The Bicycling Comedian | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Bicycling Comedian 

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Riding between comedy clubs, Tom Snyders, the self-proclaimed Bicycling Comedian, has racked up up to 81,000 miles in 49 states. To reach his first gig, back in 1987, he cycled 1,400 miles through Arizona and New Mexico desert only to find that the Des Moines club where he was booked had burned to the ground. Last year he spent some quality time in a coma at the UCLA Medical Center after being hit by a car and dragged 30 feet. His biggest claim to fame is an appearance on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. All gimmick, no act, no brains, you're thinking. You're right about one thing. Snyders has no act--which is precisely why he's such an endearing performer, in all his goofy awkwardness. Rather than work up slick shtick, he simply shows us slides of roadside marvels he's encountered: a marquee advertising a drive-thru gizzard dinner for $2.98; the Girlie Pancake House, where "They're stacked better"; a highway sign advertising the Nuclear Visitors Center, Sunny Point, and Bald Head Island. Snyders is more than a comedian--he's an ethnographer documenting an absurd America lost to those of us whizzing by on the interstate. Organic Lab, Friday, 11:30 PM; Sunday, 6 PM; Wednesday, 8:30 PM; and Thursday, 10 PM. $7-$10. --Justin Hayford

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