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Print Version

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014
NICK RADO: How did we survive the 90s?
Presented by Nick Rado (Akld)

at Fringe Bar, 26 Allen St, Wellington
From 6 May 2014 to 10 May 2014

Reviewed by Shannon Friday, 7 May 2014

Nick Rado's How did we survive the 90s? is all that and a bag of chips.  

We start with a slideshow of 90s icons, from Hulk Hogan to the Hoff, which draw giggles of recognition.  When Rado takes the stage, we're ready to care for him like a Tamagochi. 

Rado makes excellent use of the multimedia throughout the show, getting us clapping along to the theme from Friends or freeze-framing the most cringe-worthy moments of an educational video.  His simply presented misheard song lyrics of the 90s have me in stitches – buggin', even – and I will never look at the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air the same way again.

Later, Rado pulls some audience members onstage to recreate some classic icons of the 90s, including WWF wrestling and a sitcom.  These bits can use some work – as Rado admits – but the ending is a super clever way to reincorporate all the jokes from earlier in the evening. 

So often stand-up show titles or themes can seem really arbitrary or tacked on, but Rado works his theme for all it is worth, covering a huge breadth of material, from the Hutt Valley slogan to international pop stars. 

While I find my pleasure often depends on how much a particular image sticks in my mind – Holy cow, grippy catch! -- there's enough absurdity in Rado's observations to lift the night above a simple nostalgiafest.  

So if you were alive and interested in pop culture in the 90s, dig out a couple-a beans and slip-slide your way down to Fringe Bar. BOOYAH.
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