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Matthew Crosby Interview – BADULTS

HE WRITES crazy storylines for his comedy sitcom characters but given half the chance Matthew Crosby would have ordinary stories grace the front cover if he ever became a tabloid editor.

This insight follows the Badults writer/actor’s discovery that there is a Liverpool newspaper with his surname, the ‘Crosby Herald’.

So if Matthew was a media mogul for a day what would be the newspaper focus?

Matthew, who is one third of Pappy’s comedy trio, ponders: “What I really like about newspapers and magazines like Heat or the Daily Mail is they will have someone from TOWIE and the headline is the person narrowly avoided tripping over and that might even be the front cover!

“If I ran a newspaper I’d like to see more stories like that. A headline like, ‘A Bloke in Kent Plays a Keyboard With a Teacosy on His Head’ or ‘Alan’s Got a New Jacket’. A bit of light and shade, that’s what I’d like to see.

“The headings would be a far cry from our storylines. Some of the episodes I have written with my Pappy’s partners Tom and Ben are inspired by things that have happened to us.

“In one of the Badults episodes Ben becomes a vegetarian inspired by Tom who decided to become a vegetarian in real life.

“Ben goes mental and like a scene from Trainspotting starts crazily chasing a frozen chicken.

“We always write coming from a true starting point and then go off the rails. Our director tells us, ‘walk people across the room, then up the wall and then along the ceiling’.

“Basically start from a point of normality then become more and more insane and spin off to flights of fancy in the episode but always start from a point of sanity.

“We occasionally address the camera. We play stand-up a lot so we know you have to address the audience so we want to talk straight down the lens like ‘Allo Allo’ or ‘Morecambe and Wise’ used to do. We don’t take a bow like the ending in Miranda or Mrs Brown.”

The Pappy’s boys – Ben and Tom are childhood friends – met Matthew at university and started off doing stand-up in 2004 and then what was initially a hobby began to spiral upwards and onwards. They have written six Edinburgh shows and 12 episodes of their sitcom Badults.

In 2012 Pappy’s got nominated for the Fosters Awards and in the same year Badults was commissioned and then re-commissioned last year.

It’s their 10th anniversary in comedy in May and apt that they have just finished filming their second series of Badults.

Matthew has also written for shows like The Kevin Bishop Show on Channel 4 and Ask Rhod Gilbert for BBC2.

The 34-year-old reveals: “I was a staff writer on these TV shows. It’s not quite the same as writing the comedian’s actual material.

“In Ask Rhod Gilbert writing was a strong term for what we did. There was six of us including Rhod and we were in a room during the Festival and we would ask silly questions like ‘could a horse be trained to do the actions from the YMCA song?’ And then that might be used!’

“For Badults the kind of thing we wanted to do is create the same atmosphere as if you are hanging out with your mates, like your funny mate down the pub. When Tom, Ben and I write together we hope that it will turn into a show that makes the audience laugh. Comedy was always something we did as a hobby and we saw our first show in Edinburgh as a hobby.

“A producer saw us and paid for the next Edinburgh show. In comedy when you first get into it it happens quite slowly you’re not going to suddenly break into TV.  The good thing about doing a sketch comedy show with your mates is that if you forget or do something wrong from being generally inept, because it’s three of us it looks like it’s planned.

“We did a sketch show for the Olympics and it was a parody of the opening ceremony with us dancing dressed as Morris dancers.

“We did the dancing and the audience are meant to think what’s going on here and we hold up a sign at the end of the dancing saying ‘Worst Olympics Opening Ever’ – that’s the pay off at the end.

“Thing is when we turned up on stage one night to do it and we’d forgotten our sign for the end so after Morris dancing we just said ‘that’s the end’ and left the audience puzzled.

“We’re so useless that we didn’t even think to say the words ‘worst Olympics opening ever’ and we ended up cracking up and laughing.

“It’s one of those things if a gig goes badly wrong you have each other to share it with and if it goes really well you have each other to share it with.

“When we started out in one of our shows in 2010 we all came out in business suits and after the opening song we had everything confiscated, our props, costumes and even Tom’s wig he’d been wearing for the sketch.

“We were doing the summer festivals just after that and Tom, who’s bald, decided he liked the wig and he pretty much wore one the whole time.

“You know when you wear a wig and you think it looks real and we’re walking along and Tom never noticed people nudging and staring but I could see it and finally his girlfriend intervened and told him ‘you can’t be 29-years-old and wear a wig!’