We hitched a ride with Chad Mallett a.k.a. Matt Folliott and Ted Hallett to talk about touring, the unreliability of pants, and their new Fringe show.
P&C: Your show is about two characters on vacation. Any stories you’d like to share from your travels together?
Matt: On a trip to Montreal, Ted fell down trying to put on a pair of pants. His excuse was that there was too much room.
Ted: Yes! There was! I didn’t have anything to grab onto. Honestly, there was too much space.
Matt: The sound of Ted hitting the floor was deafening. Like being next to a bomb going off or when someone drops a sack of hammers.
Ted: Here’s a fun story: every night before bed, just before I hit the light switch, I’d whisper to Matt that I was going to masturbate on his shower towel.
Matt: Yeah that was a lot of fun for me.
Ted: Me too.
P&C: What’s the most memorable show you’ve done?
Matt: It was one we did in Kensington Market. About 20 minutes in to a really fun show, Ted split his pants. Now if you know Ted, you know he never wears underwear. The audience may or may not have gotten an eyeful.
P&C: We’re sensing a theme here. Your show is inspired by an audience members’ vacations. What is it about real experiences that audiences love?
Matt: I think the audience enjoys seeing how we use specific details of their travel experience to inform the comedy.
Ted: It’s relatable. We all have crazy travel stories and I think an audience is invested in the performance when it’s connected to something they’ve seen, experienced or dreamed of themselves. The crowd will always give us a cool travel destination to go to, but for me, the fun is playing the multiple characters in the world we’ve created based on their memories.
Matt: What Ted said.
P&C: You’ve been a duo now for five years. What’s the secret to your longevity?
Ted: The secret is to just keep doing it, ’cause what else do we have going on? That and we also make great roommates. He drives me nuts sometimes but I genuinely like Matt and that’s important when you pair up with someone. They have to be able to stand your strange habits. What do you think, Matt?
Matt: It’s a secret and I’ll never tell.
P&C: Toronto Fringe is a great way to expand your audience. Do you think it’s getting easier or more difficult to attract people to improv?
Matt: I think we’re in a golden age of improv. I know that sounds corny but people are just excited about the art form whether they’re watching shows or taking classes.
Ted: I agree. Improv is hugely popular with a younger crowd which helps a lot. It’s in the zeitgeist. I think TV shows like Key & Peele, Drunk History and Rick & Morty which cast improvisers and use improv to create content have really made the art form an intriguing dish to sample for all ages.
Matt: Intriguing dish? What is it with you and food?
Ted: I love food more than life itself you little meatball.
P&C: The show is directed by Mark Andrada. What does he bring to Chad Mallett?
Matt: I trust Mark’s comedic mind 100%. He shares our vision for the show. He just gets what’s funny and his experience as a comedian, director, and theatre tech are invaluable. He’s our Filipino Yoda.
Ted: What Matt said.
P&C: You’ve both been part of the improv community for more than a decade. Who inspires you, either here or in the U.S. and abroad?
Ted: I love The Sufferettes and hero worship people like Bob Martin, Linda Kash, Paul O’Sullivan, and Lisa Merchant. I’m also really into David Razowsky, TJ & Dave, and that whole slow style of improv that developed over the years in Chicago. I’m also into S&P, a group right here in Toronto that Matt is a part of.
Matt: That’s nice! Thank–
Ted: –Don’t interrupt me. Okay, I’m done. Carry on.
Matt: Thank you Robert. I love local duos like Coko & Daphney, RN & Cawls or local shows like Matt McCready’s $12 Beer Beer. On the national scene, I’m really into The Sunday Service and anything happening at Montreal Improv Theatre is a pure joy to take in. Internationally, I adore IGLU Theatre from Slovenia. Peter, Vid and Jus from IGLU are just some of the funniest dudes you’ll ever meet. Also check out Ted & Lisa. They’re pretty damn good.
P&C: Any plans to take your Fringe show on the road?
Ted: If the road calls we will answer.
Matt: I like that Ted.
Ted: Me too. High five.
Matt: I can’t reach that high.