O RUSSELL’S WIG & B3TA INTERVIEW
Well, it’s been a few days and I’ve digested David O Russell and his wig. I don’t think there’s much I can add to the whole thing other than to say it’s a little disappointing to find that maybe his fall out with George Clooney on the set of Three Kings was more down to him than Clooney who I was much more excited about disliking (especially after trying to stay awake through Goodnight And Good Luck having been told by everyone how AMAZING and IMPORTANT it was. Jesus of Christmas!) But hey, everyone’s allowed to blow their wig once in a while, right? Especially when they’re dealing with actors who can be the most infuriatingly obtuse people at the exact point a director needs them to just do the job they’re being paid a lot of money to do, which sometimes comes down to just doing what you’re told even though it may ‘go against your instincts’. (Here’s more Huckabees friction from Tomlin to illustrate although she seems cool enough about it all now). I guess if you’re going to go all nutty at them it’s best not be filmed doing it is the thing. David O Russell is great though. I wasn’t a massive fan of Huckabees but Three Kings is just about perfect for my money. He can call me a cunt any time.
Anyway, I’ve just been answering a string of ludicrous questions sent to me by Rob Manuel of B3TA who have been kind enough to feature a few of my You Tube clips in the past so I thought I’d post the full screed here for you as a kind of pathetic exclusive with the only person who’ll give me an interview! Just before that though, in the course of plugging our Coke podcasts for this I was checking the link and noticed that beneath the little biog thing they have for us are these LOVES and HATES:
Loves: 100 greatest’ TV shows.
Hates: The industry, the establishment, the man. Jamie Theakston.
Presumably someone was being ironic but just in case there’s any confusion we do not in any way love 100 Greatest TV Shows and if we were really the kind of people who proclaimed our hatred for ‘the industry, the establishment and the man’ we probably wouldn’t be doing a podcast for Coca Cola. Also neither of us has anything against Jamie Theakston at all. While we’re clearing up misconceptions that are threatening to plunge the world into deeper turmoil, I like and admire Leigh Francis of Bo Selecta fame very much.
OK, let’s move on to this important interview, which is made up from questions posed by the users of B3TA. As an exercise in pointless time wasting I tried to answer every single question I was sent. Thank fuck I’m not in a band. If I had to do this kind of thing more than once a year I’d be on heroin like a shot!
Who pays more? The BBC or C4? (Lanc)
Unless you get more than about 4 million viewers for any one thing you do, TV doesn’t pay that well anywhere, especially these days. Advertising, now that’s differentâ€¦
What have you been doing for the last 10 years? (Hummel)
Hiding from you.
What was it like working with Armando Iannucci? (connor)
I didn’t see him that often as most of my Time Trumpet bits I did on my own in my studio, but on the days when we had meetings or we were shooting the talking heads stuff, he was scrupulously polite, funny, encouraging and well groomed. I like him very much.
How is YouTube changing the process of getting comedy on TV? (Monty Propps)
Now they can steal all their ideas from just one place. I’m joking! The best way to get people in television excited about something is to just make it yourself so they can see what you’re on about. Then if you can put it up somewhere like You Tube it means they don’t have to go to all the effort of unwrapping a package, reading your crap letter and loading a tape or a DVD (which often won’t work in their shit old machines). Now of course it’s a question of whether it needs to be on TV at all. There’s all sorts of financial opportunities opening up on the net for people making their own stuff and TV is looking more and more like an unnecessary headache fraught with compromise and unhelpful second guessing. It still seems somehow more legitimate though doesn’t it?
Did your mainly student audience grow with you? Or are you now making comedy for another lot of poncy student grant types? (mongychops)
Don’t know about that. People that come to my gigs or say hello in the street are either my age or about 18. They’re never poncy though and I can’t tell if they have grants. They deserve them.
Do you use YouTube for material you know you’d never be able to clear, copyright-wise, if it were on a traditional TV channel? (Fraser)
In part, yes.
How long did it take to learn the words to ‘Help the Police’? (pep)
Are you really like that dad in the car (you are, aren’t you?) (pep)
Do you feel insulted when… I say that I thought Jimmy Carr played Tim Messenger in Hot Fuzz? (Palmer the person )
Not in the least. Jimmy has always commented on our round faced similarities. I’m a little less successful and a little rounder in the face, but it I’d rather people mistake me for him than oh I dunno, Hitler.
Has Joe Cornish turned into a bitter and twisted hermit due to your new lease of fame? (prodigy69)
Is this my new lease of fame? Could you tell me when the lease runs out? I think Joe now owns his fame so he’s certainly not jealous of my lease.
Want to pimp your latest project? Then pimp it here -- hard. (Rob)
Project pimping, hmmm. Well it would be great if people would check out our Coke podcasts on I-tunes or the [Coke Music website] but apart from that I’m working on a couple of things which I’ll be able to say more about when they’re more advanced. If people are interested the best place to find out more is my blog.
Who the bloody hell are you? (Much easier than checking wikipedia) (god save the queen)
Just a man. With a man’s courage.
Should we be more concerned that Google are trying to take over the world? (Prof Undercover)
They’ve asked me to be king of quite a large part of it, so yes, I think you should be very concerned because I’m going to be a very bad king.
What would you mostly likely have ended up as if the funny thing didn’t work out? (Prof Undercover)
Glad you think it’s worked out. I would have carried on being a bartender. Still might go back to it. It’s a fun job. Have you seen Cocktail? That’s exactly what it’s like.
Do you sleep with your beard over or under the covers? (Afinkawan)
I’m clean shaven at the mo. When it was giant it lay above the covers in it’s own little sleeping bag.
Aren’t you old Westminsters? How did school affect your humour? (The Alchemist)
When you get there they inject you with a cocktail of hauteur and self hate. It’s a delicious blend, which informs a lot of what we do.
Tell us what Dido was like at school? (Rob)
She was a few years below us and anyway, if she was blonde and sexy she wouldn’t have given us the time of day. Giles Coren (of Times restaurant critic and channel 5 film show fame) was a contemporary of ours though and he was a twat for a long while, but then he went nice and we got to be friends. I was a twat too mind. Other old Westminsters include synth pop pioneer Thomas Dolby, scandal prone education secretary Ruth Kelly, Bush ponce /Gwen Stefani foil Gavin Rossdale and genius drunky Shane McGowan (who was expelled unsurpsingly). See? The world’s full of public school wankers. We’re not so bad!
What about Louis Theroux? (brianftang)
He’s a very old friend. He was always annoyingly clever but very funny. You can see footage of him from those days in the extras on our Adam & Joe DVD. He was always one of those people you knew was going to do alright.
What’s the most ridiculous bit of trivia you know? (Afinkawan)
Would you ever go on Big Brother? Why? (pep)
Don’t think so. It’s evil. Didn’t you know?
Will you lend me Â£10? (the RAND corporation)
Surely that’s the oldest thing you can put as a question in one of these things. If you’re genuinely in trouble, I’ll see what I can do.
Who’s your favourite comedian/comedy show? (mofaha)
I’m sort of obsessed with the Boosh and Snuff Box right now. All that lot are hard to beat in my book. Tony Law makes me really laugh. Joanna Neary. Vic and Bob, Harry Enfield, oh you know, the usual people. I’ve just got a DVD of this Irish show called Soupy Norman which is a Polish soap that was re-edited and re-voiced by Barry Murphy and Mark Doherty, a couple of legendary Irish comics who did some stuff for Time Trumpet (they did the Dragon’s Den stuff). It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a very long time and it’s in 10 minute chunks so if someone hasn’t put it on You Tube yet, it has to be a matter of time before they do.
What music do you like ? (connor)
Indie/arty pop mainly but a bit of everything really. Pixies, Bowie, Frank Black, Tortoise, Eels, Kings Of Leon, Built To Spill, Guided By Voices, Travis, James Brown, Radiohead, Jim Noir, Guillemots, Yo La Tengo, Beach Boys, The Shins, The Fall, Sparks, Beatles, Dylan, Eno, Talking Heads, Magazine, Spoon, Silver Jews, lots and lots! I wish I was a great musician more than anything.
What websites do you visit obsessively ? (connor)
Don’t really visit any one obsessively but Graham Linehan’s blog is always interesting as is Fat Pies.
What nerdy thing did you do recently ? (connor)
I went to a BBC ‘talent’ dinner last night and sat round the table were, Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Dara O’Brien, the bloke from Top Gear who nearly died, Paul Merton, Jack Dee, Mitchell & Webb, Ian Hislop, Graham Norton, Dom from Dick’n'Dom, Claudia Winkleman and a load of other well known faces. I waited til everyone was pretty pissed then got out my camera and starting snapping away until I started to get weird looks and one of the waiters came over and asked me to stop. I think he thought I’d sneaked in. Is that nerdy enough? Maybe it’s just uncool.
Why the hell did you grow a beard? (P3te)
- To help me ‘get into character’ for my Edinburgh show in 2005
- To see if I could
- To hide my double chin.
Daddy or chips? (SkUG)
Fuck Daddy. Fuck chips.
Have you ever smeared Marmite over your face and pretended to be a badger? (ShittingBabies)
Nice name there ‘ShittingBabies’. Is that an old Navajo moniker? I think you know I haven’t smeared Marmite on my face and pretended to be a badger. You’re just working some kind of angle aren’t you?
Have you ever raced midgets? (ShittingBabies)
You again? What’s your angle?! Should I pretend I have raced Midgets? Would that make me look good? Would you be happy about it? Where can it all go?
Have you ever worn womens underwear? (Sticky Label)
What’s the meaning of life? (connor)
If you’re looking for it on the internet you’re in for a frustrating trek.
Where do babies come from? (ShittingBabies)
Oh Christ. Amazon. Is that the right answer?
I caught my penis in my zipper before a school play once. What have you done to your penis? (ShittingBabies)
What is this, a zany private audience with ShittingBabies? Yes I caught my knob in my fly too. It really hurt. Now what?
Batman or Superman? (I bet it’s Batman) (mofaha)
Bad betting there mofaha. It’s Superman.
Do you find ginger people aborent? (KaiserPro)
Some very disappointing spelling here chaps, come on buck up! Finding ginger people abhorrent is like finding David Hasselhoff kitsch and amusing. A bad use of time.
What did you want to do when you were younger? (Palmer the person )
I wanted to be either an astronaut, a corner shop owner or a gynaecologist. True.
How would he have made the Star Wars Prequels good? (HappyToast)
Who’s ‘he’? George Lucas? Well he should have got people like me and Jimmy Carr to do cameos in them. Then they would have been amazing! Justin Lee Collins would have made a brilliant Chewie come to think of it. It’s all in the casting.
Should Gillian McKeith be destroyed? (Watney Heckbulb uhnnnnnnnn)
Maybe not destroyed but sequestered certainly.
Do you know Dom Jolly? Is he as big a prick as I imagine? (Prof Undercover)
Don’t really know him. I’m told he’s alright.
How many pillows do you like to sleep with? (Letum)
Can’t believe you bothered to type that question and I’m bothering to reply. Isn’t the internet amazing!? I sleep with one pillow.
Have you ever thrown dog poo into your neighbour’s garden? (The Neville)
Fuck dogs. Fuck poo. Fuck neighbours and Fuck gardens. Is that unequivocal enough for you?
If you could have one thing in the entire world named after you, what would it be? And why? (The Neville)
Ricky Gervais. Then everyone would think I was a genius.
How do you get your spring water tasting so watery? (Count Vanderhoff)
What were the best and worst nicknames you ever got given? (Afinkawan)
BEST: Let me seeâ€¦ on a good day I used to get called Genius Boy, Rimshot Masterclass, Fiery Apollo 5000, The Lazer Briefcase, Jimmy Bignutz, Harrison Ford, Cleverhandsome or Jesus Strength. WORST: On a bad day it would be either Failure Face, Shitlamp, The Ugly Man, Shit On Face, Shithair, Dogshit Face & Neck, Fat Queer or Shit Instead Of Head. I think some of the names came from the fact that I had a bit of shit near my head in those days. Kids can be cruel.
Tell us a joke? (rob)
ADAM AND JOE
Who’s got this biggest penis? You or Joe? (ShittingBabies)
ShittingBabies, back with the hard-hitting questions again. I’ve never seen Joe’s winky but he tells me it’s large. I’m medium/large so I guess Joe has the edge.
Tell us about the disturbed cat featured in the adam and joe show intro? (mofaha)
If you’re nerdy enough to be asking me about disturbed cats you should be nerdy enough to know we did a different title sequence for each series so I’m not sure which one would have featured the cat in question. Doesn’t ring any bells though, sorry.
Whose star wars figures did you use for the Adam and Joe show? (ShittingBabies)
Those were mine. My Ma saved them in the attic all those years, along with many of the old toys that we exploited so relentlessly on the show. Good old Ma.
Was the piss up in the brewery the single greatest dare ever pulled off? (ShittingBabies)
Piss Up In A Brewery was one of our slightly better stunts/pranks. It’s not exactly world class as far as daring goes though is it? Dick & Dom kicked our ass many times on that front.
Who was the giver, Adam or Joe Cornish? (Bats)
Is this an anal sex question? I bet you’re straight, right Bats? Why do straight men LOVE chatting about bottom sex so much more than any gay man I’ve ever met? But maybe this is not a bottom question but a charity question. If so, I’m the giver. And if not.
What’s your favourite song you’ve made? Mine was the Jazz Queens! (ShittingBabies)
Jazz Queens was a good one, glad you like it. I personally think the Robert De Niro Calypso takes some beating. I could listen to that one for pleasure.
Should Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad Dad stand for parliament? (ShittingBabies)
That would be deeply depressing. I know I wasn’t supposed to take that question seriously but I suddenly did.
What was the greatest idea put forward that you weren’t allowed to use? (Neon Blue)
Well we pretty much used everything we ever came up with, didn’t you notice? I always wanted to leave a bike unattended and film from a distance as some shitbird went to steal it then I’d jump out and confront them, but that idea got over-ruled every time I brought it up for being too lame and pointless. Then a few years later there was a show called SWAG on Channel 5 that did exactly that. And it was lame and pointless.
What’s Baaad Dad up to nowadays, and how did he cope with the fame? (jme)
He lives by the Sussex Downs where he enjoys walking and drinking expensive booze. He loves it when he gets recognised. He calls me up and tells me all about it every time.
Has george lucas ever demanded royalties? or made any other comments about your old starwars toy sketches? (mutated monty)
No. The closest we came to hearing from the Lucas camp was when we passed on a tape of some of our Star Wars toy things to Rick McCallum (producer of the prequels who used to frequent a shop run by a friend of ours). He told our friend that George had seen them and thought we were ‘crazy’. The question is, did he mean crazy-brilliant or crazy-nutty or just crazy-unhappy? Or was it the more likely crazy-what-a-pair-of-twats? Whichever way he wasn’t feeling litigious about it.
Would you come round my house and record an episode of “Vinly Justice” starring me an’ my record collection? (The Neville)
That’s just not practical The Neville. Plus I used to hate doing those things anyway. Only Stereolab and Frank Black ever made us feel properly welcome. Otherwise it was invariably awkward and uncomfortable (mainly our fault for invading their real houses, dressing up like freaks and doing bad comedy copper voices). Actually Cerys Matthews was very nice too. And Gary Numan. The rest of them were cunts. Except for Nick Heyward and Neil Hannon. And Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. OK, it was just Dave Navarro who was a cunt. And Dweezil Zappa (Ahmet and Moon Unit were nice). Ray Manzarek was bit of a toolkit too. Mark E Smith started off being nice then went cunty for a while then went back to being nice. It was stressful though. I can’t go through all that again, not even for you The Neville.