My Comedy Hero: Larry Dean on Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Scottish stand-up picks the taboo-busting American writers as his comic icons
'When I'm asked to choose one comedy hero, so many come to mind that it feels impossible. So I chose two: though you could be forgiven for thinking that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were one person. Their shared voice is so distinctive that if you watched Team America and South Park, back-to-back without knowing any better, you'd easily guess that the two texts came from the same person.'
'I also love that they consider nothing sacred. They're so sure that their comedy comes from a good place that they confidently take aim at anything. And when someone has the balls to illustrate that the word "faggot" isn't homophobic, that only its usage is, I think that's brave and insightful.
'For my money (and I've seen it four times at £50+ a pop …) their best work is The Book of Mormon. I'm not a huge fan of musical comedy, but when I saw this for the first time I was awestruck. Rather than the easy, superficial laughs you might hear in a comedy club, there were jokes that would have worked without music. But with the addition of music they were able to highlight otherwise untouchable topics in a way that actually makes you laugh.
'Religion is the show's main target, but it almost feels affectionate, and you actually leave feeling more rather than less accepting. They neither preach nor pander to any party, and anyone (or two) that can pull this off whilst being consistently, ball-slappingly hilarious … well, they're just great.'
As told to Brian Donaldson
Larry Dean: Farcissist is on tour until Sat 25 Mar.