The comedy double-act Thünderbards is made up of comics Glenn Moore and Matt Stevens and has been described as “without question one of the funniest sketch shows on the Fringe” by GQ. With clever word play and punchy sketches and anecdotes, Moore and Stevens have an admirable energy on stage, which never seems to waver. They will be bringing their third hour of comedy, a show named Chapter III, to this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
I asked Thünderbards these seven questions in order to learn a little more about the duo…
GM: Having to split our earnings after each gig. I just feel that if we were going at it alone, we’d be filthy rich by now, and it becomes increasingly frustrating going home with up to £2.50 each after a gig, when I know that it would have been such a game-changer having that fiver all to myself.
MS: Performing with Glenn is great, I feel really comfortable on stage with someone who I have performed with for years and who I know is instinctively funny. His punctuality is a nightmare though, he’s late for everything.
2) Do you ever worry that people won’t like you as a person?
GM: This is literally the only thing I think about.
MS: Always. Everything I do on stage is a character of some sort, even when I’m nominally playing myself between scenes. I’d hate the idea of really exposing the true me on stage to a room of strangers in case they hated the show. That would feel like a judgement on me as a person. I love a lot of really personal, confessional comedy, but I think people who do it really well, like Simon Amstell for example, pay a price of insecurity for giving themselves over to an audience to be judged as a person.
3) What makes you feel safe?
GM: In terms of comedy gigs, any sign of friends, family or returning audience members watching it. Outside of comedy, any form of public transport that isn’t the night-bus, and any TV show starring Martin Clunes.
MS: On stage? Tried and tested material and/or our own audience (ie. not a club or mixed bill night). In life, I’d say that my girlfriend makes me feel safe, in that if she is calm and not worried about an issue, I tend to be too.
4) What do you really not care about?
GM: Any TV show that doesn’t star Martin Clunes.
MS: Fashion vloggers. There’s nothing that any one of them could say or do that would make me even feign interest.
5) What part of your childhood do you refuse to let go of?
GM: Ren and Stimpy, Angel Delight, and Key Stage 3 exams (year after year, I insist on signing up to them).
6) Is it hard to maintain your energy on stage?
GM: It’s not hard maintaining it onstage, but it’s unpleasant to deal with offstage. I don’t tend to realise I’m getting exhausted during a show, but I do sweat an awful amount throughout each one, and at the Edinburgh Fringe tend to get through more than one t-shirt per show. It’s so awful.
MS: I find that on stage energy is quite closely tied to how the audience are responding. If a show is going well, then it tends to get better as it goes along as I throw more and more into it. My weakness is allowing a bad show to change how I perform and drop my energy and commitment.
7) Why did it happen? (interpret as you wish)
GM: Because we needed to make the former third member of Thünderbards realise that he made a serious career error by leaving the group. Saying that, if we’re looking at this in terms of the Hindenburg disaster, we have to take into account the frailties of blimp technology at the time, and whether the pilots were fully equipped to deal with any overheating of machine parts.
MS: I’ll interpret that as being why did doing Thünderbards at the Fringe for a third year running happen? Well, I still see it as a university housemate joke that has got way out of hand. If I were to interpret the question as why did it happen in relation to the Hindenburg disaster, I’d say that it was probably because of the pure-hydrogen environment in the blimp and an overheating machine part.