Nostalgia is a comfortable target for comedy. With everyone now catching Pokemon on their phones and the return of chokers the nineties has hit the nostalgic barrier and fought back. As the last decade before the Millennium’s vice like grip over technology, there certainly is a large pool of resources to draw from. Patrick Monahan has realised this and crafted a Fringe show remembering the nineties, bumbags and all.
The heavily unpolished material is abundant though, with no actual jokes or set-ups present. Most of Monahan’s routine is akin to mentioning something which was popular in the nineties and hoping for a chuckle. One of the biggest issues is that, realistically, the nineties aren’t actually that old. Yes, The Lion King is indeed 23 years old. Most people in the room, however, have seen the film, most likely quite recently. Apparently, we used to do a lot of baking in the nineties, which we never do now or would dedicate an entire prime-time show around.
The only real material lies with audience interaction, which is filled with the usual vim and vigor of a comedy routine. It isn’t enough to save the glaring errors however, the major one being the target audience. Unsure of who this actually is, most of the jokes are aimed at two groups: Those under eighteen who didn’t experience the nineties and those over 70 who may or may not have a smart phone. Problem? Most of tonight’s audience is in their twenties to late forties. People who grew up or raised children during the nineties. The younger audience is an easy target, but explaining an iPhone to someone in their thirties, assuming they still use a landline just feels awkward.
Props, light shows and a tiny dance routine, most of these skits actually show promise. The issue is execution, a disco rave set to the sound of the nineties (the infamous dial-tone) is a half-decent way to revamp a tired joke but it just feels, again, unpolished. Due to this Rewind Selector 90s is bright, has energy amid the stops but over all feels unfinished, raw and half-hearted for a seasoned comedian.