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In the second of our series of interviews with Comedy Soup members, we spoke to Welsh comedy auteurs The Slagg Brothers. Try not to gaze too long into the mask.
Comedy Soup: Hello Slaggs! How long have you been making your own comedy?
SlagA: We've been writing comedy as a team since 2003 but we've created work in isolation for much longer. SlagA has written and published humorous novels. SlagB composed many songs as leader of old-school punk band, 100,000 Bodybags. As a partnership, we've never argued over jokes or scripts. We think end-product is more important than percentage of lines and we both supply different strengths that compensate for each other's weaknesses.
Comedy Soup: Who or what inspired you to get started?
SlagA: A producer at ITV who phoned us within an hour of receiving an emailed pilot to tell us how much it excited him. Although we never heard any more, we owe him a debt as it gave us initial belief. Reaching the finals of ITV's Shoot the Writers was another boost. Comedy Soup also has to take part share (or blame, depending on P.O.V). Its launch forced us to start recording video and sound files. Although we also network across YouTube and MySpace, Comedy Soup gave us that initial impetus to record and promote our written work. Others in the 'Biz' have given great advice but I don't want to embarrass them by associating their long pedigrees with The Slagg Brothers brand.
SlagB: I've been inspired by good comedy from Dads Army and Fawlty Towers to Brass Eye, The League of Gentlemen, and Laurel and Hardy.
Comedy Soup: What's been your proudest achievement or the most fun thing you've done so far?
SlagA: Sad as it sounds, I have an innate inability to take pride in things I've done. Maybe I'll pop a bottle of bubbly when they air the end titles to the closing episode of our first commissioned series.
SlagB: Tripping on vodka and Viagra and going on a gangbang in Yorkshire during a Saga Holidays outing.
Comedy Soup: And what's been your worst experience?
SlagB: Waking up the following morning.
SlagA: Being so poor that I had to share a bed with SlagB after a London writing conference. Trust me, it was scary. This is a guy who does things to screwdrivers that no human should be forced to witness.
Comedy Soup: Which other Comedy Soup members make you laugh, and what's your favourite submission?
SlagA: Comedy Soupers destined for greatness are: Anna Black and Elise Harris. They're good mates and we've learn a lot of new techniques from watching their work. James Harris is a top bloke, his 'Curse of Jeff' is a great short. Matthew Stott has a great surreal feel to everything he does. 'Bowie Sack' is a brilliant example of his output.
Comedy Soup: What are your comic aspirations?
SlagA: A writer once told me that he believed he'd become famous after death and that schoolchildren would study his scripts. My response was: What use is posthumous fame? Personally, I'd prefer they study my work before I die. No-one should write with posterity in mind. If you believe you have an unique voice or take on the world then you absolutely need a platform in the present. My dilemma is expressed in the formula: Creativity - Platform = frustration ulcers early death. So my aspirations are to win a series of commissions culminating in well-timed retirement after writing a classic Simpsons or Futurama episode.
SlagB: To do a live celebrity show entitled "I'm a celebrity, put me out". A show in which has-beens and wannabes get a burning tire put round their necks; fellow deadbeats try to extinguish them, all by public vote.
Comedy Soup: Are you really brothers?
SlagB: Yeah, we're twins, different fathers though.
SlagA: We've performed all the necessary native American blood brother ceremonies, so yes.
Comedy Soup: What's with the hair?
SlagA: I ask him every time I see him, and he still hasn't told me. I suspect it can be summed up in two words: over-compensation.
SlagB: One is real the other is fake. Answers on a postcard, please. The first correct answer wins SlagA's wig. Oh, bugger.
Comedy Soup: Other than yourselves, who should we be looking out for on the Welsh comedy circuit in 2007?
SlagB: Ron Davies resurrecting his career in "Badger Watch"‚ Harry Secombe literally resurrected in "Celebrity Exhumations"‚ And a documentary featuring Charlotte Church as the recipient in pioneering surgery to have a talent transplant.
SlagA: If there's a Welsh comedy circuit, they haven't invited us. It's harder to break in Wales as Welsh men than elsewhere in the UK. There's a language issue and Wales tends to follow trends rather than lead. If we become successful it'll be a case of importing our comedy back into Wales rather than exporting comedy from it.
Comedy Soup: Could you be any funnier?
SlagA: Yes, much funnier. Like our heroes Hale and Pace, we're unfortunately a comedy double act blessed with two straight men.
SlagB: Yes, if I could get rid of SlagA or set him on fire.
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