Idiots Of Ants interview
Sketch group Idiots Of Ants - aka, left to right in the picture, Elliott Tiney (Els), James Wrighton (Jim), Benjamin Wilson (Ben) and Andrew Spiers (Andy) - answer some questions below...
Hi Gents. Let's get the clichéd question out of the way first. How did you meet, and how did you pick the group name?
Els: That's a great question!
Andy: Els and I met at drama school.
Ben: I was at uni with Andy and Jim.
Els: Jim and I met in a street fight - we were the leaders of rival gangs.
Jim: The name 'Idiots Of Ants' is supposed to sound a bit like the French 'idiot savants'.
Ben: We wanted to be called 'Pappy's Fun Club', but it was taken.
Ha ha. Obviously your career is now making people laugh, but what did you want to be before deciding on this path?
Andy: When Jim grew up he dreamed of being an accountant. We are pleased to announce that he is well on his way to achieving this dream... he has memorised all of the numbers up to 3628!
Jim: Ben wanted to build a Death Star.
Els: Andy's ambition was always to eat his height (5'9") in Subway sandwiches (meatball, no salad, extra ranch dressing). He achieved his ambition at breakfast time on his eighteenth birthday... and again at lunch.
Ben: Elliott wanted to be a frog.
Was the 'career plan' to become a sketch group? What was the transition like when that did start to happen?
Els: No careers advisor would recommend this. What we do is essentially full time mucking about.
Jim: We all had two or three years between uni and Idiots.
Ben: In those years we were full time professional failed actors... Which basically meant that we were successful waiters.
Andy: I was a successful actor. I was desperately trying to get into waitering, but I was acting to pay the bills.
Talking of making a living... there's four of you. That presumably means that it's harder to become rich, as you're having to cut profit four ways?
Els: It is hard. So please buy a ticket to our Soho Theatre show. My children need shoes.
Jim: I had to sell my kids. They are now being used in medical testing. Please buy tickets so we can get them back!
Ben: My kids live in a shoe box. Buy a ticket!
Els: Andy doesn't have kids. We had him neutered.
The message is nice and clear there (about buying tickets, not neutering!). As you are comedians, is there a lot of pressure to be funny on a first date?
Ben: We at Idiots Of Ants don't tend to get dates. When you spend as much time as we do in the company of three other men your personal hygiene levels dip to such an impossible low that the girls don't even want to stand too close to us, let alone date us.
Andy: We have very windy bottoms.
So you spend a lot of time together. Any bust ups? Also, what happens if one of the group wants to leave?
Jim: If things get tough we defuse the tension with aggressive love making.
Els: If anybody attempts desertion they will be court marshalled and shot.
Andy: Them's the rules.
Jim: I'm not sure I agree with the rules!
Ben: Idiots who oppose the rules will be court marshalled and shot.
Moving swiftly on... Your online videos have clocked up loads of hits. Do you have a favourite?
Els: I'm not sure I can pick a favourite.
Ben: Perhaps your readers can pick a favourite - check out our website www.idiotsofants.com
Andy: Alternatively, YouTube has some wonderful videos of kittens playing with balls of wool... They are far better!
Jim: And porn!
Andy: Yes. Kittens playing with balls of porn.
Talking of YouTube, one of your videos has done particularly well on there.
Els: Yeah, a couple of years ago we made a video with the BBC called 'Facebook in Real Life'. It came out at the time when everyone was starting to use social media, and, because it hit a zeitgeist, it went viral achieving several million hits in about a week. The most fun we have had on YouTube was watching the videos of people who have copied our script and done their own versions of our sketch. Some of them are really good... there are some Germans who have done one, two tiny eight year old girls and a church group. Very funny indeed, don't watch our video, watch theirs!
As you hinted at earlier, people will be able to see you at the Soho Theatre this month. What can they expect?
Els: If you see us at the Soho expect an hour of fast paced sketch comedy.
Jim: It is our 2011 Edinburgh show, plus a couple of additions from 2010.
Ben: It's a show we are really proud of... Do come.
Great. Twitter seems to be the future, so can you also describe it in Twitter style, 140 characters or less, please?
Els: "@idiotsofants perform high octane theatrical sillinesses #tryingtobeasfunnyaspossible PLEASE RT"
Thanks. Any plans for after September?
Els: We will be writing a new project... Details to follow!
Jim: All except for Andy, who, as always, will be in a box full of straw hibernating for winter.
Thanks guys. Best of luck with the show, and the writing/hibernating...
Idiots Of Ants will be performing at the Soho Theatre most days in September. For more details and to buy tickets visit SohoTheatre.com
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