Fringe Review: “The DK Effect: Overconfident and Underqualified” – A Comic Experiment


(Photo Credit: Jordan Donavan)

If you think you can get through this performance without laughing, you’re suffering from the DK Effect.

The DK Effect: Overconfident and Underqualified is an hour long comedy show written, directed, and performed by DK Reinemer. The performance examines the cause and effects of over-confidence through a hilarious pseudo-scientific assessment of inept characters. Charles –– one of the many personas Reinemer plays –– is the lab’s facilitator, and guides the audience through the study.

The performance begins as “The Girl From Ipanema” comes onto the speakers, underscoring an omniscient voice that speaks down to a nervous Charles. The set-up was suspiciously banal: although I couldn’t figure out what to expect, I knew something big was about to happen.

Just then, Charles introduced the first ‘talented’ performer of the night, Dylan Raunchy (Reinemer): an out-of-shape middle-aged stripper who also happens to be an overbearing sports dad. Equipped with healthy snacks, the dad’s thoughtful striptease was a tough act to follow. Nonetheless, Reinemer kept the comedy going.

Reinemer used the transitions between skits as an opportunity to sneak in some incidental humour. Playing all of the characters himself, the comedian jokes about the arbitrariness of his costume change, saying “Wow! Give it up for that guy!” essentially making the audience applaud for himself in a different shirt.

The audience could not stop laughing. A wide range of people were on exhibit, namely: an amateur musician, a dull comedy writer, a speed-drawing psychic, and a man with late-onset bro-syndrome. We met these ineligible participants one by one, allowing for dynamic changes of pace that kept the audience enthralled.

(Photo Credit: Jordan Donavan)

The DK Effect was more than just laughs: no matter how simple a skit felt on the surface, its details were also well thought out. Be it the background music dramatizing the psychic’s speed-drawing, or the fact that Reinemer didn’t bother to pick up any of the clothing he’d haphazardly stripped off in the first scene, every bit of the performance seemed calculated to underline the DK Effect.

Reinemer broke the fourth wall on the (so few) occasions when he felt that a joke didn’t quite land. Normally, I find it presumptuous when comedians comment on how much the audience is laughing (or not laughing) at their jokes. But in this case, it felt as though Reinemer just wanted to check-in and engage his audience, rather than spurn them for not enjoying his material. His concerns poked fun at himself, and were actually quite charming.

The performance ended with the conclusion that perhaps the DK Effect might not be so bad after all. Think of how much we would miss out on if people weren’t confident enough to try something new! He had a point. And just as he got the audience to agree with him, he playfully began a musical puppet show.

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DK Reinemer presents The DK Effect: Overconfident and Underqualified”
at the 29th St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival

Performances: June 7 – 15, 2019
Venue: 02 – Petit Campus
57 Prince-Arthur E., Montréal, H2X 1B4 
Admission: $8 – 12 | Ages 18+
Box Office:
514.849.FEST (3378)

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Check out all our other 70+ reviews 
from this year’s fest on our Fringe page!

Desiree Goldwater

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