The Sexy Detectives
Nahima Kern | On 04, May 2016
This year at the Anywhere Theatre Festival comes again with an extensive variety of acts featuring stories new and old.
From out of this eclectic mÃ©lange of productions returns sketch comedy troupe The Sexy Detectives for one night only. We talk to local funny man and Sexy D member Michael Griffin about himself and their new show, Hyperbole (pronounced Hyper-Bowl).Â Audiences are expected to see a whole new show from this award-winning trio.
The history of the Sexy Detectives lies in improvisation, and they have their fingers in all sorts of pies. From creating sketch comedy for live shows, to creating skits for film, they also create podcasts. Examples of all their work can be viewed on their site.
The Creative Issue: Tell us about yourself.
Michael Griffin: Well Iâ€™m Michael – Iâ€™m 33 from Brisbane, and Iâ€™m in this sketch comedy group the Sexy Detectives. Weâ€™ve been going for about a decade now, mostly in Brisbane. Weâ€™ve done a bit of touring and there are three members of us. Thereâ€™s myself, Luke Allan and David Massingham, and weâ€™ve been together for about a decade, but we come out of impro and Iâ€™m recently now doing a bit of stand up as well. So outside of that, Iâ€™m a freelancer in film and TV as an editor and weâ€™ve been doing various comedy things in Brisbane basically straight out of high school, so itâ€™s about 15 years now that weâ€™ve been performing comedy in Brisbane; and this sketch group going for about 10 years which is a long time. I think thatâ€™s mostly about me.
TCI: How was Sexy Detectives formed?
MG: Sexy Detectives came out of knowing each other from Brisbane impro group Impro Mafia which weâ€™re all members of. There have been various different members. I think being a sketch groupâ€™s a little bit like the comedy equivalent of being in a band, so you sort of practice in your garage and go through different members, and people leave to have children and all that sort of stuff and you keep trying to practice in the garage. So we came out of that and so originally we were a lot more about doing film stuff and live stuff, but now itâ€™s mostly live. To be perfectly honest the film stuff has fallen off a lot because just the complexity of time and we all doing other things but I would say that we particularly focus on live because you have to put your focus somewhere and itâ€™s just a joy to do it live thereâ€™s something special about actually performing to an audience rather than to a video camera.
TCI: What initially brought you to comedy and impro?
MG: I started doing impro in high school – I was bad at it, really bad. In grade nine and ten and then in grade twelve I got pretty good compared to what I was -Â I think Iâ€™ve just got a funny mother who kind of put that into my brain but yeah, itâ€™s always been my interest.
TCI: So then who inspires you?
MG: With the sketch group weâ€™re big fan of things like Sean Micallef or Mr Show from America, British stuff like Big Train and Chris Morris and just sort of the obvious ones, and Australia is excited to see Aunty Donna doing really well as finally a good Australian sketch group. Â I know Dave is a very big fan of Steen Raskopoulos from Sydney whoâ€™s a one man sketch group thatâ€™s excellent. Weâ€™re big fans of the American group the Pyjama Men who are really quite something.
TCI: Do they [The Pyjama Men] do Sketch Comedy?
MG: They do sketch comedy they do this surreal everything will go for 10 seconds jumping between charactersÂ but we do a bit more of a British sort of written caring about every word sort of style probably a bit more English style I guess Monty Python or whatever but yeah we care a lot more about the details than a lot of groups do not to say that itâ€™s good or bad but weâ€™re a bit more â€œwriterleyâ€ and â€œrehearsalyâ€ than a lot of sketch comedy tends to be these days where itâ€™s a bit more just about energy as if thatâ€™s a bad thing yeah we have a more polished style. Yeah weâ€™re a bit more deliberate sort of group.
TCI: Tell me about this new show coming up â€“ Hyperbole.
MG: For a long time weâ€™ve always joked about â€œHyperbooooleâ€ but the show is on in the Anywhere Theatre Festival, which is a festival where you find unconventional places to put on shows rather than putting them on in theatres, so weâ€™re doing it at Metro Arts. Some of itâ€™s come up in a trial show and weâ€™ve also performed some of it in Melbourne at the comedy festival, but itâ€™s the first time for a lot of it to be seen in Brisbane. Weâ€™re on after this group called the Kagools, this British comedy group that from the sounds of it is quite acclaimed, and weâ€™re excited to see them before us.
TCI: How do you think the audience is going to receive this new show?
MG: I think theyâ€™ll enjoy this one – weâ€™ve got some good new material. Weâ€™ve brought up a few of the old sketches that or whatever reason, we didnâ€™t do over the years – in retrospect we canâ€™t quite work out why we didnâ€™t do them…there is one thatâ€™s quite filthy. But we sort of decided that lifeâ€™s too short, we can afford to be filthy, so I think itâ€™ll go well – thereâ€™s lots of good material in it.
TCI: What, to you, makes good comedy?
MG: I think the best comedy comes out of â€“ you gotta have a good idea and youâ€™ve gotta actually make the effort. A lot of comedy seems to have one or the other where itâ€™ll be a funny concept and the people wonâ€™t really do the work to actually make an effort to get more out of it, or alternatively a lot of comedy these days feels half-baked. I really appreciate comedy where people have sat down and made an effort.
TCI: You wear many hats, with your editing and directing and your day job too. How do you balance them out?
MG: Quite badly. I do a bad job of balancing it all out. It is quite tough I know – amongst a lot of my performer friends, balancing it all out is tricky. I guess you get addicted to constantly having something to do and the rest of your life slides away. Bad relationships and general sadness is a good trick.
What: The Sexy Detectives â€“ Hyperbole!
Where: MetroArts Studio Theatre
When: May 6
More Info: Tickets online
Images: The Sexy Detectives