Bafflesmash discuss comedy, thug-life and Aristotle
CONSTANCE CHAPMAN comes away from her meeting with Bafflesmash feeling, well… baffled.
Interviewing the cast of Bafflesmash is a bit like coming round from severe concussion. You have no idea what is going on.
The five of them are buzzing with energy and bounce off one another to produce a completely nonsensical stream of consciousness, ranging from the mundane to the utterly bizarre. Here is what I managed to glean from our meeting.
After the success of ‘Menagerie’, how are you looking to build on your work?
By doing the exact same thing again, we encourage our audience to build a relationship with the material.
What’s the thinking behind the name Bafflesmash?
It’s ‘Baffle’ because we’re baffled about stuff and it’s ‘Smash’ because smash.
How would you rate the New Cellars as a comedy venue?
Bafflesmash: It’s funnier when it’s hotter, this was something we noticed last time. When we had the air conditioning on we got fewer laughs so for our final few nights we kept it off and were all sweaty.
Bafflesmash: It’s also hard to fight it, wink wink. You can write the [wink wink] in brackets.
Bafflesmash: (in agreement) In square brackets- that denotes subterfuge.
General murmur of assent.
What can we expect from your latest show?
Bafflesmash: Our new show is quite different in that it is more cohesive than ‘Menagerie’; it has a slight narrative thread running all the way through.
Bafflesmash: (confidently) It’s funnier.
Bafflesmash: (daunted) Yeah…hopefully. We’re concerned that people may be disappointed with the lack of animals which were popular in Menagerie.
Bafflesmash: (optimistic) Obviously there are still animals, they are just more subtle.
Bafflesmash: You can also expect a sketch entirely in the dark.
Bafflesmash: We were experimenting. Just to shake it up.
What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to writing sketch comedy?
Bafflesmash: Making it funny!
Bafflesmash: Making it clever!
Bafflesmash: Internal logic! I want it all to make sense in and of itself.
There is a slight pause.
Bafflesmash: I don’t think you should say that.
Bafflesmash: I just want it to make sense because, even though the world doesn’t make sense, it kind of has its own rules. I’m quite Aristotelian in my outlook.
Bafflesmash: (outraged) No! This is not becoming a thing! That cannot go in the interview.
Interviewer scribbles furiously in notebook.
How does your writing process work?
Bafflesmash: We wake up at 6am, meditate for four hours, then sit round a laptop.
Bafflesmash: (filled with nostalgia) Or a fire.
Bafflesmash: We have developed specialist algorithms to produce sketches for us. You input one novelty character and one funny costume and then the algorithm spits out a sketch.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Bafflesmash: Just sort of living life you know, walking around and stuff.
Bafflesmash: You don’t choose the thug life, the thug life chooses you.
A poignant moment of thoughtful silence follows this remark.
Do you have any future plans?
Bafflesmash: Well, this is where we may need your help. We have been indirectly in touch with Shia Labeouf and are hoping to get him on board. It’d be great if The Tab could help us to raise support for this cause.
Bafflesmash: (clearly excited) Shia hasn’t worked for his agent since 2012, he has just been working on small indie projects so this would be right up his street. He just does what he wants.
Bafflesmash: (suddenly businesslike) Yeah, so could you guys try to kind of use this as a platform for us to get Shia on board. We need this article going viral, maybe with a hashtag too?
Bafflesmash: Yeah! Like #ShiaintheCellar
Bafflesmash: Or simply #getthebeef
All in all, Bafflesmash live up to their name; it’s ‘Baffle’ because I’m baffled and ‘Smash’ because, um, smash?
Bafflesmash plays in the Pembroke New Cellars 9.30pm 17th-20th February and Saturday 21st at 10.30pm.