Tom Parry and Matthew Crosby of Pappy's discuss their Last Show Ever
The trio are taking their much-lauded Fringe show on tour
After a glorious Fringe, Pappy’s hit the road with their so-called final show. Brian Donaldson chats with two thirds of the sketch team about sitcoms, songs and secret societies
Pappy’s are far too humble and polite to say it, so someone else needs to: they wuz robbed. In August, a substantial clutch of five stars adorned the posters for their Last Show Ever (aka their best show ever), but the trio was pipped at the Edinburgh Comedy Award post by the merely four-star laden Dr Brown. It could be that the threesome had an agreed policy on fielding questions should this topic arise in the future, but Tom Parry (the tall, geeky one) and Matthew Crosby (the short, speccy, geeky one) are certainly on the same page with this one. The thoughts on this of Ben Clark (the musical, permanently grinning, geeky one) remain unravelled.
‘I think it’s a lot nicer to have people coming up saying, “Oh, we wish that was you”, rather than people having to come up and say congratulations,’ says Parry. ‘It’s a much more Pappy’s thing to do to not win and we had such a good laugh with it.’ For Crosby, ‘not winning meant that we could keep our underdog status. It would be weird if Pappy’s were suddenly winners; we’re the perennial loveable losers.’
For those who missed the show first time around, Last Show Ever is on the road til Christmas. Without giving too much away, the show’s title is perhaps a little misleading, as Crosby admits. ‘We’ve done this time and in the past with titles, where after two or three minutes people go, “Ah, oh I see, I guess that title isn’t untrue but it’s not as accurate as we’d been led to believe”.’ It’s also not exactly a spoiler alert to say that the show features a quickfire imagining of an entire marriage, a quiz show which can never end, a jump into the future to see the boys as senior gents and a wonderful song about gloves.
For Crosby, one of the true joys about Pappy’s is that it gives them all a chance to live out an unfulfilled ambition. ‘All of us wish we were in rock bands and this is the closest thing to being in one. None of us are particularly good singers or instrumentalists but some of our better songs are catchy little pop tunes. In the case of the glove song, that was Tom’s idea but he can’t really put together a melody or play any instruments so it meant that Ben had to pick up the guitar and help him out, but the concept came fully formed.’
After that stirring festival month, news arrived in September which hinted at these loveable losers having a shot at upturning their underdog status. Filming is due to take place in Glasgow with the Comedy Unit between January and March on a sitcom with the working title of The Secret Dude Society.
‘The idea is that we were a gang of mates when we were kids, and at the age of eight or nine made a pact that we’d live together when we grew up,’ states Parry. ‘The Secret Dude Society was the name of the club; it’s loosely based on the gang me and Ben had when we knew each other years ago in Wolverhampton called Male Commandos. We had code names and a secret handshake and these stupid mottos and it’s about that childish notion that we’re going to keep being a gang in the face of inevitable adulthood and responsibility.’ Pray that Pappy’s never truly grow up.
Pappy’s: Last Show Ever, The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 22 Oct; The Stand, Edinburgh, Wed 24 Oct.