Dostoevsky once said “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” It sounds like Fyodor was describing Tinder, that ol’ Russian romantic! That’s certainly a poetic description of a dating app where one can fall in love at first swipe. It’s also unintentionally hilarious and it is THAT hilarity comic/writer/actor/musician/great human Lane Moore manipulates in her wildly popular show Tinder Live!. A couple of weeks ago I used the Tinder weapon of choice, a phone, to chat with Lane about Tinder Live! and the journey one makes from the app to the stage.
The show is coming to The Lincoln Theatre February 14 (Valentine’s Day y’all!) and I couldn’t swipe right fast enough.
Catch a very special true crime edition of Tinder Live! @ Gramercy Theatre on March 23!
Brightest Young Things: I’m happy to talk to you today on this the day of the March for Life (1/27/17) in Washington, DC.
Lane Moore: Oh, is it? I have to tap out at a certain point in my life with the news and that point is now. It’s not fully tapped out because I’m not apathetic. It’s more for self-preservation.
BYT: We’re balancing the day out with this conversation.
LM: I think about how funny it is I’m coming there on Valentine’s Day because if there is ever a time for levity and joy on Valentine’s Day, this is it.
BYT: I agree. By the way the pitch of my voice has definitely taken on that of a 90’s disc jockey so forgive me if during the interview we need to take a commercial break or I have to give away tickets to see Pearl Jam.
LM: It’s so funny you should say that because I have been watching 90’s music videos lately. All of my Instagram stories are just 90’s music videos.
BYT: Best decade.
LM: I’m watching all these videos and women and people of color just dominated the airwaves. It was intersectional as fuck.
BYT: I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Tinder Live…live. For the painfully unaware, what is Tinder Live?
LM: I go on my Tinder, live on screen in front of an audience, and go through the profiles while analyzing them. The audience votes whether or not I swipe left or right. Everything on the show is 100% improvised. I never know what’s gonna happen. I never know going into it who I’m going to run into or mess with. It’s a totally improvised free fall. There are often people in the audience who are like “Oh my God I know him,” or ” I used to date him!” That’s incredible. It’s super not mean-spirited in any way. It becomes this larger than life shared experience that is part dating show, part bizarre improvised thrill ride. It’s the most intense in the craziest way.
BYT: Is your account something you actively use outside of Tinder Live or is it just for the show? Have you ever gone beyond with anyone you’ve matched with on Tinder during the show?
LM: Right now I primarily use it for the show. It got to the point where I was doing so much dating. I really had to slow down. I’m definitely open. If I see someone who’s amazing I’ll absolutely follow up but I’m not swiping every day. Every once in a while I’ll fall in love with someone while doing the show and I’m genuinely taken aback. I’ve never had anything happen with anyone I’ve swiped on the show. I have had people who I’ve met who come to Tinder Live shows who ask me out. That I’ve definitely done. Usually the guys I’m talking to on Tinder at the show…I’m saying the most ridiculous things to them like “I’m stuck in the middle of the woods right now but I can talk to you soon,” but if that guy responds he’s probably my soulmate.
BYT: Is this the first time you’ve taken the show on such a large tour?
LM: I took it to Portland last Fall and it was so incredible and wonderful. There was a woman there who used to come to all my shows in New York City who was so excited I was there. It was really cool. I started working on the show over 3 years ago and have wanted to tour. The fact that the tour is kicking off on Valentine’s Day is such a dream. That’s such a good start to this crazy year.
BYT: You also have guests on the show. I know one of the guests on your D.C. show, Alexandra Petri, and you’re also having Heather Matarazzo on. How are the guests incorporated into the show?
LM: The guests are kind of there to help me analyze the profiles and comment on things in the profiles, helping the audience make their decision. One of my favorite parts of the panel is sometimes they’re able to see things I miss. I’m doing 60,000 things at once during the show and it’s really nice to have people who are like “Oh my God I just noticed this one guy is wearing the same shirt in every photo,” so it’s like “He only owns one shirt.”
BYT: Off the top of your head, what are your favorite Tinder tropes? Are you usually just going through the profiles of men? Or do you also go through the ladiessssss.
LM: That was actually one of the very first things I did, outline all these Tinder tropes. I made my original profile for the show with me taking photos that were expressly those tropes. I had one that was a selfie in front of a thousand mirrors. I photoshopped myself on top of Machu Picchu. I took one with my “ugly friends.” I also had one of me posing with like 17 women. With men, that’s another really fun game from Tinder Live I’d like to mention, whenever there is somebody’s profile that has 10 people in it and you don’t know who you’re trying to sleep with I call out WHICH ONE IS IT and they try to guess which dude it is. It’s really fun. There are a lot of things like that, but with guys in terms of tropes…there’s one I like to call This Might Be My Baby. There’s a baby in the picture but they don’t mention it at all.
BYT: My favorite is a dude has a picture of kids and his bio will read THOSE ARE MY NIECES/NEPHEWS.
LM: That’s the thing, why put that photo up? They act as if they have no control over which photos they choose. Just don’t use that photo. Nobody is forcing you to use it. Primarily the idea behind the show is comedy. I come from a place of believing that everybody is trying their best and thinks they’re doing the right thing. I’d like to believe the dude yelling in his profile doesn’t realize he’s doing that and maybe he’ll come to this show and will change.
BYT: You’re doing a service to society.
LM: I’d like to have the funniest comedy show ever but to also connect better, have better relationships, fall in love. I hear from guys a lot who say “Whoa I had no idea I was coming off like this, thank you.” Women think it’s so cool to see me up there not afraid and not nervous. I have a lot of confidence up there and I think it helps people feel like they’re less alone. Being on these dating apps can make you feel very isolated, seeing someone and having a shared experience takes the sting out of it and makes it more fun. Ideally you want to find somebody cool but really dating apps should be light and fun and positive. I’m the sole reminder that this is fun. Let’s have fun with it.
BYT: I agree! In a couple of months I’m going to the wedding of a friend who met her fiancee on Tinder so it’s possible people! It’s possible.
LM: It’s so possible! I have friends who’ve met on Tinder as well. For me it’s such an incredible snapshot of how people are putting themselves out there, what they think, what they highlight about themselves. It’s interesting from a sociological perspective but literally the second I got on it for the first time I was like “I’m making this a comedy show.” For an improviser it’s a goddamn dream. I never run out of material. I never run out of profiles. I never run out of things to say. I love the show so much.
BYT: I think what will be interesting as well, there are similarities between the kinds of people using Tinder in each city. For example there are clearly a fuck ton of lobbyists and lawyers in D.C. Tinder looks like every Ivy League school which is crazy and frustrating for someone like me who isn’t super into that. I did some Tindering during the Inauguration and that was a real treat.
LM: I can’t imagine. That is an aspect of the tour that really excites me and appeals to me. I was flying somewhere and had a layover in D.C. so I hopped on Tinder. I like seeing exactly what you’re saying. I remember sitting at Dulles thinking “Oh man, Washington is fun.” There are very specific types of people. I got so much from that one hour.
BYT: Final question, I almost said Final Thought like I’m Jerry Springer or I’m dying and this is it. In your expert opinion, and I consider you an expert, what is one piece of Tinder wisdom you can give to the world.
LM: Whenever anybody hears I do Tinder Live all of a sudden I’m holding everyone’s phones and looking at their conversations and profiles. The one thing I would say that I’ve noticed…have somebody else look at your profile. Ideally someone who is the gender of the person you’re trying to date. There are things you just wouldn’t think about that your friend is going to see.