McMahon got gales of giggles from the audience and grins could be seen
on the more than 100 faces peering up at him.
Most people appeared to feel the show was worth the $20, but perhaps
not everyone. Two people walked out before McMahon began, during the
three opening performances.
In an interview the day before his performance, McMahon stated that
not everyone appreciates his particular flavour of the funnies.
“Listen, comedy doesn’t always align with your politics or your
religion, or your gender, or whatever it is.”
He acknowledged that he grates on some people’s nerves, and suggested
that perhaps his jokes run a little too close to home for some.
“If people get a sense that I’m making fun of us (Natives) it’s
generally to make a point and it’s for us, it’s not for anyone else.”
McMahon defined his goal—apart from being funny—as exploring the
intersection between the truth and the ignorance of stereotypes.
With a dose of laughter and a slap of honesty from the “Indian
Country” point of view, he says he hopes to get people talking about
“If people get a sense that I’m making fun of us (Natives) it’s generally to make a point and it’s for us, it’s not for anyone else.” - Ryan McMahon
issues and stereotypes that aren’t being talked about.
“Not all Natives are drunks, not all native fathers are bad fathers,
not all native women play bingo, and you know you have to talk about
those things. If you’re not willing to talk about those things then
there’s no dialogue and if there is no dialogue then there is no
On stage, McMahon poked fun at a slew of stereotypes of “White people”
and “Indians”, from the Native’s love for Wal-Mart, and the $450
dollar cheque for having a baby, to hippies’ arms flailing while
dancing at the Powwow.
“Our politicians can’t be honest, our teachers can’t be honest, you
know, there’s no honesty, the media’s not honest. You don’t know where
to turn for an honest opinion. It’s really hard,” McMahon said.
“The beauty of standup comedy is that maybe it’s the last bastion of
that true sort of freedom.”