CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
NORRIS: We met at the Manchester Met School of Theatre in 2009 and discovered a shared day of birth and a love of dark and surreal comedy. We then decided to write and perform our own. Our first show was in 2010 in a tiny theatre pub in Manchester. About 50 of our friends and family came and one person from the actual public who thought they’d come to our birthday party.
PARKER: All our teachers attended and took up the front row like it was a school assembly. One of the teachers brought his two young children; this was ill advised and at one point he had to shield their eyes and ears. Since then we’ve popped on a “not suitable for under sixteens” warning because we’re so edgy. My Dad was terrified it wasn’t going to be funny and rang me before to ask me if was worth bringing my Uncle Clive. I told him I couldn’t make any guarantees. He took a risk on me and brought Uncle Clive along and luckily it went well enough for him not to feel let down or humiliated.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
PARKER: An over reliance on swearing to compensate for the lack of good jokes.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
NORRIS: Chris Morris, Julia Davis, The League of gentlemen.
PARKER: We have unhealthy obsessions with all of the above. I also love everyone involved in Father Ted, Tommy Tiernan and Doon Mackichan.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
NORRIS: We’re actually trained actors so we get really funny about that question. Infact, I should probably ring my agent about that audition for BBC Doctors that I never got.
PARKER: I never had any ambitions to go into comedy due to being a nervous wreck of a human being. I just copy what Katie does because I want to be her. She recently got a sophisticated bob so I measured it when she was sleeping and got an identical one the next day.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
NORRIS: We sit and stare into each others eyes and pray that jokes appear whilst sipping on copious amounts of Yorkshire gold tea. We then get horrendously drunk on gin and wine and beer and with a hangover we write better because we are in a dark place.
PARKER: It’s a long an arduous process which regularly makes us question why we bother doing it. I like to have the computer as a safety blanket and Norris undermines all my suggestions until I lose all confidence in my abilities. Someone makes a tasteless joke about nonces and because we are tired and hungover we just go with that.
CB: Do you gig as a comedy performer full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
NORRIS:No it is a full time career for us…in between the waitressing, bar tending, lap dancing and answering the phones for British Gas.
PARKER: Shit jobs always provide comedy gold as does human misery (mainly our own), failed relationships, failure in general and our parents.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
NORRIS: The lonely men and drunk men.
PARKER: When people laugh / when nobody laughs.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
NORRIS: Lonely men and drunk men.
PARKER: Strangers who have actually paid and have no obligation to enjoy the show but do enjoy the show.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
NORRIS: Once Sinead’s Dad shouted ‘I DO STILL PAY YOUR RENT SINEAD!’ He is both lonely and drunk.
PARKER: I think the audience are aware that my ego is so fragile that if they heckled me I would shatter on stage like a china doll and they would witness a person having a full mental breakdown. This may sound amusing in principle but I think the aftermath might be more effort for them than it’s worth.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
NORRIS: My dad says you should do Law instead.
PARKER: I wish I’d done Law. I’m researching Law conversion courses in between answering these questions.