Skip to content

Here is what happened when a hypnotist put improv artists in a trance in St Catharines

Showdown just before the weekend left audience in awe
Hyprov show breaks out in an imaginary fight between improv artist (left) and famed comedian, Colin Mochrie with hypnotist, Asad Mecci on the mike. Gloria Katsch/Thorold News

Hyprov is a hilarious hybrid of improvisational comedy and hypnosis.

The sold-out show left the audience in awe at the imaginative silliness during this first comedic show to kick-off the Canadian tour in St. Catharines at the Performing Arts Centre, Thursday night.

With more than 50 dates on the itinerary throughout Canada and the U.S., Hyprov is a sure-fire hit for those wanting to bring this special brand of entertainment to the masses.

The show is led by veterans Colin Mochrie from the famed, T.V. show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and Asad Mecci, a hypnotist and showman, who decided to study improv classes at Toronto’s Second City.

In a press release, Mecci states: “I had an epiphany – hypnosis could unlock the comedic genius in everyday people and turn them into pros!”

When hypnotised, persons tend to lose their inhibitions, and are open to suggestions without fear as the 20 members or volunteers from the audience oddly demonstrated.

For Mochrie and Mecci, every night is a completely different show with a new cast doing improv scenes created by the audience.

“It was important to me that we weren’t having all the volunteers cluck like chickens or bark like dogs,” exclaimed Mochrie.

Mecci concurred, so they outlined a few scenes to guide the show, but it’s the audiences’ spontaneous and wacky ideas that create a unique night of entertainment.

Before twenty people volunteered, Mecci prefaced the show by explaining that even while under hypnosis, no one can do anything against their will.

He also wanted people over the age of 18, in good physical condition and those that weren’t high -–“and I know some of you out there are,” he added.

As his voice took the volunteers deeper into a trance, he waited until they were calm, comfortable and fully relaxed to the point of being slumped over in their chairs before giving instructions.

To warm up the show, he got the volunteers to pretend they were sunbathing, which eventually got too hot, and soon they were fanning themselves and wiping their foreheads.

Moments later, they were shivering from cold, because the sun went down.

When Mecci asked them to stretch out in their beach loungers, one man fell completely over his chair, and continued to lay there in a comatose state as if nothing happened.

Members of the audience laughed, while others were dumb founded.

Then Mecci had them pretending to drive a car and waving to neighbours.

One lady was clearly a smoker.

Then he told them a truck was coming and cut them off, so they all veered their imaginary steering wheels to the right or left and slammed on their imaginary breaks.

Eventually, Mecci whittled the group down to five improv volunteers for the scenes to begin, and Mochrie appeared from the wings quipping these five would replace the regulars on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Brad Sherwood, Jeff B. Davis and Denny Siegel with Drew Carey hosting.

This hit show ran on ABC-TV from 1998 to 2007 and a revival of the show, “Whose Line?” aired on The CW network in 2013 with Mochrie. He also played Eugene on “The Drew Carey Show – "Cleveland Rocks” and made many celebrity appearances including the “Just For Laughs Festival” in Montreal.

Mochrie’s cherub, comedic appearance drew instant applause.

The first skit was a job interview, and the audience shouted out suggestions, which culminated in a job interview for a taxidermist specializing in pigs. He chose a female volunteer telling her this job is important to her, and she had to answer why she is the best one suited for the job.

She was convincing, but before he hired her, his final request was that she perform an interpretive dance expressing why pigs meant so much to her.

She had all the grace and flamboyant physicality of a ballerina, much to everyone’s surprise.

The next skit was a funeral for a pet, which the audience determined would be a pet snake named, Naomi that drowned.

Mochrie portrayed the minister delivering the eulogy.

More than one volunteer participated in mourning Naomi, noting why she meant so much to them, but the bizarre explanations of how she died far exceeded a “Monty Python” skit.

For one man, Naomi tragically fell from the rim of a punchbowl and drowned, presumably in alcohol. Like the movie, “Snakes on A Plane,” another man said Naomi inexplicably fell from a plane or hand glider, (not sure) but he didn’t know how she got on the plane and believes she followed him there.

The responses were beyond sane, only to be made more humorous by Mochrie’s quips, like the: “Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Another skit was set in a western town, and a sheriff, deputies and posse were appointed to hunt for kittens lost in a hole.

The female sheriff nailed the problem immediately by confronting the Mochrie gang stating: “We got a pussy problem,” and she aimed to fix it.

The gangs fought to death by using imaginary spongy pool noodles.

When Mochrie asked one man if dying hurt, he replied: “It hurts like a son of a b%%%.” Mochrie admitted the sheriff had a “killer instinct,” and just wouldn’t die.

A volunteer, who presented like a closet Rockstar, was selected to sing a duet with Mochrie, which resulted in a blues rendition about a red-haired woman on fire.

Love hurts.

The final skit had the ensemble performing in a 1940’s murder mystery that was commonplace on radio dramas, prior to the invention of television.

One lady was appointed to create all the “incorrect” sound effects for the show that provided a hilarious ending for a spontaneous and unforgettable night of genius, joy and delightful depravity.