That Mitchell and Webb Look
Bafta-nominated comedians Robert Webb and David Mitchell (Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Sound) invite you into their lop-sided world of sketch comedy.
That Mitchell and Webb Look is peopled with strange and wonderful characters, the likes of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, Biscuit Telekinesis Man, Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit.
This new BBC TWO sketch show is based on the hugely successful Sony Silver Award-winning radio show That Mitchell and Webb Sound on BBC Radio 4.
Probably best known for their hit comedy, Peep Show, David and Robert have been performing together for 11 years and first met at The Cambridge Footlights.
"One of the key selling points of That Mitchell and Webb Look is that it doesn't just consist of running characters and it hasn't got many obvious catch-phrases," say David and Rob.
"At least half the show is made up of one-off sketches with characters we don't bring back, where the comedy is idea driven: the Anxious Nazis, concerned they seem to be on the side of the baddies; the Old School Vicar, up-tight, condescending, bitter and arrogant; and Chip and Pin, a double act with a name they felt sure would get them work - to name but a few…
"The thing we are most proud of is the fact we've written most of the material ourselves and we've always wanted to work with the sketch show format," says David.
They honed their writing skills on two series of The Armstrong and Miller Show.
"It was incredibly useful but very frustrating as a performer, which is why this experience is great," says Rob.
"We write together and are pretty diplomatic when it comes to ideas and the final sketches. We have an ideas meeting which works really well and is great fun."
They write in David's bedroom and don't like to use an office: "It defeats the whole idea of going into comedy," says David.
In terms of what they find funny and how they get their ideas, Rob says: "We think visually about what works on television - stuff that really gets into your bones and stays with you is the comedy of pain."
It seems to have become their niche - "Other people's pain is funny," says Rob.
On double acts, they agree. David explains: "You have to be friends and get on, it's a handy unit that makes comedy and it helps that we both find the same things funny."
Mainly inspired by British TV comedy, they count Fry and Laurie, Monty Python, Peter Cook and Spike Milligan amongst their comedy heroes.
"As a rule, we imagine working together quite a lot but are also open to other things separately. We want to do more Peep Show, more Mitchell and Webb and ideally a sitcom," says David.
"I've always wanted to make sitcoms and sketch shows for television and to make good shows," says Rob, "So as long as we can continue to do that I'll be very happy."
The series also features a strong supporting cast including Olivia Colman (Green Wing, Look Around You); James Bachman (Hyperdrive); and Paterson Joseph (Peep Show) with material from Mitchell and Webb and award-winning writers John Finnemore (Dead Ringers), Sam Bain (Peep Show) and Jesse Armstrong (The Thick of It).
That Mitchell and Webb Look is part of BBC TWO's Pedigree Comedy Season.