Spending an Evening with Noel Fielding
This year has been filled with sadness and trauma from the very get-go. From the untimely deaths of people like David Bowie and Alan Rickman, to the many horrible attacks around the world, we have slingshot from one morose event to the next.
I had a chance to see Noel Fielding on his first North American tour this past Tuesday, the day of the Brussels terrorist attack and the day that former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford died. What started out as a sad day ended in mirth and laughter. Because that's what Noel Fielding does.
Noel Fielding understands pain and he knows that other people and his audience feels it too. He chooses to use his talents to transport people into a fantasy world for 2 hours. He erases the pain for awhile. You forget you're in a an uncomfortable chair with someone's purple toque blocking your way. You're in Noel's world which is a happy place full of Hakuna Matata. No worries for a small amount of time.
I got quite frustrated a few days ago when someone on Twitter said that every time, before you hit publish on your latest podcast (which could sub in for blog post, review, comic, song, movie, etc.), ask yourself whether it's special. And if it's not, DON'T PUBLISH IT (won't say who it was, but if you go far enough back on my Twitter feed, you can probably figure it out). I felt quite upset about this and it took me a bit of time to figure out why. Not only is it an incredibly snobby thing to say, I would never write a single word ever again if I had to make sure that everything coming from my keyboard was "special".
How do we even determine what's special? We're already constantly concerned with censoring ourselves. If we had to stop and think about each and every creative output, would any creativity even exist anymore?
Noel works in the "throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" capacity. You never know what's going to happen next. You don't know if what appears to be a misstep is actually highly calculated or was in fact a simple goof. He takes you out of reality for a couple of hours and you enter his world of "what if". From straightforward to absurd to surreal jokes, Noel covers the gamut of comedy with exuberance and childlike playfulness. Like my other fave, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Noel's genuine happiness and excitement to be on stage performing is palpable.
I felt like I had witnessed something incredibly special watching his show. I know for a fact that I will never see anything like it, with its mix of stand-up, plasticine animation, costume changes and beautiful shirts. If you're lucky enough to be able to remove yourself from reality for two hours, please go spend an evening with Noel Fielding.