"Our live stuff is very different from the adverts in that our songs are longer than thirty seconds and they are for sure not for the ears of babes" Idle chit-chat with Flo & Joan
Hello Flo & Joan, how the devil are you?
We are not permitted by law to discuss our relationship with the devil or any of their affiliates.
What have you been up to today?
(At the time of writing this information was correct.) Today we are having a poke around the city of Belfast, having played the second show of our tour here last night. We will shortly be going out to enjoy their nightlife.
So, gotta get this out of the way first, you guys are not actually called Flo & Joan are you? Explain.
We are not. It is a lie. When we did our first ever show we didn’t have a name. We figured our real names are dull, and ‘The Dempsey Sisters’ or something based around our surname makes us sound like we’re a creepy Vaudeville act from the 1920’s who were going to do cartwheels and plate spinning. So we settled on Flo & Joan, which is the name of our grandmother and her sister.
Describe your comedy style.
Deadpan, silly, sharp.
What do most people know you for, your comedy or those Nationwide ads?
Probably more people now recognise us from the Nationwide ads, but a lot of our audience had already found us through our online content and Edinburgh shows a few years back before we popped up on TV. It’s a real mixed bag of chickens and eggs.
What’s the impact been of those adverts?
It brought us a new broader audience that we wouldn’t have had without it, or certainly not right away. We get a lot of messages from people asking if they can bring their six-year-old kids to our shows now because they loved the ads, and whilst it is entirely up to the parent whether they want their children to learn about assisted suicide from two singing comedians, we usually advise against it. Our live stuff is very different from the adverts in that our songs are longer than thirty seconds and they are for sure not for the ears of babes (that’s young kids, not attractive people or sheep-pigs, who are all welcome at our shows).
You recently did the full Edinburgh Fringe, how was that?
Our bodies and minds and tolerance levels of each other were tested but the ticket sales and audiences were great and we had fun times.
Have you caught up on your sleep yet?
We’re getting there. We went on holiday to Disney World two days after we got back from Fringe so we didn’t rest too much but it let us turn our brains off from work for a week.
You’ve won some awards, how’d you feel about that?
It’s an honour just to be nominated.
Tell us about your current tour, ‘Alive On Stage’, in two sentences.
‘Alive on Stage’ is our newest show what we love very much and you should come because in the first half we sing about our experiences with crisps and crackers and drinking and sex robots and the social needs, and the second half is a ‘best of’ of older material that we still like playing. Here is a second sentence.
Are you as neurotic about which side you sit/stand on as Ant & Dec?
If you could choose, what would you actually want to be known for?
Holding some kind of crisp-based world record.
The BBC have tried to get more female comedians on their panel shows by forcing the issue, what’s your experience of the gender imbalance in comedy?
There is a clear imbalance across all mediums of comedy that leans in favour of the white, male standup. Representation in all forms, not just gender, is important and it is lazy and ignorant to think that it is not a problem.
What more should promoters / punters / bookers be doing?
Make an actual effort to diversify your lineups.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve gigged?
We gigged in a weed room in Toronto for the 420 Festival, where the audience (and comics if they so wish) sit and get high as you perform. We went on sober, but that contact high hit fast.
What other comedian is worth checking out?
Maisie Adam is sick.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Have you done your tax returns yet? It would have guilted us into at least making a start maybe.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
In a bog far away. We’ll make ourselves two large teas with milk, no sugar.
Flo & Joan are currently on a UK tour and are set to perform at London’s Soho Theatre from 13th to 17th November. For tickets and more info please visit their website.
You can find out more about the comedy twosome by following them on Twitter, liking their Facebook, or by watching some of their song singing on YouTube.