Tom Snyders goes a long way to earn your goodwill. In the show I saw, he began by thanking each individual audience member for coming, clambering over seats to shake hands. Funnier than it sounds, and it's not much exercise for Snyders. He's put over 150,000 miles under him as the "Bicycling Comedian," traveling to 34 countries on six continents by bike.
You'd think this would give him more than enough stories to fill 60 minutes, and maybe it does – but they're in surprisingly short supply here. Snyders starts strong by recounting his first ride across a desert to get to an ill-fated Des Moines gig, but after that his show falls back on some scattershot show-and-tell. There's some comedy gold in his slide show of quirky road signs, but he lets a lot of air out of the bit with his presentation: Kneeling in front of the projector (which he runs himself), obstructing some of the view and delivering not nearly enough jokes to accompany it. Snyders' D.I.Y. ethic is part of his charm, but the approach does him no favors during the video portions – which take up a good half of the show.
It's a shame, because he's obviously at home on the stage. Snyders enjoys bantering with the audience, and has that veteran comedian's knack for a gentle put-down. Here's hoping he puts it to better use in future shows. After 25 years on two wheels, his stories could stand to shake off some of that road dust and get a little polish.
60 minutes, Yellow Venue, $10, Orlando Fringe Festival official page