Image courtesy of the The Sexy Detectives
Sex Nation is made up of two of Brisbane’s favourite sketch comedy troupes. Michael Griffin & David Massingham- The Sexy Detectives, have teamed up with Taylor Edwards and Chris Martin from BangNation for this show. Sexy Detective Michael Griffin answered my questions…
The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing sketch comedy?
Michael Griffin (MG): The Sexy Detectives formed about ten years ago, out of a group of improvisors and university friends.
TAT: Where was your first show and how did it go?
MG: Our first show was in a derelict shoe store in Fortitude Valley in a festival called Straight Outta Brisbane, a phrase which as always felt like a mantra for Brisbane artists and their inevitable move down south. I don’t think it was good but it was definitely a show.
TAT: Why do you like comedy?
MG: Comedy is the most honest way to communicate, and it’s a good personality test. People who don’t enjoy laughing at themselves and others are weird and I don’t trust them.
TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?
MG: I’m a video editor, so my average day involves scowling at the computer for much of the day. Comedy and editing go together nicely – they’re all about timing.
TAT: How do you come up with your material?
MG: I do standup as well as improv and sketch, and it’s interesting which jokes land best in each format. Standup usually comes out of some incredibly witty perspective you have in conversation to a friend (and furiously type into your phone immediately afterwards), whereas sketch is about demonstrating the stupidity of a situation to make the point backwards.
TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?
MG: My favourite sketch comedians are Shaun Micallef, The D-Generation, the Kates, Chris Morris, Graham Linehan, and the people that film viral sensations of their children getting hurt.
TAT: How would you describe your style?
MG: The Sexy Detectives are a more finely scripted, more British-style sketch comedy. Our mates BangNation are silly and absurdist. We’re more Rowan Atkinson, they’re more a puppy caught in a mirrormaze.
TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss
MG: The great thing about group comedy like sketch and improv is its like team sports, everyone working together and helping each other. Like a comedy cult! Whereas standups are like tennis players or boxers, always fighting and grunting. Regardless of the genre, normal well-balanced people don’t make it their business to be dicks on stage so randoms will laugh at them.
TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?
MG: Most memorable definitely, favourite not so much, was about ten years ago I dislocated my foot jumping off stage halfway through an improv show. Foot was pointing in a 90 degree angle and the little gap named “The Michael Trap” was born. I was carted off to hospital. The show continued, my parents watching horrified. They kept watching for the whole thing, mind.
TAT: Do you like audience interaction?
MG: Audience interaction is great! We don’t do a huge amount of it but when we do, we love people like Boy With Tape On His Face and Steen Raskopoulos, who know that it’s all about making the audience members look and feel like superstars.
TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?
MG: For good or bad, doing sketch comedy allows you to not be yourself – you are playing characters quite literally. It’s both liberating and can be a crutch. But hopefully you find some truth through the character. Or some such shit.
TAT: Where do you perform normally?
MG: Here in Brisbane we perform a bunch at places like the amazing Brisbane Powerhouse, we have weekly shows at bars around town, and do sketch every month with BangNation and friends at Get It Inya, Brisbane’s monthly new sketch show party.
TAT: Tell us about your show?
MG: Sex Nation is an hour of greatest hits and new jokes from Brisbane’s two favourite sketch groups. The Sexy Detectives, the more clever and British ones, take turns with BangNation, the more silly and weird ones. It’s a lot of energy and a big fast-paced hour of laughs.
TAT: Why should people come and see it?
MG: I think it’s really important that people come along to Sex Nation. Purely from a time/finance point of view. Interstate comedians gives you a category to tick off on your ‘cultural growth’ card, the double bill in an hour allows you a tick on your ‘people I saw at the festival card,’ and finally every moment leads you closer to death. There’s no Sex Nation in the afterlife, let me tell you.
TAT: What’s your favourite object?
MG: My favourite object is my telephone. I dropped it and it got a hairline crack on it. I’m getting better, but it was a stronger emotional reaction than many deaths in the family. Is this what we do now or do I have an emotional issue?
TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MG: Sex Nation is gonna be such a party of a show. Chris Martin and Taylor Edwards are getting recognised as two of Brisbane’s best young comics, and David Massingham is Australia’s best unknown lanky funny person. And me? I’m just along for the ride!
You can tick off your ‘cultural growth’ card and see Sex Nation–
When: April 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th
Where: Number 12, 12 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD