Edinburgh Fringe Interview – McNeil & Pamphilon

What are you planning for the people of Edinburgh this August?

Sam McNeil: We are going to enjoy the full Edinburgh experience by doing four shows only at the Pleasance King Dome.

Steve Pamphilon: We will be bringing what is hopefully a completely unique show and experience to the Fringe with Go 8-Bit! Last year it was the only show, that we were aware of, that pitted star comedians against each other at video games, now I think it’s fair to say it is the only show that pitches star comedians against each other at video games in which the entire audience plays along on their smart phones.

Sam: If it isn’t, someone really should say.

What is it about the Fringe that makes you want to perform here and how long have you been doing comedy at the Fringe?

Steve: This will be our fifth year.

Sam: We’re basically Nicholas Parsons.

Steve: Getting there mate. Edinburgh Fringe has to be done. It demands to be completed. Despite all the time consuming and financially crippling pitfalls, it is utterly addictive.

Sam: It’s like a King Rib supper. You have to have it. Everyday in August.

Steve: God. You are going to die young.

Sam: That’s the plan.

How do Fringe audiences compare to ones from your neck of the woods?

Steve: We’ve been very lucky that the responses we had in Edinburgh in 2013 seemed to follow us to London. We’ve managed to be Time Out Critics Choice and sell out every single month there. Our hope is that the audiences in Edinburgh will be even more up for it this year.

How do you entice people into seeing your show?

Sam: Cram it full of famous comedians and awesome technology. That way it has almost nothing to do with us.

Steve: That is basically true.

What’s the best/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen or done at the festival?

Sam and Steve: Chicken Bhuna pizza.

Steve: It was also, in many ways, the worst thing.

What’s the best/worst heckle a Fringe audience has thrown at you?

Steve: we’ve been fairly lucky in that respect but we did have an audience issue last year…

Sam: Oh yeah, our agents boss was in with her 10 year old son who ended up competing against Daniel Rigby at Street Fighter 2 and losing, despite the audiences protestation that the young boy should win. As penance Rigby and us two drank an entire bottle of Tesco Value Vodka as punishment.

Steve: Wasn’t really a punishment for you though, was it?

Sam: More like a second lunch.

Comedy reviews: a necessary evil?

Sam: Necessary evil. Nothing can overawe word of mouth though. Only word of mouth can make a hit show. Loads of amazingly reviewed shows die on their hole.

Steve: Are you hinting at our previous sketch shows?

Sam: Those reviews weren’t amazing.

Steve: Fair point.

You’ve just been trapped in an elevator with a ‘critic’ who panned your debut show. How would the next hour go? You also might happen to have a Nintendo Zapper light gun from the 80’s in your back pockets.

Sam: Beat them to death with our fists?

Steve: Not really the answer they were looking for dude.

With exception to your own show, who do you recommend people go see?

Sam: Easy…

Steve: Beta Males, Surname and Surname, Tom Craine, Beasts, Clever Peter, Paul Foxcroft and Cariad Lloyd, Lazy Susan, John Kearns…

Sam: I love Nish Kumar!!!!

Steve: A little too much.

Sam: Tom Neenan, Jim Campbell.

Steve: You can’t forget Bec Hill.

Sam: No, she’s amazing. And of course Sketch Transfer Deadline Day.

Steve: Well done Sam. And that is hosted by…

Sam: Hosted by?

Steve: Hosted by…?

Sam: Seems like we both don’t know…

Steve: Us. It’s being hosted by us.

Sam: Well, I wish someone had asked me.

Steve: You have to start writing things down.


SKETCH TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY in aid of Cancer Research UK – 18th August 10pm www.pleasance.co.uk
MCNEIL & PAMPHILON GO 8-BIT! – 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th August www.pleasance.co.uk
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