Interview with Martin Beyer-Olsen & Lars Berrum – “the Norweigans of Comedy’.
CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
MB-O & LB: We started doing stand up in 2010. Before that we did improv and sketch comedy, but we really found our form through stand up.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
MB-O & LB: We strive to deliver amusing, unpredictable and energetic comedy to the people. We like both jokes, musical bits and complete nonsense, so our shows tend to include a mix of all that.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
MB-O & LB: We have many influences. We call them the families of influence. You have the Lees, The Laws, The Foots, The Kitsons, The Inces, The Longs, The Tim and Erics, The Martins. The list goes on. We are huge fans of comedy.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
MB-O & LB: Yes. We both loved to do it growing up, but never thought we could live of it. So when we got the opportunity to go around and do comedy for a living, we jumped on the laughtrain and never looked back.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
MB-O & LB: We both write and develop bits «on the floor» We also allow the bits to evolve on stage and we are positive towards improvising stuff. That said, we are Norwegians and English is our second language, so when we do shows in the UK or USA, we sometimes find out that bits are not understandable and we have to rewrite the entire thing or throw it. But after a few years doing comedy in English, we are starting to get the hang of it.
CB: Do you gig as a stand-up full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
MB-O & LB: We gig quite a lot in Norway and abroad and we have a TV show in Norway, so comedy is our full time job. We both have degrees from Uni and Lars is educated a nurse, so he talks about that sometimes. Martin used to sell teddybears, but has currently no jokes about that.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
MB-O & LB: We find the community very enjoyable. We love meeting new people and hang out with like minded. Where ever we can discover people with passion for comedy, that’s where we want to be. Perhaps the most frustrating thing with the circuit is when crowds get to drunk and noisy. Don’t they know we are sensitive artiiiiists?
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
MB-O & LB: Passionate people with a positive attitude that want to join the ride.
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?
MB-O & LB: Not that much. In Norway it is a very polite crowd in general. If they heckle, they’re drunk. Some heckling can make a show come alive, but too much is just annoying. Particularly for the audience members. So we don’t encourage it. Martin once got a girl in a tight dress come up on stage, go all the way up to him and whisper into his ear. Get off the stage!
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
MB-O & LB: Don’t fuck up!