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24 September 2014

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Interview - Page Two

Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher in snuff box

AD/BC and Improv

Q: Were you already working on something together when you were asked to do the show?

A: Berry: We got on well on The Boosh and it was obvious that we worked well, so from that they must have noticed and offered us the chance to do it. I'd done a rock opera, AD/BC, just before they said yes, so they knew what I could do.

Q: Had you written for TV before that?

A: Berry: Only bits for other people. But that sucks.

Q: What about you Rich?

A: Fulcher: I wrote in the US on a couple of things... I wrote on a gameshow for MTV called The Blame Game, but I'd like to forget about that experience. And then I mostly wrote pilot scripts and things like that.

Q: I read that you were big on improv in the States.

A: Fulcher: Well I started out doing improv and I went and did a couple of shows in Edinburgh, and that led to a series called Modern Problems in Science where it's like a university lecture.

Q: Was that radio?

A: Fulcher: We did also do radio, but this was for Paramount UK. We did six episodes, which three people watched. The premise is that you get a weird hypothetical to prove from the audience - like "the centre of the universe is a giant baboon named Andre" - and then you're given professors of different topics, like robotics, and then you just do a lecture. And that was how I got started here.

Q: How did you guys begin writing Snuff Box? Did you have sketches which you'd worked on and then integrated, or do improv to get the ideas?

A: Berry: We both, I think, didn't bring previous work into it, because that would just have been too easy and would have been stale, so we wrote from scratch with each other in mind. We put it on its feet to see what it'd be like.

Fulcher: Tabula rasa ...a clean slate, so to speak.

Q: Did you learn that at law school?

A: Fulcher: Haha, yeah, that's my law coming through. Quid quo pro! You can throw that in too.

Berry: Vongalese tous effem.

Fulcher: Oui, oui.

Berry: "everything was fine".

Fulcher: Because in a way, I've said this before, it benefits us that we hadn't been this double act that had been around for ten years and that we put our stage stuff on TV... because we could start fresh and write exactly for TV. Which is what I think we've done.

Q: How did you find writing together, having not worked together previously?

A: Berry: Fine.

Fulcher: We were in a very smelly room. Well, it got smelly over time, because it was during the summer.

Berry: It was cool.

Fulcher: it was an easy process. Well, not easy, but it wasn't filled with problems. There's an expression in improv, "yes and...". Usually every idea was "yes and...". Yes, and we'd do this, and what about this, and this - there wasn't a lot of wholesale rejection of ideas, like, "that's the stupidest shit I've ever heard."

Berry: yeah, that's true, anything went. It didn't matter how f**king dumb the idea was, or stupid or way out there... you've got to see and it and you've got to do it. Otherwise, how can you say it's crap?

Q: That's what editing's for.

A: Berry: Yeah. Because we were given our own show and because they liked what we'd done, that gave us an excuse to do anything - no-one had any expectations, so it was worth at that point putting in your most left-field ideas.

Fulcher: One of the overriding philosophies was that if we find it funny, hopefully somebody else will.

Berry: We did it to amuse ourselves. Please don't confuse that with not giving a shit about the audience - that's not what I mean. But we didn't have a specific audience in mind - we didn't think "we can't say this word because then it can't go out at a certain time", or "if we do this it's only going to be watched by geeks-"

Fulcher: Or "we want to appeal to 32-year-old women with one leg..." Though I would like to see a show like that.

Berry: Well you probably could do that... it'd be a shoe show I imagine, wouldn't it?

The Real Matt Berry

Find out about the real Matt.

Matt Berry

Matt Berry from Berry and Fulcher's Snuff Box

He isn't - well, probably isn't - really a hangman. So just who is Matt Berry?



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