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This episode may appear a tad indulgent — perhaps conversation with both Shane Dundas and Paul Livingstone should have been curtailed, particularly towards the end, in favour for more, really funny, stand-up, but the fact is nobody’s really had the opportunity to draw either of them out at length about their work. So this is a real treat for comedy nerds, although casual punters might find it a bit heavy going. There is of course some excellent stand-up from Kent Valentine.
Frank Zappa (?): The way I see it, Barry, this should be a very dynamite show.
This line is sampled from ‘Lumpy Gravy Pt 1’, from the Frank Zappa album Lumpy Gravy, and plays over the wow and flutter of bad radio reception sampled from ‘Reception’, from the Paul McCartney & wings album Back to the Egg. It is followed by the static and noise of a radio tuner being spun through various stations, and then gives way to ‘Holiday for Strings’ by Spike Jones and his City Slickers, until:
Deep ‘Announcer’ Voice: And now it’s time for Radio Ha Ha with Dom Romeo.
Soundbite: Richard Richard (Rik Mayall) laughs briefly, followed by the live studio audience, from an episode of Bottom. 
Dom Romeo: Well, welcome to this episode of Radio Ha Ha. I’m happy to say that I’m joined in the studio by co-host Shane Dundas. He’s the guy without the wavy hair, from the Umbilical Brothers.
Shane Dundas: [in flombouyant, theatrical voice] Why, thank you!
[in normal voice] It’s great to see you, Dom! 
Dom Romeo: Same here!
Shane Dundas: It’s great to see you…? Or it’s great to see me?
Dom Romeo: Well, I’m not looking at me, it’s great…
Shane Dundas: Right, you’re looking at [me]… oh, yeah, right.
Dom Romeo: It’s great to see you!
Shane Dundas: It’s good to see you, too. I’ve already said that…
Dom Romeo: And it’s… it’s good to be working with you, so to speak.
Shane Dundas: Yeah, after all these years…
Listeners, Dom actually knows comedy; he understands comedy, which is why I’ve agreed to do this by myself, without Dave.
Dom Romeo: Thank you!
Well, we’ve got a very full episode. We’ll be talking at length, Shane, about your work: how the Umbilical Brothers came to be, we’ll talk about that great show, Speedmouse — because there’s a great DVD for the poor people who missed out on Speedmouse — and of course we’ve got to talk about the great new show, The Rehearsal.
Shane Dundas: Yeah, real excited about that because it’s so different from our other shows!
Dom Romeo: Fantastic! And somewhere in all of this, I’ve got to slip in a Flacco interview…
Shane Dundas: All right.
Dom Romeo: And I hope we can segue well to that…
Shane Dundas: Sure!
Dom Romeo: I’m not particularly strong on the segues away from the talent in the studio, to the talent not in the studio!
Shane Dundas: I’m intrigued as to how you can interview Flacco, you know, because he exists in another universe altogether.
Dom Romeo: Indeed.
Shane Dundas: It’s a cross-universe interview.
Dom Romeo: Before we move into that, though…
Shane Dundas: Yep.
Dom Romeo: … here’s a bit of comedy that was recorded recently,  by Kent Valentine!
Soundbite: Kent Valentine talks about recent shark attacks, as an entré into doing some fantastic material about the ‘mysterious way’ in which God works…
Station ID: Someone call an ambulance, I’ve just split my sides! Radio Ha Ha.
Dom Romeo: And that was Kent Valentine, talking about God, recorded live at the Mic in Hand , the room he co-runs with Sam Bowring, at the Friend in Hand Hotel in Glebe.
Shane Dundas: I was there just the other night, for the first time, actually. It’s a great little room, you should check it out. It’s intimate, very supportive and the Harold Park Hotel in Sydney used to have that vibe before they kind of… demolished it. So it’s really good that there is somewhere like that.
Dom Romeo: In fact, the great thing about those sorts of comedy clubs all over Australia is, you’re there at the coal face.
Shane Dundas: Yeah.
Dom Romeo: I mean, to get to the point where you can put a show like The Rehearsal on in a big theatre, you’ve got to start somewhere. There’s got to be those gigs that aren’t the official show.
Shane Dundas: And those are the gigs – the places, the pubs that we’re talking about. They start there. We started at the Harold Park Hotel in Sydney, when it was operating, and it was open mic night. Which is what these nights often are, you know. You get a chance to show that you’ve got something different to offer.
Dom Romeo: What got you to the point, Shane, because you and Dave met in acting school. You’ve never said which acting school; it’s always, ‘we met in acting school, we played up and were a bit silly together…’ so first things first: where were you training?
Shane Dundas: It was at the University of Western Sydney, Theatre Nepean, the course was. It was a three-year, full time acting course. So it was your garden variety acting course. You've got your acting classes, movement, voice, singing… all that stuff. And we really clicked. We understood each other very early on. And we started making fun of the mime classes, because, you know, it's a very traditional art. Anything that’s super traditional and super-respected, we kind of feel an urge to twist, and demonstrate that there shouldn’t be that much respect: don’t take it as seriously as a lot of people do. There are some groups in Europe that we’ve come across that are really serious about their comedy, and, I don’t know — it just seems to close doors, to me. So we made fun of the mime classes, and it started as a joke, really.
Soundbite: excerpt from the DVD of Speedmouse in which Shane and David, in serious Germanic accents, undertake serious mime 
Shane: Velcome to ze hilarious vorld of European vizual komedy. My name is Hans, and zis is my assistant, Klaus.
David: Hello! I…
Shane: Klaus does not speak!
Und so ze first piece zat Klaus vill perform for you tonight: ze traditional European Valkink Against Ze Vind…
Dom Romeo: What I find interesting is, I’ve described what you do as coming from a mime tradition, and you guys kind of backed off a bit at that point, because you don’t want to be known as ‘mime’. I would go further, though. It’s not just mime. There’s a little bit of ventriloquism happening — you’re each other’s ventriloquist’s dummy, and there’s that misdirection that goes on, because it’s your lips that are moving, but it’s David’s sounds, or the microphone’s being held against David’s head, but you’re doing all the different radio voices that he’s somehow channelling in his brain…
Soundbite: excerpt from the DVD of Speedmouse in which the microphone David moves around the surface of his head picks up various radio frequencies, until it lands upon the following conversation, spoken offstage by Shane —
Voice 1: Okay. I want a status report right away. What’s going on out there?
Voice 2: Well, Sir, according to our instruments, he just seems to be standing there with a microphone to his head.
Voice 1: A microphone to his head?
Voice 2: That’s right, Sir.
Voice 1: Okay. Everybody just… just stay calm.
Voice 2: What’s the problem, Sir?
Voice 1: Shut up! I think he’s listening to this conversation. Grab the plans, we’re getting out of here.
Voice 2: What about the hand lotion?
Voice 1: Forget the hand lotion!
Voice 3: consists of monkey chattering
Voice 1: And for Christ’s sake, leave the damn monkey. Come on!
sound effect (created by Shane with his mouth) of running footsteps and car door opening
Shane Dundas: Yeah, we’re mucking around with what you’re perceiving, what you think you’re perceiving, what you think you should be perceiving, and we’re mucking around with the very process of performing. So it’s not just a story that you’re watching, it’s us doing a story, and that, generally, becomes the story: us trying to achieve the show, is the story of the show. So it’s like a narrative that’s on the outside of the show. It’s very weird. And I don’t know how that evolved, but I think it happened because we just don’t take these things seriously. So we’re always looking at it from the outside, you know? “This is just a big joke!” “All right, let’s make that big joke into the story.” I don’t know, it just evolved that way. Well, it actually came from a broken nose!
Dom Romeo: We were going to get onto that!
Shane Dundas: You were going to mention the broken nose?
Dom Romeo: I’ve got to ask about the broken nose — it’s even in your bio on your website!
Shane Dundas: Yeah… yeah.
Dom Romeo: Now, as I understand it, it was a dance class…
Shane Dundas: Yep!
Dom Romeo: And you choreographed some Jackie Chan moves in…
Shane Dundas: Yeah. We used to go down to China Town on the weekends and check out the Jackie Chan movies. These are the old ones, where he really seriously injured himself in great fight scenes. We used to muck around and just create our own fight scenes. We’d videotape them — there are some very embarrassing videotapes out there that, I don’t know, if we get enough guts up, we’ll put ’em as a DVD extra maybe on the next DVD… but this dance class was [singing] “Baby, you can Dom Romeo:ive my car… beep, beep, beep, beep, yeah!” We’re doing this dance routine to it, and the teacher said, “just choreograph your own moves” in the middle section of the song. So we put this flying kick in. David spun — a beautiful spinning kick in the air — and just smaaaaacked directly — [does sound effect of ‘splattering flesh’-type carnage] — into my nose. My nose went to the other side of my face. It was delicious. The sound effect was delicious. I can appreciate a good sound effect.
Dom Romeo: Did you fall to the ground?
Shane Dundas: Aah, no. I just kind of looked in one direction — that is, the direction that my nose just went. And Dave said, “My teacher told me you’ve got to straighten your nose up immediately, when you get a broken nose.” I went into the changeroom and I straightened my nose up — [does sound effect of moving ‘splattered flesh’-type carnage back into place] — immediately on my face, because it was seriously pointing in another direction, and blood just gushed. It was like it was releasing a tap — [does sound effect of tap gushing] — I looked down into the sink and it was like the shower scene from Psycho. It was all disappearing down there. And apparently it was David’s Maths teacher that told him that; he didn’t give me that extra detail. And we just went to the hospital and, yes, it was broken, and then we went back to class and we did the assessment — it was a dance assessment — and we passed. I think they were being generous.
Dom Romeo: Did you get into trouble? Did you get separated? Did you…
Shane Dundas: Yep. They tried to keep us apart after that. They put us in different groups: different movement groups, different acting groups. But we started just mucking around, filming these videos, inventing routines. The mime classes were boring: they weren’t loud enough, for a start. Mime is simply not loud enough, and I think that’s most people’s problem with it. So we started creeping back into the lecture theatres after each lecture, and mucking around with the PA system. And these two things — making fun of the mime classes and mucking around with the PA, just fused, and we created this sort of ‘cartoon’ — it’s like a human cartoon. 
Station ID: You won’t die laughing, but you might mess your pants. Radio Ha Ha.
Dom Romeo: That was, of course, your single, Don’t Dance To This.
Shane Dundas: Yeah, I think it sold something in the region of… six.
Dom Romeo: Well, I think I bought one of those…
Shane Dundas: That was you! You were one of the buyers… Congratulations, that’s a collector’s item, now.
Dom Romeo: I’ve gotta say, we played this a few weeks ago when you were nominated for a Helpmann Award… 
Shane Dundas: Oh yeah.
Dom Romeo: … and listening back, without the visuals, without the film clip which also came on the CD single, I actually like listening to what you do more. The ‘cartoon’ stuff is great when I get to put my own images to it, to a certain extent.
Shane Dundas: Thanks for that, that’s a good point. And it really was created just on its own terms, as a sound project. We had to create some kind of video for it, so we shot this thing, and it’s a pretty dodgy video, so it belongs squarely on the DVD… we whacked it on the DVD because the Speedmouse DVD, part of the joke is, how much rubbish can you put on a DVD to make people buy it? That was just part of the instrinsic joke. So it’s like the unnecessary video clip. But I appreciate that you enjoy it purely on ‘sound’ terms, because it is just all our voices cut up and sampled and moved around and stuff.
Station ID: Radio Ha Ha — It’s so funny, it should be against the law!
Dom Romeo: Now, Shane, I warned you early on: I’m not gonna have a good segue. I’ve got an interview with Flacco that I want us to play. He’s doing his show, Releasing the Imbecile Within in Melbourne. It’s already had a Sydney run, it’s done the Adelaide Cabaret Festival… here I’m talking to his alter ego, Paul Livingston, who discusses the difficulties of being Flacco’s alter ego, and the fact that Flacco tends to take over.
Shane Dundas: I can’t wait to hear this, ’cause I’ve talked to him about the same thing.
Dom Romeo: Paul, where does the Flacco character come from?
Paul Livingston: That’s a good question, isn’t it. I don’t know if he discovered me or I discovered him. It’s been twenty years now since I actually started him. I was an animator before that for eight years, so he kind of came off the page. I was going to turn him into a cartoon character, but I sort of decided that I’d do him myself. He constructs his own world; he has that frame around his world and he’s quite confident within that. I mean, Flacco is one of the most confident people I’ve ever met. He’s quite the opposite of me, really. Within his world, it is very self-contained, and everything seems to make sense to him. Which is interesting, because nothing makes sense to me.
Dom Romeo: It is interesting, because Flacco amazingly says dumb things in a very intelligent way that actually betray genius. I can give you some examples off the top of my head — and I’m sorry, I’m dragging them from way back…
Paul Livingston: Oh, he’s been around for a long time!
Dom Romeo: Well, when I first discovered him, when he used to hang around the Doug Anthony Allstars…
Paul Livingston: Yep.
Dom Romeo: … so I remember episodes of Daas Kapital  when he’d say things like “I could have been a container”. That’s a dumb mis-remembering of “I coulda been a contender” from On the Waterfront, but because it’s from On the Waterfront a ‘container’ makes perfect sense.
Paul Livingston: I know, and it’s one of my favourite quotes, actually. I’m glad you liked that one.
Flacco: So, Mama, I don’t know when I’ll see you again. It’s hard to know when to apply for parole when you’re cast out for eternity… but Mama, I could have been somebody… I could have been somebody... I could have been a container... But what do I end up with? A one way ticket to Pallookaville... But what can I do? I cough up, I come clean, I spill the bean... and the first thing you know... Old Jed’s a millionaire!
Paul Livingston: Flacco does have the appearance of knowledge. He seems to know something, but at the same time, appear completely dumb.
That is something that I picked up off the Doug Anthony Allstars, too, because they do their shows and they’d be throwing in names like Nietzche and stuff like that and people would suddenly think they’re intelligent because you’ve mentioned certain people and a lot of it is just playing at it, a lot of it is just that ‘trickster’ character who’s pretending to be something that they’re not. In Flacco’s case, one second he’s pretending he’s really intelligent, and in the next, he’s pretending he’s really dumb. He’s probably really both of those things.
Dom Romeo: Now, does Flacco come a tradition of clowning? I’d swear that I’ve seen images that look like Flacco that come from late 18th Century or 19th Century or maybe even early 20th Century illustrations.
Paul Livingston: It’s pretty hard to get away from the ‘clown’ image when you’ve got a bald head with just hair on the sides. When he first started he had those strands of hair stringing out around his head which is very clown, and also wearing the make-up. I never intended to look like a clown because I don’t really like clowning. The idea of the make-up and stuff was pretty much from the animation side of things, it was an outline. It was more like a ‘Daffy Duck’ kind of thing. I wanted to give the character more of an outline and take him outside of the real world, rather than clowning. I really don’t like clowns at all; they scared me as a kid and they scare me now. But a lot of that old imagery of the 19th Century is certainly where Flacco comes from. One of my favourite illustrators or artists is Edward Gorey. He was actually working in the 50s, but he was drawing in that style. I don’t know if you’re familiar with his work, but it is that creepy Victorian world, that strangely Gothic kind of look.
Soundbite: excerpt of the solo Flacco stand-up sections — illustrating his clever stupidity — taken from the album Flacco and the Sandman Live in the Corridor of Uncertainty, predominantly a live recording of a split show by Flacco and the Sandman
Dom Romeo: Your work as an author – I notice that sometimes you publish as Paul Livingston, and sometimes as Flacco. I see that The Dirt Bath is under your name, but Burnt Offerings is Flacco’s book.
Paul Livingston: Yeah. All it is is attempts to escape from Flacco, but it never really works. I’ve been trying to retire Flacco every year for twenty years, but he just keeps bouncing back and he’s always been much more successful than I am.
The Dirt Bath was a novel and I thought, “I’m not going to let Flacco take the credit for that; I’m gonna do it myself.” And the last book, Releasing the Imbecile Within, was written as Paul Livingston, and Flacco’s taken over that as well. So as much as I try to get away from him, he just keeps coming back. We can’t split up, unfortunately.
Dom Romeo: Flacco has worked a lot with the Doug Anthony Allstars, Flacco has appeared on shows that [Andrew] Denton has hosted, and Flacco also had a long partnership with the Sandman.
Paul Livingston: Flacco’s always been a solo character. When I worked with the Dougs, it was more-or-less I held my own little sections in their show and in the live shows as well, rather than interact too much with them. But with the Sandman it was amazing, because we are two completely different characters and we never thought that it would work together. But there was something: once we started working together on the radio, there was some sort of Abbott and Costello template to it all, where he just abuses me and can’t stand me, but needs me for some apparent reason, and I’m just that little puppy, nipping at his heals and quite innocent of what he’s saying to me. Something about the two characters worked, and it was a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the sandman for that reason. After doing solo stuff for so long — for ten years — it was great to actually have someone on stage with you. I haven’t done a solo show – this is my first solo show for ten years so it’s kind of back to all that stress and tension again.
Dom Romeo: I hope it’s exciting stress and tension.
Paul Livingston: We’ll see, I don’t know yet.
Dom Romeo: Now, Paul, there are fifteen stages to releasing the imbecile within –
Paul Livingston: There are. It’s a self-help guide for over-achievers, so it’s a guide for dumming down into ignorant bliss, basically. What I do is I start off with an unintelligence test, just to see how stupid the audience is before I start so we know how long we’re going to be in the room for and then we get stuck into dumbing people down. My theory is that the belt is the plimsoll line of comedy, and above the belt is ‘highbrow’ and below the belt is ‘lowbrow’, and we’re gonna try and get it from the highbrow right down to the lowbrow by the end of the evening. That’s the aim of the exercise, basically, from Flacco’s point of view.
Dom Romeo: Paul, thank you very much for your time.
Paul Livingston: Thanks Dom, it's really good to talk to you.
Station ID: Just for laffs… Identify yourself, please. Radio Ha Ha!
Dom Romeo: And that was Paul Livingston, discussing Releasing the Imbecile Within
Shane Dundas: That’s right!
Sation ID: Just for laughs — “Identify yourself, please…” — This is Radio Ha Ha!
Dom Romeo: And that was Paul Livingston discussing Releasing the Imbecile Within.
Shane Dundas: Something we‘d all like to do, I reckon! I mean, it’s a really lucky job that we have, don’t you reckon?
Dom Romeo: I reckon!
Shane Dundas: You know — we are releasing the imbecile within; most people have to keep it contained; straight-jacketed. Not us! We’re free. The imbecile is free!
Dom Romeo: That should have been the segue — good on ya! Now, you were saying that, with the Speedmouse DVD, you wanted to cram as much as you could on it, to give people excuses to buy it, and I think that that’s almost a sacreligious thing to say. I think anyone who saw the show would want to own a copy, particularly for the encore which, again, came from the show Thwack, that lovely piece that I believe is called ‘The Flat’?
Shane Dundas: Yes, that’s right.
Dom Romeo: And, look, we can’t even… there’s no point even talking about it because we can’t play it because it’s so visual.
Shane Dundas: No. You’d just be getting some classical music with some very weird little… [mimmicks slapstick sound effects culminating in an explosion…] noises at the end.
Dom Romeo: That’s right, but what I do want to say about it is that the extra stuff you did for the menus — there’s a whole lot of perception gags…
Shane Dundas: Yep.
Dom Romeo: … like, you know, one of you is sitting down on a very small chair and the chair’s pulled away but it turns out that you’re not sitting down on a very small chair, you’re sitting in the position of ‘sitting’, very close to the camera, and the chair is very far away, which is why it looks so small…
Shane Dundas: Yeeeeeeeaaaaaah. That was so much fun. We just had so much fun working on the menus in a white cyc…  That was some of our favourite stuff. You can just put the DVD in and not actually watch anything — just let the menus run.
Dom Romeo: And what is there? Ninety minutes’ worth of…
Shane Dundas: Ninety minutes? No, I think there’s fifteen minutes of us mucking around… in the menu… which kind of rotates… it’ll go back to the beginning. But you’ve got three different menus.
Dom Romeo: Right.
Shane Dundas: You’ve got the ‘Main Menu’, the ‘Extras Menu’, and the ‘Extra Extras Menu’…
Dom Romeo: Mm-hm.
Shane Dundas: Which is us, kind of admitting that we don’t have a third menu. The ‘Extra Extras Menu’ is just us sitting in the studio going, “well, we… ah… can’t believe you’re still watching this. Yeah, if you wanna check out the Extra Extras, sure, here’s a list of them, but we don’t have any more to give you”. It’s just us riffing and shooting the breeze. 
Dom Romeo: Now I would argue that the riffing, the shooting the breeze, the mucking around for the menus, because of all the perception gags that involve camera placed here, props placed there, bodies placed there — that seems to me to have inspired The Rehearsal.
Shane Dundas: You’re right. It all comes from mucking around. All of our stuff comes from mucking around, in one form or another. So that mucking around on the menu was kind of practice for ‘the practice’ that we’re doing on stage now, and the menu stuff itself, with the puppets, came from mucking around on tour. We were touring America, we took a video camera with us and we were just mucking around with the camera. It was just ‘too much time on our hands’ between venues. And that’s the thing: it’s ‘jamming’. And that led to the menus, led to the crystalisation of that idea in The Rehearsal. So it’s all… [in mock ‘serious aesthete’ voice] It’s a circle of life, Dom!
Dom Romeo: So if we want to know what the next show will be about, we’ll have to buy the DVD of The Rehearsal when it gets released.
Shane Dundas: Oh yeah. But the next DVD is gonna be Thwack. I think we’ll shoot Thwack; it’s our show prior to Speedmouse, and while we’re still physically able to do that stuff — because it’s the most violent and action=packed of our shows — while we’re able to do that, we want to get it on film.
Dom Romeo: Is it fair to say that Thwack was the show that broke you internationally?
Shane Dundas: Yeah. Well, it’s really our old stuff, with some extra stuff added for the Americans, so essentially, it’s the show that we took to New York — we did it in New York for a year. But it’s also the core material we took to Edinburgh the first time and it’s really the Edinburgh Fringe that led to our international stuff. 
Station ID: Radio Ha Ha: just for laughs!
Dom Romeo: I’m really sorry, Shane, I think we’re running out of time.
Shane Dundas: Oh, gosh. Yes. I’ve got to get back to my hole.
Dom Romeo: What can I say?
Shane Dundas: My alternative universe…
Ah, one thing I think I want to say is what we do is not really… we don’t see it as mime. We kind of see it as stand-up…
Dom Romeo: I told you you had issues about mime! It’s not mime, it’s not stand-up, it’s not pure slapstick, it’s not street theatre…
Shane Dundas: It‘s… it’s…
Dom Romeo: But it’s a gorgeous combination of so much.
Shane Dundas: Yeah, what we try to do is create something that really doesn’t fit into any category, but then you’ve got the problem of, you come on a show like this, how do you describe it? We’ve created this inherent problem in making something that can’t be categorised. But I’d call it ‘stand-up slapstick’. Possibly.
Dom Romeo: Okay. I like to refer to it as clowning, because even stand-up is a branch of clowning…
Shane Dundas: Well there’s a certain cynical attitude within the stand-up attitude to material, that we have to slapstick. So I think that’s why I call it ‘stand-up slapstick’. It’s ‘slapstick’ or ‘clowning’, with a ‘stand-up’ attitude.
Dom Romeo: It does have the stand-up attitude. Listen, before I let us go, there’s a moment in Speedmouse where a child is given a balloon…
Shane Dundas: Yeah…
Dom Romeo: … and the balloon is helium-filled and very big, and the child starts to rise…
Soundbite: the sound of one of the Umbilical Brothers, backstage, speaking as the child that the audience is imagining rising in the air before them (this is aided by the presence of the ‘Roadie’, whose head tilts upward to watch the child’s ascent, and the rising pitch, volume and excitement in the child’s voice as it speaks)
Child: Wow, that’s a beautiful balloon.
Thank you mister. Thank you very much for the balloon.
It’s a really pretty balloon, mister.
Thank you very much for the balloon.
I really like the ballooooon, mistaaaaah.
Hey, mistaaaah, it’s a bit bloody high up here…
Do you tink I could come down now?
sound of Roadie blowing dart and exploding balloon, followed by child’s screaming plummet into the arms of Umbilical Brother David Collins
Dom Romeo: There is no balloon; there is no child; and yet, I have been in the audience and with the whole audience, watched the rising of the child in the air…
Shane Dundas: Yeah, isn’t that cool!
Dom Romeo: And then… it’s just amazing. We believe you. You convince us.
Shane Dundas: Well, you’re willing to come along for the ride, and that’s the thing. It’s not just us on a stage. It’s us on an empty stage; you people in the audience are creating whatever it is on stage. Your imaginations are making this appear, with a little help from our sound effects. But what else are we doing? There’s nothing there. It’s your imaginations and we’re working together. It’s like it’s a game that we’re all playing. That’s the most fantastic thing about it, the goodwill that we get from the audience. They go with us on this.
Dom Romeo: Fantastic. Shane, thanks once again for coming in.
Shane Dundas: Pleasure.
Soundbite: If you’d like more free information and entertainment podcasts, log onto www.freedigitalcontent.com. That’s www.freedigitalcontent.com.
Soundbite: continuation of the excerpt from the DVD of Speedmouse in which the microphone David moves around the surface of his head picks up various radio frequencies and the conversation spoken offstage by Shane —
Voice 1: consists of monkey chattering
Voice 2: I said leave the frickin’ monkey!
- A Rik Mayall laugh had first been utilised for Episode 32 — that time as Mad Gerald, from a first season episode of Blackadder. After that episode had been uploaded, Rik Mayall fan Katrant suggested a bunch of other sources for great Rik Mayall laughs — all of which occur in the series Bottom. Insufficient attention was paid when grabbing this sample to be able to name the episode, but it is from Season 3 of Bottom.
- Hang on — did Shane just call Dom ‘Don’?! There’s a very slight awkward pause before Dom carries on as if Shane clearly called Dom ‘Dom’. Which is reminiscent of a story Alan Bennett tells, in Writing Home, of a production of Checkov’s The Seagull he attended in which, after the climactic off-stage gun shot, the actor playing Dorn ends the play by perpetrating this excellent little Freudian slip: “What I wanted to say was, that Constantine has shat himself.” According to Bennett, because the cast maintained poise and character through the awkward pause, the magic of the moment was maintained and the audience decided as one to carry on as if the line had be spoken correctly. Dom being called ‘Don’ is nowhere near as potentially disasterous as Constatine firing a gun and shitting himself, rather than shooting himself, at the end of The Seagull.
- Actually, no it wasn’t. It was recorded back in May, along with the Kent Valentine material played in Episode 27
- Actually, no it wasn’t. It was recorded at the Comedy Store. What happened was this: the Thursday before the Tuesday arvo that this episode was recorded, Dom had been at the Mic in Hand for their evening of comedy. As frequently occurs there, fellow comedy nerd Jesse Perez, of Radiowise, was operating the desk and let Dom take a feed out of his equipment, since he was also recording. Kent unveiled some brilliant new God material, that Dom intended to play. Unfortunately, it was only after he’d pre-recorded the episode with Shane Dundas that he realised that the Mic in Hand material hadn’t recorded properly (the channel with the direct feed from the stage mic was blank; the audience mic came through fine, but a lot of the material was smothered by audience laughter; audience laughter is a great thing, but only when you can actually hear what it is they’re laughing at). Jesse was willing to process and e-mail the bit of material in question, but Dom’s inbox — perpetually crammed with the kind of spam that is so interested in the size of his mortgage, bank balance and penis — failed to allow its delivery in time. Thankfully, Dom had some older Kent/God material in the can, recorded at the Comedy Store in May, that could be slotted in.
- Punters who saw Speedmouse live may well have been disappointed that this section of the show, viz ze serious European mime act of Hans und Klaus, was severely truncated for the DVD release. Turns out that the entire routine comes from the earlier Umbilical Brothers show Thwak!, and will be included in the DVD release of that show, whose future return season in the US will be recorded for posterity. Yay!
- In an excerpt from an older interview, included in Episode 32, Shane reveals that it is in fact the early Jackie Chan films, in which the entire soundtrack (including dialogue) was added in post-production, in which the true origins of the Umbilical Brothers’ style reside.
- Way back in Episode 32 !
- Aah, Daas Kapital; two seasons, directed by Ted Robinson… if only it’d get a DVD release…
- An attempt was made to google ‘white cyc’ in order to explain and define it here — but to no avail. Feel free to add this info in a comment…
- So Dom was exaggerating a little… bit… too much…
- A clever editor would have included the soundbite of the Umbies shooting the breeze in the Extra Extras Menu at this point. An even cleverer one would have included it as the second tag at the end of the episode… oh well. You live and you learn.
- It’s worth noting that the Umbilical Brothers were in fact nominated for a Perrier Award in 1995 — an award they were never going to take out because a certain other physical comedy duo from Australia took it out in 1994: Lano & Woodley. As Shane points out, since it’s rare enough for an Australian act to win it in the first place, "an Australian, visual, physical duo two years in a row? No way! But just to be nominated is great."