Incoming: Leads & Stern on their 'comedy phase'
Andrew Mickel31 July 2012
Gemma Leader and Juliette Stern are, baffingly, Leads & Stern, a comedy duo all about the sketch.
Sketch credentials ahoy: they present regular sketch night Feeling Sketchy up in Camden, and their Edinburgh offering this August is being directed by Lee Griffiths out of proud genital owners Late Night Gimp Fight.
Before we get down to interviewing, let's have a clip:
And now, some questions:
What brought you into comedy?
Leads: My friends, Toby and Chris made me do it. I blame them. Although they can't take all the credit. Deep down I think I've always wanted to do comedy, ever since I was a baby. Before, even.
Stern: I’ve always been pretty much obsessed with comedy – or more precisely, laughing. I made various vain attempts to get into it over the years by writing lots and trying out stand up, but never really believed it could happen. Things just came together when I met Leads.
Describe your act in five words.
L: A double act of girls.
S: Erm (don’t count that): silly, surreal, fast-paced sketches.
What's been the best reaction you've had to your comedy?
S: Probably people laughing. That helps!
L: Someone I went to school with laughed her tits off when she heard I was doing comedy. Apparently I wasn't funny at school.
Who's your biggest fan?
L: I'd say my mum, but she thinks its 'just a phase'. One year, in Edinburgh, I wore a Star Trek costume in the poster for the stand-up show I was doing. One man in the audience enjoyed that. I don't think anyone else noticed.
S: Yep, pathetically I would genuinely say my mum and dad!
What's the toughest lesson you've learnt in comedy?
L: That the audience will tell you if a joke is funny or not. Even if you really love it, if more than three audiences give it a chance and don't laugh at it, it has to go.
S: That it’s all about confidence. And if you lack that, however good your material is, you’re screwed!
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
S: Go home, you’re drunk.
L: Never run with a knee injury.
Show us something fascinating on the internet about you. (That isn't your website/Twitter/'similar'.)
S: I just Googled myself and I was a member of the French resistance and married to a very wealthy sugar manufacturer.
L: There is a singer called Gemma Ray and her album is called 'The Leader'. She comes up a lot if you Google me.
What is your guilty comedy pleasure?
S: I actually always rather liked the widely-slated Thin Blue Line. Mainly because I love Rowan Atkinson. And I love Friends. It’s actually brilliant!
L: You've Been Framed.
Which other acts have you seen while gigging you recommend?
S: Ed Eales-White. And I really like Allnutt and Simpson.
L: Ed Eales-White, Sheeps, Leisa Rea, Jen Brister.
What's the day job?
S: I’m an animation producer for commercials. Imagine an animated cereal ad and it’s probably got my name on it!
L: I work at the Soho Theatre. Come and see me, if you're ever in that part of town!
THANKS LEADS AND STERN.
Actually we're not sure if that last answer was just for our benefit or an open invite for everyone. Probably the second? Hopefully the second. See you there, everybody!
You can see Leads and Stern at the Underbelly Cowgate from 2-26 August at 17:00, which you can find more out about over here.
PREVIOUSLY ON INCOMING
Your rating: None
- Good Night: Monster Comedy bring the laughs for charity
- Secret Edinburgh: Joel Dommett gets around to climbing Arthur's Seat
- Shane Allen
- Hay Festival 2007: Marcus Brigstocke
- Wil Hodgson
- Harry Deansway is angry and he isn’t going to take it any more
- Sergio Pizzorno
- Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
- Brett Goldstein grew up in a strip club: Edinburgh fringe review
- Sarah Adams