My Evening With "Little Britain"
Spent the evening interviewing Matt Lucas and David Walliams AKA "Little Britain." For those of you who don't know, Little Britain is a wildly popular sketch comedy show in the UK. Matt and David are the writer/stars. Now HBO has brought the show over here, entitled "Little Britain USA." I got a call last Friday asking if I'd be interested in moderating a discussion with them at the Apple Store in SoHo. I have no idea what Apple has to do with anything, but I figured maybe I would get a free iPod for my trouble. (I did not.) I arrived punctually at the Apple store, where I met Matt and David, who had just come back from taping Conan. I've been doing television in this country for fifteen years and have never been invited on Conan. They've been here twenty minutes and have already done it. We commented on how tall Conan is (My guess was 10' 3", Matt's guess 5' 6". Unfortunately there's no way to find out). Then I met David, who also had a small part in "Run Fat Boy Run," which he mentioned to me. I knew that already but didn't want to presume that he would know that I wrote the film. He did, though, because British people know things like that. They're unfailingly polite, so when you write a film that they are in, they tend to know about it. Why I was invited to moderate this thing at all is something of a mystery to me. I suspect it was because I live in New York and use Apple products. It might also have something to do with the fact that nobody else was available. Anyway, after showing some clips of their new show, I came out and introduced the boys. Matt wasted no time in insulting me by saying something like "When I look at you I feel like you should be talking about Tiffany or other things from the 80's." I responded by saying "When I look at you I feel like you should be illuminating a lightbulb with your mouth." It didn't get a laugh. Too mean perhaps, even though he really does look like Uncle Fester. The crowd was not really on my tip. I asked a bunch of pertinent questions about them and their careers and did not try to be funny at all, thinking that that was their job, not mine and that if I tried too hard to be funny everybody would think "Why's he trying to be funny? He's not the one with a very successful British import television show." We took some questions from the audience (nobody asked me anything, which I expected but still...) and then everybody applauded and that was that. Backstage everybody said it was "hilarious," which I found pretty strange because I didn't say one funny thing the entire night. Did they want me to be funny and I let them down? I hope not. I thought my job was to help them be funny, which they were. And charming. If I was expected to be funny, I utterly failed. I hate when interviewers try to be funny when they are interviewing me so I didn't want to make the same mistake. Ah well. As they were leaving I gave them both copies of my book, which I could tell neither of them wanted. But I figured I've got a box of them at home, I've got to do something with them. So it was a pretty good evening, but then I read that David Walliams lives in Noel Gallagher's old house, which means he's probably really rich, so then I felt bad about myself all over again.