Humiliation as entertainment? Not my cup of hypnotherapeutic/psychosexual/consciousness-altering tea.
Consider that caveat as we check in on Paris Las Vegas headliner Anthony Cools, who recently marked two decades in psychic showbiz and an unbroken reign as the dirtiest-minded, let’s-make-people-dry-hump-a-chair-and-pretend-they’re-screwing hypnotist in town. (Could that fit on his business card?)
Don’t ever doubt that Cools is a master of this domain, and he affects a semi-smarmy, cocked-eyebrow persona to sell the “adult” antics he orchestrates, greeting us with: “If you’re horny and you know it, clap your hands.” (Assuming you don’t already get the vibe from pre-show videos including the Justin Timberlake/Andy Samberg charmer, “Dick in a Box.”) Cools is also fond of using his microphone to approximate onanism, and as his own phallic extension. (He must fancy himself Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights.)
Yet it’s obvious Cools is a serious practitioner of the psychic arts when he informs the crowd in a tone bordering on lecturing that volunteers who’ve streamed onstage will not be dozing, but merely amenable to suggestion. Warning the audience about cellphones and silence as he puts his subjects under, you half-believe even a sneeze will earn you the boot.
Once he switches into basso profondo, Voice of God mode, it’s up to you to trust that these volunteers are entranced, not plants. (And if you don’t, why are you there?) Scanning his droopy-headed minions, he weeds out those who apparently aren’t susceptible enough—although on this night, he held onto one woman whose obedience seemed selective as she sometimes gazed at her more suggestible peers with a bemused expression.
Mockery is a big arrow in Cools’ quiver—he prowls the stage, pantomiming snickering disbelief behind his pliable, unaware subjects. And when he announces to us, post-hypno, “The more noise you make, the dirtier I get,” he means it:
It starts with farts—the wetter the better, apparently. He instructs one man to recite, “I suck cock for wooden nickels”—including having him phone a friend’s voicemail with said message. Another is persuaded to pop a woody at the mention of his name (complete with a small penis joke), which releases gales of laughter when he crosses his legs in a panic as the female volunteer beside him stares and giggles.
Climaxing with his signature bit, Cools casts his cattle—oops, volunteers—as auditioning porn actors. Commence phantom fucking against defenseless chairs, in positions from missionary to pile-driving. One dude enthusiastically demonstrates tongue dexterity. One woman thinks the audition is for a Deep Throat remake. Bidding them adieu, Cools says when he shakes their hand, they will orgasm. Apparently they do—bodies shuddering, flailing and rocking; faces twisted, grimacing and beaming; voices shrill, guttural and squealing.
If your thing is a show obsessed with people’s “things,” this is where you find it, done the best it can be done.
By the way: After you read this sentence, you’ll enjoy multiple knee-buckling, earth-rumbling, you-know-what …
Wanna cuddle now?
Got an entertainment tip? Email Steve.Bornfeld@VegasSeven.com.