “Awww!” – to which he quips “You’d think I killed his dog or something!” Moments later, He gives the volunteer a hug; he stops crying immediately, groggily confirming that he feels fine and is having a great time in Vegas. But the tears still streak his face.
Yep, it takes a good sport to volunteer, and a special type to laugh at some of the things Savard puts his volunteers through. He can be self-deprecating – Savard hypnotizes one young woman to instinctively regard him as the most disgusting man on earth. Before long she is uncomfortably dodging his attempts at handshakes and paternal brushes on the shoulder. To get bigger and bigger reactions, he finds excuses to touch her hair, or her feet. She’s practically crawling out of her skin. The subsequent Harvey Weinstein zingers drops hit a little too on the nose.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Savard convinces an older lady that whenever he shakes her hand, she is madly in love with him. So we get to watch grandma get all randy. If hypnosis is legit, how do you not get drunk with that kind of power?
The show hits lighter notes, too. he convinces one volunteer that his name is actually “E-I-E-I-O.” The volunteer confirms “E-I-E-I-O” repeatedly as his given name; corrects Savard petulantly when he mistakenly calls him “A-E-I-O-U”; and even pontificates on the etymology of this name that his parents gave him. It’s a comedic high point in a show that dances just on the edge of mean-spirited.
Savard gives all of his volunteers a chance to shine with enthusiastic dance solos to hip hop jams and country twangles, but the coup de grace comes when he borrows a belt from a volunteer, then convinces his hapless participants that the belt is a poisonous snake. He terrorizes them with the snake in his hands for a moment, before one by one wrapping the belt around various volunteers’ shoulders. The look of abject terror on their faces as the “snake” coils around their necks … goodness, Marc, can you please just make me cry instead?
VERDICT: Volunteering for “Marc Savard Comedy Hypnosis” at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino is for the game-bordering-on-masochistic. For those of you smart enough to hang back in the audience, you’ll laugh so hard you cringe.