Lane Moore's "Tinder Live" show swipes right into Turner Hall on Friday
Let's face it: Tinder can be kind of terrible.
From the arrogant and obnoxious ("If you can't handle my awesomeness, then just swipe left") to the basic and benign ("Likes: pizza, my friends, going to the gym"), the fake spam-bots ("Go to dtfhookup.com and hav ur dreams come tru") to the outright insane ("9/11 was a NASA conspiracy; I'm into knife play, will you be my beautiful victim?"), it's often tough to wade through the muck of miserable profiles – not to mention, survive strangers' reflexive, physical appearance-based judgment and then labor through insipid, indifferent messaging until they stop responding and your swipe thumb develops early-onset arthritis. Fun!
Enter Lane Moore, a writer and comedian in New York who saw in the morass of modern online dating an opportunity for lighthearted entertainment. Moore decided four years ago to take the cynical, soul-sucking and superficial aspects of Tinder and filter out the weird, confusing and ridiculous parts, turning what can be a disappointingly isolating experience into a hilariously uplifting, all-in-this-together interactive comedy show.
The critically acclaimed "Tinder Live with Lane Moore" examines and soothingly lampoons the strange world of mobile-app dating, with Moore signed onto her account on stage, going through area profiles (Tinder is location-based), offering funny observations and reactions, swiping left (no) or right (yes) – usually with enthusiastic audience input – and messaging maniacally with her matches. Fun!
Moore brings her show to Milwaukee this week, as "Tinder Live" will be at Turner Hall Ballroom at 8 p.m. We caught up with Moore in advance to talk about the concept, her best matches, the show experience, why it isn't as exploitative as you might think and how we all kind of suck at dating anyway. During our phone interview, Moore said she'd just woken up and was going to be getting dressed while we talked, because we were recording a video (above) afterward. She assured that she wasn't the type of person who needed an hour to get ready, though.
OnMilwaukee: So, what I'm gathering is that you seem to be really high maintenance.
Lane Moore: Yeah, exactly. That's what everybody says about me: "She's so high maintenance and just the worst."
I'm not used to dealing with New York divas and big stars, so if you could try to put on a little more of a low-key Midwestern persona, that'd be great.
It's funny because I'm from the South, so I get people all the time like, "Oh, you're clearly not from here," and I'm like, that's just your way of saying I'm nice. When people smile at me, I smile back. And I'm just being nice, but then you get some creepy dude following you for a couple blocks (laughs).
This is such a unique show. What's the Tinder Live origin story?
I got the idea, literally the first time I went on Tinder, almost four years ago. I was coming out of my room and my two roommates were in the kitchen and were both on Tinder at the same time. I was like, holy crap, clearly everyone is on Tinder, I've got to check it out. So I set up an account and immediately was like this is the most incredible thing I've ever seen.
I went and I got my camera and I videotaped us going on Tinder and just making comments and things like that. Right at that same time, I turned to them and said, I could totally make this into a comedy show – it could be live and interactive, you know, we could put my profile on a big screen while I'm swiping. I could make live commentary on these profiles, and it'll be just this huge amazing improvised comedy show. And my roommates were like, um, seriously, make that happen now.
So that night, I started working on the show and contacted theaters. It was just that immediate. The second I got on Tinder, I was like, "OK, this is my life's purpose, cool."
So it was very organic.
Very organic! It was literally just going on it and realizing, "Oh my God, there is just so much amazing material." And my brain works so fast, the second a profile showed up, I had six jokes for each one. And I was like, I need to make this into something.
The comedy is built in for you. But four years ago, Tinder was still pretty new and people were viewing it, maybe not innocently but naively. Before everyone had made their jokes and there were bots and it was something everyone knew about, you were in the vanguard.
Before, it was like, "Wow, this seems to be really catching on." And now it's like, there are grandpas in their 80s on Tinder.
The genesis of the show is interesting because I know people who've had Tinder parties, where they'll get wine and just go through profiles and make jokes, which is essentially what you're doing but on a grander, actual stage.
That's the other thing I hear a lot from women after the show. They're like, "We do this at home, do this in bars, this is exactly what we do." With me it's just on a larger scale and it's actual professional comedians.
It's also not trolly. I imagine when some people do it casually, it's a little trolly – both women and men do stuff like that. I'm very protective of the kindness of the show and making sure that it's not – like, I'm never going to knock someone's physical appearance, I'm never going to take a guy who seems like a really great guy and make him think I'm his soulmate or something like that.
I only go after guys who are just, like, really ridiculous. And when I say go after, it's something as simple as – like, this one time there was this guy who, in every profile photo, it looked like they were all taken in a basement and he was wearing the same shirt in all of them. So I just started messaging him and was like, "Oh my gosh, you only own one shirt? Me too!" And he was like, "No, what are you talking about? I own more than one shirt." And I'm like, "It's OK that you don't, I know that you don't. It's fine; the jig is up."
So it's just silly. There's nothing about it that's super mean. I mean, if someone's just openly, like, sexist, racist or homophobic or whatever then, you know, those are definitely fun profiles to play with. One guy's was like, "Don't message me if you are a feminist," so immediately I started messaging him just pretending I didn't even know what feminism was.
Oh, yeah. That's open season for you.
Yeah, like, "Feminism, what is that? That sounds so complicated! I hate it. What?" My character is just this dumb drunk idiot, and I've got to tell you, men love her.
The one-shirt guy seems like he was sad that night and just decided to go on Tinder and take all his profile pictures right then and there.
The thesis that came out on the show – because he came up on a Tinder Live show – was, like, I was saying his mom really wanted him to move out of her basement. "You've got to move out. You're going on Tinder, you are going to meet a nice girl. Come on! What you're wearing is fine!" And then they're in the basement and she's just like, "That one's good, that one's good, that's good, that's good, OK done."
You alluded to this, and it's one of the things I'm fascinated to see live. It seems like this could be exploitative if not done the right way. I know from reading reviews of the show, a lot of people said you manage to do it without being mean-spirited. How do you toe that line? Do you ever worry about embarrassing someone? What if someone's partner comes up and then you're a homewrecker?
(laughs) For sure. Like I said, I'm so protective of that, because the theme of the show for me is that, like, we're all bad at this. I'm not standing up there going, "Oh, I'm perfect at this and everyone here sucks at it." That's not my humor, that's not who I am as a person. So I really am coming at it from, like, "I believe that most of these people are good people, but they just don't know how their profile is coming across." You know what I mean?
So someone might have a ridiculous profile, but I'm not going to be like, "Oh, this guy is clearly a piece of crap." It's like, he might be a super nice guy who I'd be friends with or might even be attracted to. Again, unless the person just seems really hateful or just really awful, I try to treat it like they might be in the room. I always tell people in the audience, if your profile comes up, let me know, I won't make fun of you. But I feel like if someone's profile comes up, it's almost a badge of honor, this special thing, like, you won a little prize.
Yeah, I'd be excited and eager to get some tips.
My goal, and I'd say that what we succeed at it every show, is making everybody there feel like you're at this once-in-a-lifetime thing, because the stuff that happens on the show is all improvised. So it's like nobody else will have this moment, and you just feel like you're all in it together. So, really, the point of this show is to make people feel connected, and I don't want to make anyone feel like this is somehow mean, or what if it's someone's brother that's embarrassing. Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)
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