My Comedy Hero: Croft & Pearce choose their faves
Sketch duo pick Tina Fey, Victoria Wood and many others
As they take their Best Of show on the road, Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce tell us about the comics who inspire them
One of the biggest influences on any child in the 90s was the tape you listened to in the car on long journeys. My family's favourite was Alan Partridge with my brother and I joining in with every 'aha!' and ruining the punchlines again and again. Then there were the programmes taped off the TV: we loved Mr Bean and Blackadder.
When I re-watch Blackadder now, I'm amazed how much I still remember off by heart, and how much I couldn't have understood at the time (my mum confiscated series two when I asked her, aged nine, how exactly you could make a fortune lying on your back). Ab Fab and Red Dwarf were also favourites: I thought my brother's Kryten impression was so accurate he could have taken over on the show, although thinking back, his voice hadn't even broken.
My love of sketch came with obsessive watching of Victoria Wood and Harry Enfield and Chums, which was when I started jotting down ideas of my own in a little notebook. Fi and I have looked through it, and sadly none of them are usable, which is a shame because at the time my chemistry teacher definitely seemed like a classic comedy character.
I was 14 the first time I ever saw a sketch show live. I found a competition in a paper to see my favourites The Fast Show and Shooting Stars live in London. My mum let me phone the rip-off number to enter (thanks mum) and I only bloody won. I got two 'VIP' tickets and several crates of Kronenbourg (thanks Guardian Guide!). I went with my mum, and after the show we got to go to a little bar and meet the cast. Matt Lucas, still in his babygrow, signed my programme. It was, and probably still is, one of the most exciting nights of my life.
Growing up, I was also obsessed with Victoria Wood, and played her stand-up show on tape every night before bed until I knew all the lines: it became hard to fall asleep because I wanted to recite them all with her. I paused video tapes of French and Saunders and painstakingly wrote out their sketches until someone gave me their book of scripts. I loved The League of Gentlemen, first on tape and then on TV, and anything with Mike Myers or Jim Carrey.
Croft & Pearce
As a double act, the comedy hero we obsessively share is Tina Fey. We love that she's razor-sharp and also really silly. There are more gems to be discovered in 30 Rock every time you watch it, and we like to point them out to each other when we watch it together on tour or during Edinburgh, like residents of an old people's home shouting out random lines. Anyone who puts Alec Baldwin and Elaine Stritch on screen together is a genius. Also, Jenna warming up her voice by singing 'open-pit barbecue sauce' is a winner. And we like to think that, like Liz Lemon, we have the confidence of much younger women.
Croft & Pearce: Best Of is on tour until Sun 27 Nov.