HERMAPHRODITE FANZINE INTERVIEWIn the begining of 1998, something happened to Sunday lunchtime television.
Something big. Something strange.
Something with reasonably consistently good hair.
The world will not be the same, post 'This Morning With Richard Not Judy'. No. It will be slightly different.
"Ah, you should watch it, s'really funny... ...Ted Danson on the piano... ...there’s this kind of Ironic Review which is satire satirising satire, with wigs and hairpieces... ...Men Of Achievement 1974... ....The Organ Gang that all live together in a pedal bin and it's voiced by Brian Cant and there's a toe called Kramer... ...green jelly... ...there's a mute slave-boy called Trevor whose face is apparently too small for his head... ...Roger Crowley... ...there are these two teachers and they're really different... ...The Lord Of The Dance Settee... ....there's a one-eyed pirate puppet crow called Histor and his feather-brained ( hahah, FEATHER, like a bird's WING ) friend called Pliny who explain the grown-up news with lots of references to eggs ( EGGS, like a BIRD's EGG ! )... ...'I made this!'... ...there's a huge orange with a man's face that's kind of curious and who went mouldy and screamed a lot... ....Golden Grahams... ...there's a priest who can blow the longest raspberry in the world... ...SICK-man... ...there's My 2 Dads' Greg Evigan hosting the terrifying 'When Insects Attack', detailing the horrors of having a worm waved at you or a fly buzz near you... ...old Tony Blairs...”
You try explaining in a coherant and logical form the basic structure of TWMRNJ,
in a way which will persuade people to watch it and not to politely but swiftly
disentangle themselves from your company. Yeah. Go on. ( Heh-heh, seeing that
particular mission achieved would prove particularly spectacular considering
the programme in question is no longer on... ) Far easier to lure them into
a room with a television tuned only to BBC 2 using scatterings of Jelly Tots,
and then lock the door, forcing them to appreciate the murky depths of the light-entertainment
minds of Stewart Lee and Richard Herring...
As is consistent with the exam-season, it's a gloriously glorious sunny day. I'm using my week of Study-leave constructively by leaving college to come back to Leeds to see my friends & some very nice bands, talk to some people, do some shopping. Outside the Marriot Hotel the fountain is splashing in the bright sunshine, whilst the world is smiling and dripping their ice-creams down their ‘fresh-out-of-the-cupboard’ shorts.
And in the inside of the hotel, myself and Becca are sitting around a table in the bar with Rich and Stew ( who might prefer ‘Stew’ but I prefer not to think of him as a type of hotpot ), of TMWRNJ / Fist Of Fun / solo stand-up / script editor / playwright / rock-critic ( !? ) fame.
They've only been in Leeds a little bit, but already they've been having adventures. Well, Rich has been sleeping. But Stew has been living the touring comedian's rock'n'roll lifestyle...
Stew: "I just got refused admission to a bar over there..."
Stew: "I just wanted to get some lunch, and the bloke on the door went 'Are those steel toe-caps, and I went 'I don't know; stand on them'. And he stood on them and went 'I can't let you in.' So I went 'what if I leave my shoes with you?' ( Rich starts laughing ) and he went ( grimly ) 'I don't want your bloody shoes."
Rich: ( sagely ) “It's a violent city Stew...”
Well yes. Later, as Stew ekes much material from this incident during that
evening's show, he urges the crowd to make it still more violent. One 'Aim Of
The Show' is to hire a wild gang of Leeds men to storm the Square On The Lane
and kick the doorman repeatedly with their steel-toe-capped shoes... But that's
not a nice note to start on. Changing the subject, I compliment Stew on his
Spiderman t-shirt. He grins.
Stew - "It's alright on the front, but on the back it's got something like 'ONLY NERDS DON'T LIKE COMICS' ( Rich starts giggling ) when it fact the reality is completely the opposite."
Ah well. Let's begin the interview-proper, shall we ? I, in my infinite wisdom and post-modern & ironic way decide to start off with a question oh-so-beloved of comedians, writers and cartoonists the world over...
me: "Where do you get all your ker-razy ideas from ?"
Stew: "We copy them off The Goodies. ( straight-faced... ) We get old Goodies films and videos and books and change nouns. So that instead of a Giant Cat we have an orange."
Yeah, okay. An answer deserving of the question. But then, with The Curious Orange, I can kinda see how that idea could have germinated.
me: "With that one you can see a logical progression..."
Stew: "The Curious Orange ?"
Becca: "SHE can."
me: "If you're pissed, and you're listening to The Fall, it would seem like a really good idea..."
Stew: "It actually happened that I was in the bath with my girlfriend who had orange hair, and she was asking questions, and it made me think of the phrase..."
Rich: "It's mainly from going in the bath with Stew's girlfriend, we each take it in turns to do that and get ideas..."
Stew: ( happily ignoring that ) "So that's where The Curious Orange came from. It's a good phrase as well; it's the sort of phrase that people seem to have a second-hand knowledge of even if they don't know where it's come from, and it's two words which seem to fit together to suggest an unusual character. But normally it's just, we get ideas from funny things that happen to us, or strange people we talk to. Or else we sit around for ages thinking about it... Or we'll just have a joke which we'll do with each other for years - like speaking with a high voice in an argument - and then you think 'ah we should do that onstage', and you do it, and it works, and you haven't even realised..."
Rich: "We haven't thought 'if it makes us laugh...'"
Stew: "...then it'd make anyone else laugh..."
Rich: "The 'moon on a stick' was something that Stew's been saying for years..."
me: "Is that why you're so... you're very nice about audience feedback, input into what you're doing. If we don't like 'Men Of Achievement...' then you say you'll change it and then you don't; is that because you're afraid that we won't find it funny because you do, your own sense of humour is so warped and scratched...?"
Stew: "Not really. We really like Men of Achievement... But it is interesting to get feedback from people because you know whether things are working or not..."
Rich: "...And whether they're accepted or not. Like The Curious Orange, everyone really hated that for the first two weeks..."
Stew: "And the funny thing is, at the end of the second week he went 'aah, you're all writing in saying it's rubbish but you'll all be doing it in a month's time' And now of course no-one ever stops going on about it."
me: ( grinning ) "Yeah, but you've killed him off. So are you going to have more curious fruit ?"
Stew: "No, we might have him doing more stuff as The Curious Orange."
me: "But he's DEAD !"
Rich: ( reassuringly ) "It's only pretend."
Stew: "Depending on what kind of budget we get for the next series - it'd be disappointing to have him in the Studio doing the same thing - but if we get a bigger budget then we can afford to go and film somewhere, have him out and about doing things."
Things sadly unspecified. But things very probably orangey. And involving that terrifying scream. I try suggesting to them the tangerine shaped ( converted Mini Metro ) car that were made in the 60's / 70's to promote tangerines (?) and were driven around Africa. Stew seems much taken with the idea of such a Batmobile type mode of transport. And then the subject is quite definitively changed…
me: "Are you genuinely scared of polystyrene ?"
Rich: "Yes. I'm not SCARED of it on its own." Because that would be stupid.
me: "What if it COMES at you ?" ( Becca starts giggling )
Rich: "I don't like the noise it makes if you squeak two pieces of it together."
Stew: "Tracey McCloud from The Late Show once hid behind a car to make a polystyrene noise to frighten Rich, when she saw him coming down the street."
me: ( grin ) "So if we were to advise stalkers as to the best way to freak you out...?"
Rich: ( pained face ) "If they do I'll hit them..."
Stew: "It really makes him go mad..."
Rich: "...I can't control myself."
me: ( to Rich ) "Is there anything else ? ( remember the ways of human nature ) You're obviously not going to want to share it now. ( turn to Stew ) Is there anything else ?"
Stew: "No that's all."
Rich: "That's it, just polystyrene. And just sometimes if someone squeaks across the floor... I can just about take it once, but if people carry on doing it... ( sternly ) So DON'T do it."
me: ( hastily ) "I won't." ( And from thoughts of self-torture... ) me: "Why did you write a full frontal nudal - noodle ?
me: "...Nude scene into 'Excavating Rita' for yourself ?"
Rich: "I didn't know I was going to be in it. And then I was. And when you write something you're not thinking like that, you're thinking 'how is the best way for this to work.' The scene was quite important to humiliate the character that I was playing."
Stew: "It was meant to look awful though..." ( general giggles )
Becca - "And it worked ?!"
Stew: "It was meant to be a genuinely embarrassing moment and it was, it was funny, but it was also... This bloke gets really drunk and tries to get off with this woman he fancies by just bursting in on her naked and saying 'here's what you could have had'. It was meant to be awful - it wasn't like a comedy scene in some Carry On film."
Rich: "And it was very long, about five minutes..." Poor darling.
Stew: "And for a man staggering around and being held up by other people naked - it was funny, but not in a 'oh there's a man's cock' kind of way. It was just the most embarrassing thing you've ever seen on stage."
Rich: "The reason I did was that it made sense to include it, as a writer... This year I'm thinking about what details of my real life I should include - I'm thinking about some of the most DISGUSTING things I've ever done, and whether I should put them in a play. Whether that would be a good thing."
Maybe. Maybe not. Though the people of Britain do appear quite capable of absorbing an awful lot of 'sick-man' stuff spewed forth from the mouth of Richard Herring. TMWRNJ saw him planning to fill the Millennium Dome with milk, drinking the milk of a wide variety of animals, attempting to set up milk farms ( both with animals and women ), talking about milk far more than the average Sunday afternoon channel-hopper can possibly take; oh and puporting to a wild variety of nefarious activities, including swimming in sewage for pleasure, sending pictures of his 'winkie' to the Spice Girls, spawning a mutant orange human child by a grotesque coupling with a fruit-tree...
me: "In that you don't have Peter [ 'Fist Of Fun' ] any more, and Roger Mann
isn't on it very much, you have become the 'mildly alarming one', out of the
two of you." Rich seems to find this very funny. Which answers my next question,
as to the dynamic of the double act. With the two of them onstage now, he needs
to be somewhere near the part of the exuberant and amiable harmless one, to
balance Stew's piercing pessimism.
Stew: "The double act didn't really exist as a live entity until about '94, even though we used to do stuff on the radio. When we wrote for it it would often be a pooling of things that I'd done in stand-up and Rich had done in his one-man show. so it was very much like Punt and Dennis in the early days, which was like two stand-ups standing next to each other, who don't have a relationship, and there wasn't a dialogue. Whereas on the last tour about two years ago we really kicked into what a double act should be, men - or women - bickering. Like French and Saunders - you have a really good sense with them of a relationship, of there being power struggles. And I think that's what we've got now. Which is why there probably are more contrary and extreme positions in the series and in the show now."
( Rich says Stew bullies him. Rich also alleges that Jimmy Saville is an necrophiliac. )
Rich: "Also, there's that the character of Richard Herring in the double-act is so harmless and pathetic that I don't think anything that I say is taken seriously, so I can actually say things that are probably amongst the most offensive things that you will ever hear, and people will laugh at them. And won't be upset by them."
Stew: "A - because it sounds like madness from Rich. And B - because there's a man standing next to him, looking disapproving."
Rich: "And I don't think you really believe anything that I say. It's just that ( smugly ) my character has Munchhausen's syndrome."
I think that Munchhause idea could have something to do with the, uh, outfit Rich has been donning for the end of each night of the tour. A tribute kind of an outfit. Still, if it makes him happy...
me: "Stew. Don't you want to dress up as Big Daddy ?"
Stew: "No, not at all. I really find that kind of thing embarrassing. I find any kind of character performing - it usually works out alright, but they have to egg me on into it. ( realises himself, grinning ) Egg..."
Rich: "Ha, egg !"
Stew: "I said EGG !"
Woohoo. They’ve just inadvertantly walked into one of the questions I’d already
been pondering of them.
me: "Yeah - don't you find you do that all the time, because once you've got in that frame of mind..."
Stew: "No, not really - that's the first time I've ever done it. Really."
Rich: "We sometimes do. But when you start taking stuff out of conversations so they become catchphrases, they become really irritating really quickly."
Stew: "Yeah, we hate our catch-phrases."
Rich: "In the last few days of doing the 'businessman in his suit and tie' we've started having a go at the audience for being really pleased to hear a bloke saying a thing he says on the telly. Not in a nasty way..."
me: "Don't you think that that's weird though - if you do material twice then you're repeating old stuff and that's BAAAD, but if you do it three or four times then you're got a catchphrase ?"
Rich: ( slowly ) "Yeeeeah..."
Stew: "It is slightly different... It's not something we ever used to do - in this series there are a lot of repeated characters. Which actually I think helped to make it a lot more popular. But the only reason we did that was because we had such a short filming time, and we had to use the same sets and people over and over again. We needed to have through ideas running through it. Which is why there were eight 'When Insects Attack'..."
me: "Yeah; can I ask about the lettuce ?"
Each week, in the style of American programmes such as 'When Marsupials Attack', different people were filmed being attacked by insects ( or various insect-like creatures as they hope the audience won't be able to spot the difference ), Each week, it was a human complaining of his terror. And then there was the lettuce incident.
me: "That really freaked me out - I can cope with a half-man half-orange singing
songs and screaming, but the lettuce ???" A lettuce on a wicker chair reliving
the horror of being ravaged by a slug. Aieee.
Richard: "Did that scare you ?"
me: "Yes. ( quavering ) Slightly."
Stew: "It was me, doing the voice."
Rich: ( comfortingly ) "It was only Stew, he was moving the lettuce."
me: "I was told that by reassuring friends."
Stew: "There's a bit in our tour programme, if you come to the show, that explains how it all works."
me: "So it wasn't real ?"
Stew: "It was a real slug. And it was real lettuce. But the lettuces were bought in a shop - they were going to be eaten anyway, so it's not like they were harmed."
Rich: ( ponderingly ) "No-one else has ever been frightened of it. People are frightened of the Curious Orange..."
Yup. My friend Eleanor, for one. Yeah. Let's move on to, ahem, more stable ground...
me: "My friend Eleanor wants to know what you were trying to do to her early in the morning with the Curious Orange, were you trying to recreate 'pissed-vision' - because quite a lot of it [ TMWRNJ ] could be quite surreal for people who've just woken up."
Stew agrees with that. They have had folks speaking to them who’ve said that the Curious Orange was the kind of thing that they’d seen with drug-addled.
Stew: "There were certain people that said there was residue of it being ( pause ) a bit strange. But it's what we'd have written anyway, we didn't think 'HA, this'll make drunk people confused' ( he starts laughing ) but I'm glad that it felt like that... I loved that camera thing they did on the Curious Orange when the music starts and they zoom in and out of his head at different angles; ( grins happily ) that was really good fun."
Rich: "We don't ever target anything really, we just try and do something that makes each other laugh... It was more like trying to think 'oh, what can we do ?' rather than 'let's create a whole thing that's freaky...'; all those things just going in I think it did work quite well, a couple of bits didn't work as well as others. Well, in different people's opinions. Like The Organ Gang. Some people really hated it, never want to see it again - and some people really love it. And it's those t-shirts that are selling the best as well."
And there I take the opportunity to thank them for The Organ Gang plotline
which saw Derek Duodenum and the Vile Bile Duct become covered in glue and then
explode into a pants factory. It made my week. And also further proved that
quite a lot of what Lee & Herring does doesn't bear explanation. 'There's pants,
and an orange...' ( trail off quietly ) People need just to watch it themselves.
You try explaining Roger Crowley, the wickedest man in the world, to people
AND then expect them to watch the programme with him as an incentive...
me: "Where did you find Roger Mann ? Because he is quite scary - and he looks like Brett Anderson with a pirate hat on."
Becca - "No he doesn't."
Stew: "Roger Mann, when we started doing stand-up..."
me: "Yes he does."
Stew: "...he was like a hero of ours...."
Becca - "No he doesn't."
Stew: "...He was a really brilliant stand-up comedian in the Eighties; he used to be called Paul Ramone then... He got to that point where he was really good and audiences didn't appreciate it so he used to go deliberately badly all the time; and he gave up, and he's now a computer programmer in Rugby. And every now and again we can tempt him back. But he was really good. His man in 'When Insect's Attack' who was attacked by a fly was hilarious, he worked on it so hard, he was a really good actor - he was at Drama School with Kevin Eldon actually, he got Kevin into doing comedy really. I think he [ Roger Mann ] is a lost talent, and hopefully we'll be able to get him to do something again... He's one of my friends - ( diplomatically ) he's an 'unusual' man.” Rich starts laughing.
Becca: "He looks it."
Stew: "And that character is partly making fun of him, because he goes on the Internet all the time, and he knows women all around the world that he has..."
Rich: VERY LOUD CLEARING OF THROAT S
tu: ( catches his eye ) "..No I won't say about that. ( continues ) He's got like computer friends all around the world that he talks to down this camera on the Internet. It was slightly mocking him - but he didn't seem to mind. Or notice, as he's never mentioned it..."
And on the subject of the more worrying people whom they work with...
me: "Is The Actor Kevin Eldon as scary as he sometimes seems - in character, and in stand-up...?"
Rich: "Only if you're a woman. If you're a man he's alright."
Stew: "He sometimes has moods, but he's alright. He's a very nice man."
Rich: "A lovely man." ( They're both being serious... )
Stew: "And he really has helped us - we used to write these characters, and we could never do them and no-one else could do them, and then when we met him... We used to do this radio show, and the BBC had this idea of recording it in other cities from where we all lived, to try and pretend that the BBC was interested in The Regions which obviously it wasn't. And one day we had to go and record it in Exeter. And you just couldn't get an impressionist or a voice person to go to Exeter for 80 quid on a Tuesday night. And I just knew Kev from doing a few of gigs with him, and I was talking to him about it saying ( plaintive voice ) 'oh we can't find anyone to go, they all charge so much money' - ( pulls a face ) which is really ironic in retrospect. And he came and he was really good. But now, since then, he's done so well through us that we can't afford to employ him anymore..." Rich: "He was very good at doing the parts that we wrote, he's tuned into our sense of humour... There are a lot of people who don't understand how to say our jokes, because a lot of it's to do with the way that you say it rather than the actual words..."
It used to be that Stew had the coolest hair in the world. ( Or at least out
of the 'Fist Of Fun' team... ) A vague fringe of haphazard twirly bits. But
now it's all tidy and vertical. And it's coolness factor has been dramatically
overtaken by Rich's - his hair is now all long and flowing and really very nice.
I've been making my friends watch The Festival Of Fun repeats over the last
few weeks. The ones where Rich has long hair and a beard and a thing for muffins.
The one that prompted my friend Louise to demand of me why exactly Stew had
hair LIKE THAT.
me: "My friend Louise thinks you look like a sheep-dog."
Stew: "Me ?"
me: "Yes. With your hair when it was all ( I mime hair twirling over a forehead ) which I thought was cool but she, thought made you look like a sheep-dog. So she wants to know why."
Stew: ( quietly ) "I don't know."
I think I might have offended him. Arrrgh. S'probably good Louise didn't come to this interview. She had quite a few questions for me. ( And yes dear, Richard said he does eat his own scabs. No-one else's though. )
Stew: ( defensively ) "HE looks more like a sheepdog."
I don't agree, though Rich seems reasonably non-plussed at this.
me: "I think it could be to compliment his looking a bit like Jesus..." So with Rich's beard and flowing locks making him look a little bit like the metaphorical shepherd son of God and Stew looking like, um, a sheepdog, they could be metaphorically leading us into a new dawn of comedy, and all that.
Stew: "Could be."
Rich: "She'll have to work out why she thinks he looks like a sheepdog."
me: "I think it was that she'd never seen hair like that before. She was quietly impressed."
This tickles Rich greatly, though I think Stew is still smarting. Maybe we should move on to another topic of conversation...
me: "So who do you like, that you've seen ? Comedian-type people, not just generally in the whole world - that could take quite a while." ( giggles from Rich )
Stew: "Harry Hill; Alan Parker Urban Warrior, Simon Munnery he does that; Frank Skinner..."
Rich: "Al Murray..."
Stew: "Al Murray, Pub Landlord; Jerry Sadowitz; and an Australian bloke called Greg Fleet who's over here intermittently. If he lived here and wasn't A FOOL who can't stay sober long enough to get his act together he'd be possibly the best comedian in the world."
me: "Did you two genuinely want to do the World Cup Song ?" S
tu, to his credit ( or to the proof of an obsessive side to his personality ), knows exactly what I'm talking about. And exactly where I gleaned that information.
Stew: "No. I don't know why that was in there [ Public NME ]. Neither of us have ever seen Echo and the Bunneymen live, we weren't at that gig, we certainly weren't backstage at it, and we never want to do a World Cup song. And I've never been to a football match. I can only think it was a kind of NME joke about how comedians do football songs."
So it postively is not true.
Stew: "Most things in those music-paper gossip columns are wrong." Murmurs of assent from around the table.
Stew: "I'm supposed to have played in a 5-A-Side football match somewhere with Sean Hughes - which I never did; I'm supposed to have gone out for a night with Graham from Blur - I've never met the bloke; I'm supposed to have gone to see a band called Black Star Liner, who I've never heard of..."
But then, Stew has been contemplating doing a football song.
Stew: "I thought the other day about doing a record about how I really hate football and why right-wing violent racists like it, and how scary people who like football are if you see them in a big train carriage together. And the chorus would be 'and I hope we lose.' But I think we'd probably get just beaten to shit. ( starts singing ) 'We're not going to win / Let's be realistic...’ “
So. He does want to make a record. Not all that you hear of Stewart Lee which sounds vaguely preposterous is untrue.
me: "Do you genuinely want to record a Country and Western album in Spain under a false name ?"
Stew: "Um, well yeah I'd like to make a record some day yeah. It's one thing that I've always wanted to do that I never have."
me: "So you are just a frustrated rock-star ?"
Stew: "Not a ROCK-star. But I'd like to make a record. I used to be in a band but we only did three gigs..."
Now time is concentrated on the comedy. And the script writing. The play-writing.
The sitcom writing... When I spoke to them, they were writing a Hostages sitcom
together, Rich was developing a sitcom & a TV programme, and Stew had finished
a film script. What I really wanna know, faced with all this information, is:
me: "How do you have the time ?"
me: "So have you just cloned yourselves..?"
Stew: "We finish this tour in June..."
Rich: "And then we'll have time to do other stuff. ( Like write a whole play ?!? )"
Stew: "We've got a system for TV as well. For this series we used a lot of stuff from our last tour, and we did a gig every week at Battersea Arts Centre where we tried to write a new hour of stuff, though we very rarely did. And a very small percentage of that new stuff bore repetition on the television - so we got quite a lot out of that in the end... If we did all the stuff we were doing at the start of the tour, the show would be about four hours long."
Rich: "We also do Edinburgh every year... We've still got all the props from last year in our office; lots of archaeological equipment, a seven foot penis, a whale..." ( And no, they're not getting rid of them ,because they might need them again. The penis was for Stew's show. Nothing else. Alright ? )
Rich: "You come up with loads of material doing that. Like again I've said I'm going to write another play for Edinburgh so if I do that I'm going to have to write it in June. Because I haven't written anything for it yet - I was trying to write something on the bus today..."
Stew: "Oh, were you ? I wondered what you were doing."
me: "Do you genuinely have NO idea about it ?"
Rich: "I've got a vague idea. This is the least of an idea that I've had... I'm always writing them right up to the last minute - I wrote most of 'Excavating Rita' in July and finished it about three days before it went on..."
me: "Do you find it cathartic ?"
Rich: "Yeah, but it's horrible. It's really hard. The writing part you're completely on your own... But it is like a learning experience - like cheap psycho-analysis on yourself... When you start looking inside of yourself, it actually is quite upsetting... But having done it, it is really really satisfying."
me: "Do you like his plays ?"
Stew: "Uh, yeah I do, they get better and better over the years. In fact the last two were good to the point where you sort of think ( dazedly ) 'someone I KNOW wrote that' - you can't square it up, because it's so good, with the person you know. You sort of think really good things are done by other people..."
me: "And does he find you funny ?"
Rich starts grinning.
Stew: "Well presumably, otherwise there's no need for us to work together..."
me: "But you don't watch the Comedy Network going 'oh, he's quite a funny young man...' ?"
Stew: "He's seen all that stuff anyway."
Rich: "Yeah. And we make each other laugh in this double act show so I think that's the heart of it. The days when we're not making each other laugh the show doesn't go as well. Because part of if it is just the fun of two blokes pissing about - but there is quite a lot of structure and work that goes into it..."
Stew: "And also we don't NEED to work together - you've seen all the other stuff we can do. Whenever we get offered the chance to work with people other than each other if we don't think they're funny we don't really ever do it. We've never done anything that we haven't wanted to."
me: "Do you feel it was Fate that brought you two together ?"
Stew: "Uh, no. Not really, It was just coincidence."
And no, they don't celebrate their anniversary. But they still act like a married couple about it. Both insistent they can remember the exact place, neither agreeing on it. Or how long ago it was.
Stew: "It was ten years last year."
Rich: "Eleven years last year, twelve this September."
Stew: "It depends when it is as well, it's hazy in the mists of time, like how did The Beatles meet... ( Rich giggles ) I thought we met at a Christmas party..."
Rich: ( insistently ) "We met in a corridor."
Stew: "...But Rich thinks we met in a corridor before then."
Rich: "And I saw him through the window of a Kentucky Fried Chicken."
me: "So you were stalking him before you actually came across him?"
Rich: ( defensively ) "I just SAW him."
Stew: "He met me in a corridor - but I don't really remember that - when we were both auditioning for some student show. And then he saw me through the window of a Kentucky Fried Chicken shop, when I was on my way to a Suzanne Vega concert, but I didn't see him. And then we met at this party, which is where we spoke and decided to try and do some stuff together."
Rich: "Maybe if we hadn't met we would've teamed up with someone else."
Stew: "Or maybe it wouldn't have made any difference. ( pause ) To suggest that it was Fate suggests that some superior power ( Rich starts laughing ) had an interest in bringing us together to make our 'average to quite good' light entertainment. I think if there was a being or force controlling the destiny of man - which I don't think there is - I think it would have higher concerns on its mind. And things like this would be largely incidental to its plan."
me - "So you're quite humble with what you're doing ?"
Stew: "Humble ? Well, realistic."
Rich: "He doesn't think a GOD made us get together. I don't that that's humble. In a way I think it's arrogant."
Stew starts cackling at this.
me: "Do your mums like what you do ?"
Rich: "Mine does, yeah."
Stew: "I don't think mine does. But she likes it when other people like it. And she likes boasting about it to her friends."
God might not like it. But Rich's mum does. And me too. Heh-heh...
Source - Hermaphrodite Fanzine