Think You Have Red Flags? Marie Faustin Would Be Happy to Let You Know.

On a Wednesday night in Brooklyn, onstage in front of about 250 people, a woman who has been single for two and a half years recalled the last time she dated someone she actually liked.

“I like that he was able to put me on to stuff that I didn’t know,” the woman said into a microphone in the packed room.

“Oh, so he can read?” Marie Faustin quipped in response. The crowd erupted in laughter.

This is “Why Are You Single?,” a live dating game show hosted by Ms. Faustin, a Brooklyn comedian. At each show, she invites three singles onstage to determine — through rounds of games, questions and combing through their Instagram accounts — why they are “hopelessly” single and whether they are, in fact, ready to mingle. With the audience’s help, the contestant with the fewest red flags is declared the winner.

The show, held at Littlefield, an event space in Gowanus, also featured the comedian Dee Nasty as the night’s co-host. For each of the four rounds, the eager crowd was given mini red flags to wave in the air whenever the contestants — Mikaela Allen, Kyra Wears and Hugo Crespo — revealed something about themselves that was slightly off.

Mr. Crespo, who had recently been sleeping with someone married (“they’re open, so it’s fine”) but was now single, shared that he would probably hook up with someone who could make him laugh and added that his “standards are pretty low.” Flags flew into the air. During an examination of his Instagram profile, Ms. Faustin pointed that his poses in many of his photos were the same — head tilted to the side, with a coy smirk.

“Do you have scoliosis?” she asked.

Ms. Faustin, who has been doing stand-up comedy for about 10 years, commands the stage with wisecracking comebacks and hilarious stories of what she called her “dating PTSD.” Her memories of red flags include receiving a heart-shaped rock as a gift from one man and kissing another who wore a backpack the entirety of their date. (She maintains that she didn’t notice the backpack until their embrace.)

“When I talk about my bad dating experiences, I feel like people relate to what I’m saying and they’re like, ‘You’re single still?’” Ms. Faustin said in an interview during the show’s intermission. “And that makes them feel good, because, you know, I’m a catch or whatever.”

Inspired by the many dates she has personally been on, she wanted to create a playful, comedic but safe way for others to uncover some of their dating habits and dig deeper into why they attract certain kinds of people. For example, when Ms. Wears revealed that her ideal man was Tupac, Ms. Faustin replied, “So you like ghosts?”

“I’m in the streets like Lori Harvey when it comes to dating, but I want to be Steve Harvey,” she said. “He started as a stand-up, but now he’s got his own show. ‘Family Feud’ feels fun, so I wanted to find a way to combine the two things.”

With reality shows that follow a group of singles over the course of a season saturating the TV landscape (see: “Love Island,” “Married at First Sight” and “Love Is Blind”), Ms. Faustin said she wanted to create something that both made a game out of being single and took place in front of a live audience.

“A dating game show, I don’t see that,” she added, referring the absence of “Family Feud”-type shows about dating. “If I was going to be doing a show, that’s the type of show I want to do.”

“Why Are You Single?,” which kicked off in February with plans to be held monthly, was created by Ms. Faustin and Dave Mizzoni, a fellow comedian. Mr. Mizzoni, who was previously a co-host of “Gayme Show” on Quibi, said that he and Ms. Faustin had been doing comedy together for “a very long time” and that she wanted to dip her toes into a different process.

“I was like, ‘How can we do crowd work for two hours?’” Mr. Mizzoni said before the show. They ultimately settled on a game show format (“I’ve done many game shows in my life,” he said, “so this is kind of my wheelhouse”) that allowed Marie to be the star.

In Round 1, contestants played “Never Have I Ever,” also known as “10 Fingers,” in which participants take turns asking one another about things — typically of the risqué variety — they haven’t done. Those who have drop a finger and the one with the most fingers up wins. Next up was a “Family Feud”-style game in which Ms. Faustin used survey responses from her followers on Instagram to answer questions like “How often are you shaving?” and “When it’s time to go, how do you get them out of your house?”

The third round spiced things up a bit, as the contestants were instructed to give Dee Nasty their best lap dance for 30 seconds to their favorite song. (They weren’t given context when asked to submit each track, which resulted in Mr. Crespo giving his best special dance number to “Nobody Gets Me” by SZA.)

And finally, each contestant had 60 seconds to sell themselves to the audience and argue why they shouldn’t be single. By the end, Ms. Wears, who said she had been single “her entire life,” emerged as the player with the fewest red flags.

“Honesty, I’ve been a winner my whole life,” she said after being draped, James Brown style, with a large green flag.

Third Wheel explores the delights and horrors of sex, dating and relationships. Send your thoughts, stories and tips to [email protected].

Source: Read Full Article