When compiling lists of creative media types who constantly seem to working on a project and putting your fucking lazy arse to shame, it would only be right to include the perpetually Chaser affiliated, potentially ageless Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen.
Said prick (with respect) Andrew, who will be “touring Australia in 2014 with fellow comedian/prick Chris Taylor” was kind enough to give Pedestrian a run down of ‘How to Write a One Man Show’:
The main problem with putting on a live comedy show, we soon discovered, is that it needs a script. And neither of us knew where to locate one.
This proved very inconvenient and stressful, as we’d already announced the show and booked theatres all over the country to do it in. No one, not even our producer, ever mentioned we’d have to say something once we walked onto the stage.
In desperation, we searched on eBay for live, two-hander comedy scripts. Incredibly, we couldn’t find a single one! They must have been purchased already by other comedians doing the Adelaide Fringe. On the upside, we were able to get a reasonable deal on a used kettle.
For a week we considered simply putting the kettle on stage. We even ran some trial performances of this during the Sydney Festival, but audiences seemed a little restless after the first 35 minutes.
The natural next step was to ask our parents whether they could write the script for us. Andrew’s mother was keen but she misunderstood the brief and, instead of writing a humorous sketch show for two, submitted a three-hour modernist opera adapted from Patrick White’s The Vivisector. We quietly passed it to Baz Luhrmann.
There was only one option left to us – the ‘Shia LaBeouf’ approach of copying a pre-existing show. Allegedly.
All we had to do was change enough details so no one would notice!
But which show should we plagiarise? We almost booked flights to London to check out Matilda, but Chris was sceptical that a West End musical about Heath Ledger’s daughter could be all that interesting.
Phantom of the Opera appealed to us more, and we could change the title to Phantom of the X Factor to appeal to young people. The show would be about a disfigured loner who haunts the X Factor studio and gets arrested for molesting Taylor Henderson.
In the end though, we’d heard such good reports of Melbourne’s production of King Kong we decided to use that script – but cunningly change the monster from a massive, animatronic gorilla to a small, plastic goldfish. This would not only disguise our plagiarism but also fall within our budget, which had admittedly become pretty tight ever since Andrew insisted on a nightly backstage rider of three hundred raspberry friands.
Indeed, Andrew’s backstage rider quickly took precedence over the script. Our producer made every effort to convince Andrew to demand fewer or less expensive pastries, but Andrew insisted he cannot perform without the psychological reassurance of knowing there is a vast surplus of friands nearby just in case he needs one.
The problem snowballed when Chris started to feel jealous.
‘Andrew’s rider is better than mine,’ he complained, and demanded that every night celebrity patissier Adriano Zumbo should appear in person in our dressing room to present a forty-flavour macaron tower while riding astride the animatronic gorilla from King Kong.
Luckily for us, and perhaps a little unexpectedly, Mr Zumbo immediately agreed to this proposal free of charge. Which left us free to once again think about the show.
Andrew became excited about the idea of using the small, plastic goldfish as a metaphorical protest against Japan’s annual dolphin slaughter, because he’d noticed a celebrity tweeting about it. The show would start with the goldfish appearing relaxed and cheerful, and leading an altogether pleasant kind of life, but after an hour of the plastic goldfish chilling out and enjoying himself, the two of us would suddenly burst in dressed as Japanese fishermen and an elaborate fight sequence would ensue between us and the tiny, lifeless fish.
We quickly realised the fight would be more dramatic if we employed a live dolphin, so ironically we ended up purchasing one from the very same Japanese fishermen we were protesting against. Worse, we now had to perform the entire show in aquarium tanks rather than theatres, with all the audience seated underwater and each ticket holder required to bring a rebreather and an ISO 24801-1 recreational diving certificate.
This meant our potential fanbase was somewhat limited. We’d definitely sewn up the crucial ‘PADI-trained dolphin activist alternative theatre scene’ demographic, but sales to other consumer categories were soft.
The only solution was to massively increase our publicity by creating a viral video.
To this end, Chris took his inspiration from the classic ‘Charlie bit my finger’ video and set about filming himself biting the fingers of unsuspecting toddlers in public places. Where toddlers were unavailable, he bit the fingers of senior citizens unable to fight back. And occasionally, in desperation, fish fingers.
We posted the video under the title ‘Hilarious! You won’t believe what happens next YOLO.’ Our hopes were high – at the very least, news.com.au would surely publish this as a ‘disturbing new trend’.
Unfortunately though it got lost amongst 983 videos with the same title, and now we can’t remember our password to change the name.
After all that, we’re proud to say our new show is in excellent shape! Except for needing a script.
To catch Andrew Hansen and Chris Taylor on their national ‘One Man Show‘:
Newcastle – Civic Precinct Playhouse 25-26 February –
Wollongong – IMB Theatre 27 February –
Adelaide Fringe – Garden Of Unearthly Delights Paradiso 28 Feb – 2 March
Canberra Comedy Festival – The Playhouse 6 March
Brisbane Comedy Festival – Powerhouse Theatre 7-9 March
Hobart Ten Days – Spiegeltent 10 March
Melbourne – Athenaeum Theatre 23-26 March
Sydney Comedy Festival – The Concourse 1 May
Sydney comedy Festival – Metro Theatre 2 May
Perth Comedy Festival – The Astor Theatre 3-4 May – TICKETS