Flaming Idiots offer scorching performance

by Karla Kingsley | 10/31/01 6:00am

"OK, everyone turn to the person on your left or your right and give them a big hug yes, you two guys in front, we want to see some male bonding," Gyro (Rob Williams) instructed the crowd at last night's performance from The Flaming Idiots in Spaulding.

Gyro was "the tiny, cute one" of the Flaming Idiots, along with Pyro (Jon O'Connor), a goofy version of Chandler (from "Friends") and Walter (Kevin Hunt), a guy with really, really big hair.

The trio was welcomed to Hanover with a full house.

In less than two seconds, we were all transported to the "Idiot Olympics," where Pyro was to show off his skill at coin catching, a sport that requires "pluck, determination, and a willingness to live in your parents' basement for the rest of your life." He amazed the crowd and the other two Idiots with his "profile," nicely apperent in his spandex wrestling suit, while catching up to six coins at a time as strains of the theme from "Chariots of Fire" played in the background.

The Flaming Idiots had a great mix of jokes, acting, audience participation, and truly amazing feats, but the audience still was rather subdued. Next up though, was the bologna sandwich act.

First off, they wanted an adult woman volunteer, who was invited on stage to have a bologna sandwich constructed by Gyro with his feet. Gyro currently holds the world record for, yes this is true, the man who can make a bologna sandwich with his feet the fastest. Now isn't that something we all wish we could do? He put together the sandwich, complete with mayo, mustard, lettuce and pickle, and he even cut the crusts off.

As the show continued, the audience became more and more enthusiastic, applauding more after each act. The Idiots lapped up the praise, and were at their best for the finale. For this act they needed "a big guy, over 280 pounds." The volunteer, Devore, walked up to stage gamely, obviously not knowing what to expect -- and he didn't even get to see it, because everything happened behind and above him.

At one point, while sitting on Devore's shoulders, Gyro quipped, "I bet you wish you had eyes in the back of your head, but then that would really tickle every time you blinked!" Then he stood up, still on Devore's shoulders, and the Flaming Idiots began to throw flaming torches all over the place.

When it was over, the audience gave a standing ovation, but the Idiots had gone for good. Wait, that sounds really short, you say. Oops, I forgot to mention the "manliness" contest between two manly guys; the three-way, 25-second strait-jacket escape; the whip that flicked precariously close to vital body parts; and the time that Walter swallowed a blown-up balloon.