Thunderbards perform 4nd at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe so we caught up with them to find out what we can expect.
Please tell us about your brand of comedy.
Joke-heavy short sketches. We like to pack in as many jokes as we possibly can into an hour. It’s fast-paced, random and overwhelmingly polite.
What can audiences expect from your new show?
A ton of jokes, basically. We like to not leave any audience waiting for more than a few seconds before the next opportunity to laugh comes around. There’s not linear narrative story to follow but there is an undercurrent theme to the show. Ultimately, comedy is about making people laugh and that’s the main objective at every point in the show, if people spot the theme and take something else away from the show that makes them ponder their lives a little, then even better.
Which comedians have been your biggest influence since you decided this was your path?
We love sketch shows like Mr. Show where the writers use really clever devices to play with really silly situations and ideas. Then there’s the originality and inventiveness of Bo Burnham, the deadpan of Stewart Lee, the seemingly innocent charm of many of Amy Poehler’s characters and even the weird absurdity of Tim and Eric.
What random things make you laugh in everyday life?
Anything that tries to be sincere but simply cannot be due to it’s absurdity. We both laughed for hours at a collection of photos of football team mascots with giant furry animal costumes bowing their heads for minute’s silences. It shouldn’t be funny but it really, really is.
Please tell us about your best and worst moment on stage so far.
Best moments are always just when you’ve got a full audience and they’re engaged with what you’re doing. When you have an audience on side and you know there’s a cracking joke or call back coming up, it feels really good to be on stage. Worst moment was two years ago at the Fringe. There was a section of the show where Matt was alone on stage with a guitar. One performance, the crowd was about half full and lacking any energy, at which point Matt had a catastrophic nosebleed and any remaining laughs transformed to horrified reactions and lovely lady in the front row searching for a pack of tissues.
Do you still get nervous when you do a gig?
At the beginning of a run of a new show, yes. Other than that, we’re too old and jaded to get nervous much.
Why is Edinburgh Fringe Festival such a great platform for comedians?
Where else do emerging comedians get a stage to themselves for an hour a day, every day for a month? It’s so unique in that sense. It isn’t always easy to get an audience in but nowhere else in the UK are there so many people congregating, looking for great live comedy in one city. It’s a place to fail and learn as much as it is to succeed and triumph.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?
Bec Hill’s new show is excellent, and we’re both looking forward to seeing Jo Morpurgo’s new hour. Then there’s top improv from the Free Association, stand up from Pierre Novelli and we’re hoping to finally get round to seeing Sarah Pascoe after years of missing out.
What is your advice to aspiring comedians?
Write, write and write some more. Don’t get precious about your material because to get a decent set together, you will have to throw away a lot of stuff during the process. Other than that, just have fun. There’s no point embarking on this bizarre, financially crippling career if you’re not enjoying it.
What is the oddest heckle you've ever received?
Someone once asked us to stop blaspheming at an Edinburgh show. I had absolutely no idea how to take that. He was elderly and so very polite about it but we weren’t sure exactly what act of heresy he was referring to.
What is next for you?
We’re starting writing for a new series of a kids TV show called ‘Scrambled’ on ITV just as the Fringe kicks off, and that will continue until March. Then, we’d love to take this new show on the road, tour to a few places round the country and then finish with a run in London. Oh, and go on holiday at some point, that’d be great.
Thunderbards perform 4nd at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Gilded Balloon, Dining Room from 2nd -27th Aug at 3:15pm. More info and tickets are available at tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/thunderbards-4nd