According to Tinder, over 50 million people are using their dating app. That’s a whole lotta people with different expectations, interests, and personalities. Trying to navigate it in real life? A miserable experience. Watching someone try to make sense of it all onstage? Hilarious!
And that is the premise of Tinder Live, which is coming to St. Paul's Amsterdam Bar & Hall this Friday.
“Hopefully we’re taking something that is generally frustrating and making it really hopeful and light and funny,” says show host Lane Moore.
The New York-based comedian/actress/writer came up with the idea for the show in 2014 after joining and realizing the app was filled with comedy gold. Eight years later, she’s still mining Tinder for content. At each show she leads the audience through the local dating jungle, swerving and swiping through bad photographs and weird profiles, and direct messaging the promising guys and gals she finds.
“The really special thing about Tinder Live is that it’s totally improvised,” says Moore. “So every show is completely unique and only happens that one time. Every single show I’m coming up with completely new jokes, completely new profiles, and completely new conversations.”
When Moore takes the show on the road, she gets a crash course on what the dating scene is like in the area via Tinder and the audience. For example, when she took to the stage in Denver, she was excited to discover that people seem to be really into jet skiing and cliff diving—two interests you don’t typically see on the app when in NYC.
“You’re seeing these really cool cultural snapshots of the city you’re in,” she says. “I’ll think, ‘Oh, so this thing is kind of important to a certain type of person in this town.’ And that’s so interesting to me; that there are these archetypes in different cities.”
Some things are universal, however, like the ubiquitous profile shot where a guy poses with a fish they, presumably, caught.
“I see that in almost every other city I have been to,” Moore agrees. “I even see it in New York City, and there really isn’t anywhere to fish here. The only sense I can make of that is that men are trying to say, 'I can provide for you! Look, I caught a fish!'”
Some Tinder hopefuls in the audience might even find the show educational.
“That’s the weird thing about online dating. We’re all trying to market ourselves, and we don’t know how it’s coming off,” she says. “I will sometimes hear from men at the show, ‘Oh my god! I do that thing that you just talked about and I didn’t know I came off that way.’ But I really don’t think that all these profiles for these guys are horrible. People don’t always know how they are coming off because online dating is a weird thing.”
As for tips to make your Tinder profile better, Moore offers a few suggestions.
“I think it helps to have people look at your profile. My biggest tip—especially with men—is to stop yelling,” she says. Also, knock it off with the lists of demands. “When I see things like, ‘I hate this! I don’t like this!’ I’m like, you’re already starting off with aggression. I know you’re frustrated—we all are—but you’re yelling at me.”
Also, avoid group shots. Moore has an entire segment in each show dedicated to this.
“Sometimes I'll scroll through someone’s profile, and all five pics are group shots,” she says. “That’s when I realize, ‘Well, I’ll never know which one is you.’”
It’s important to note, however, that Tinder Live isn’t about shitting on people looking to find love (or just get laid), and Moore is quick to keep the tone more silly and light.
“We’re not taking a really nice guy whose profile is really wonderful and ripping him to shreds. That’s not funny and there’s no need for it,” she says. “But anyone who has ever seen an online dating site knows that for every great and normal guy you see the next profile is going to be some naked guy stabbing a bear. There’s a wealth of wild stuff out there.”
But sometimes the good guys get in on the show, too.
“The first time I came to Minneapolis/St. Paul [for the show] I matched with a guy who was wearing bell bottoms. So I spent a whole segment of the show trying to vaguely steal his bell bottoms,” she says. “I was like, ‘Do you ever leave them on a ledge? Do you ever leave them near a window?’ And he was like, ‘Please don’t steal my bell bottoms.’ After the show, I sent him a note and he was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s really funny.’”
They later met up while he was visiting NYC, and the two are friends these days.
“He’s probably going to be coming to the show [at Amsterdam],” she says. “There are some weird, beautiful moments that come out of Tinder Live.”
IF YOU GO:
Tinder Live with Lane Moore
7 p.m. Friday, September 3
$20 advance/$25 at the door; find tickets here
Amsterdam Bar and Hall