“Correct! Awkward silence is the only answer to that” – an interview with Sammy J & Randy
Sammy J and Randy are back! Although they never really left, unless you count their recent sojourn in the United States. For almost a decade Sammy J and Randy have been churning out consistently successful, hilarious comedy – from television to Edinburgh and back. Rather than taking a break, the singing, fighting odd couple are plunging straight back into the festival circuit with their new show Sammy J and Randy Land. Nick Jones spoke to them about stardom, history, and their financial woes.
Audiences have most recently seen you on “…In Ricketts Lane”; what’s changed in the wake of your rise to stardom?
Sammy: Well, what’s changed , Nick, is-
Randy: There was no rise to stardom.
Sammy: The ABC promised us a rise to stardom, but here we are. Randy, I did walk down Rundle Mall yesterday, and someone spat on me.
Randy: Oh that counts.
Sammy, this isn’t your first appearance on TV; I believe you appeared on a popular variety program in the late 90s singing “The Nerd Song”…?
Sammy: That is very true…I appeared on “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” two months before it was axed, and I continue to deny any connection.
You also received recognition working at the Butterfly Club in South Melbourne…
Sammy: That was – and still is – this awesome late night cabaret place (that’s where Randy and I did our earliest shows); there’s nothing like making forty of your drunk friends laugh to give you an inflated sense of your abilities, wouldn’t you say, Randy?
Randy: I would agree with that. We cut our teeth, as it were, with late night sketches, stupid song comedy shenanigans…that was ten years ago, and since then the rest of our careers has been one long abysmal attempt to recapture that joyous youthful exuberance. Now we’re just old hacks churning out the same old shit.
So you’re a little bitter in your senior years?
Randy: No, I’m just a realist.
Sammy: Randy just doesn’t like to admit he’s a horrifically successful commercial entity, and that hundreds of people line up to see his show…he’d rather be playing a three seater tent down by the Torrens.
Randy: Which I am.
Sammy: You’re doing that?
Randy: I’m doing my interpretive dance show down by the Torrens wearing a lycra sack; you know those body suits, those morph suites? A light green one of them, and I’ve got a tiny little three person camping tent, and I roll around making noises-
Sammy: That’s Randy’s pitiful attempt to explain that he’s homeless and will be sleeping in a tent by the Torrens each night.
Randy: Yeah, well I wouldn’t be homeless if you’d put money in our budget for accommodation for me. Sammy’s staying a palatial four bedroom apartment with a terrace, where as old Randy is out by the Torrens!
He’s on Centrelink, Sammy, you gotta give him some cash!
Sammy: You stay out of this, you’re meant to be an impartial observer!
Randy: Hey, Nick knows the score! …hey mate, can I borrow fifty bucks?
Sammy: Correct! Awkward silence is the only answer to that.
Randy: Aww, you can both get fucked.
You’ve raised three million for [Sammy J & Randy Land]; do I even want to know how you got the money?
Randy: You say “raised” like there was any thought or planning; Sammy just went into the bank and got suckered into a three million dollar loan…
Sammy: There was this thing – you remember – it was called the “Global Financial Crisis”, that was basically because banks are evil and would lend anybody money, and that’s what we did this time around; I put on a tie and borrowed three million dollars. I’ve put is in significant financial debt to achieve our dream, but we have achieved it. We have a theme park.
Randy: Yeah. You borrowed it, I spent it.
Now Randy, you’ve been very open about you struggle with smoking and alcohol; how have you resisted the temptations of celebrity?
Randy: It gets easier because I can afford much fancier organic veggies; my vices have switched to macca powder and really expensive hippie shit…now I don’t have any money left to spend on booze.
You’re also writing a novel…?
Randy: I wrote it. It’s done. I wrote it last year, it’s called Walking to Skye, and it’s a real humdinger! But unfortunately it has yet to be published; it will never see the light of day.
Sammy: That’s not true, Randy! I took the manuscript from your laptop, and I e-published it!
Randy: You e-published it?
Sammy: Yeah, I’ve been raking in the profits. Although, I mean…I published it under a pseudonym…
Randy: What pseudonym?
Sammy: Sammy J.
Randy: Okay. So what’s that, like an ebook?
Sammy: It’s an ebook. It’s number one on Kindle’s top ten.
Randy: So do I get a cut of this?
And now, the most important question of all; is taser hide-and-seek as fun as it looks?
Sammy: Depends, of course, on the outcome of the game. Now, I’ve played games with Randy where I have delivered nought-but-twenty successive blows to his nuts, and my gosh but they’ve been some of the finest days of my life!
Randy: Me, on the other hand…I’m still…I mean, I can’t have kids now, which is a shame because I was hoping to raise a brood of my own…it really depends on how violent it gets.
Sammy: And also, how long you charge the taser for. If you go too early, and it’s only on a half-charge, it’s only a little buzz, but you really want to get that smoke-and-burn factor…
Randy: I think things have really changed for the better since we started using the taser that sends the little electrical spiderweb out of it; you use to have to get up close to hit people-
Sammy: But I was having coffee the other day, and Randy just-
Randy: From across the room, to the back of the head-
Sammy: And I just went into a spasm-
Randy: For hours! I nearly took you to emergency.
Sammy: Yeah, but you didn’t, and I respected that. As we say in taser land, “death or dignity!”
Randy: “’til death do us die.”
The new show is Sammy J & Randy Land…
Randy: Yeah, and I don’t want to startle Nick, I don’t want to shock Nick-
Randy: Like, if I say this out loud, he’s going to have a world exclusive…it is the best show we’ve ever written, and the greatest show you’ve ever seen.
Sammy: I think we should keep that secret.
Randy: No, he’s a nice guy…I think we should let him know it’s probably the greatest piece of comedic theatre ever crafted, on the planet.
Sammy J & Randy Land is touring the country over the next six months. They’ll be at the Athenaeum Theatre for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 29th to April 3, and then again from the 12th until the 17th of April. Tickets are available online. Check out Sammy J & Randy’s website for more details.