Mike Ryan

A fresh and funny salute to Americana – Review of “Wonder Bread Years” by Mike Ryan


The latest offering on stage at Theatre L’Homme Dieu is a delightful nostalgic romp through childhood memories. Pat Hazell brings his past on to the stage during his comedy show “Wonder Bread Years.”

The show runs through Saturday, 7:30 PM each evening at Theatre L’Homme Dieu.

Hazell was one of the original writers for the NBC television show “Seinfeld,” as well as a writer for Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” His career has been full as a playwright, business owner and commentator for National Public Radio.

You will experience 90 minutes of humorous, clean, nostalgic fun. The show is a perfect union of theater and stand-up comedy. With a simple set, and props that you will remember from your childhood, both help you “unlock the sense of wonder,” as Hazell puts it.

The audience, which was admittedly over a certain age on Tuesday night, ate it up with plenty of laughter and recognition. Hazell, always affable and engaging, uses harmless audience interaction — one of the charms of the show. I will never think of Corn dogs or a badger quite the same again!

The funniest bit, which he later backs up with a slide show, is about Halloween costumes, which were recycled year and year and alternated with his siblings. The army soldier, the witch and, yes, Colonel Sanders with the Harland Sanders mask given out at Kentucky Fried Chicken with the deep-fried-chicken-parts bucket serving as candy container.

On my way home I thought about what may have happened to some of my childhood toys that are mentioned during the show, such as a Slinky and ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM ROBOTS.

If you come from the generation where Lawn Jarts were not considered dangerous, than I highly recommend you get your seats to see “Wonder Bread Years,” and enjoy the ride back in time.

For tickets go to https://www.tlhd.org/ or call (320) 846-3150.