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Posts tagged Ted Hallett improv

Artwork © Kurt Firla

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.

Catch Chad Mallett at the Toronto Fringe Festival, July 7-16. Get tickets here and Follow them at Facebook: Chad Mallett • Twitter: @ChadMallett • Instagram: @chadmallettcomedy

Christmas – or at least, Halloween – came early this year when these photos arrived in our inbox, along with a note from Tom Vest:

“I took the Harold course at Second City in 2003 with David Shore. After doing six years of short form, this new, ‘long form’ instantly felt right. When the course was done I went down to the admin office and asked to put on a Harold show using our class. They said ‘We don’t do that sort of thing.’

I decided to take the course again immediately, and at the end of it simply tell this class we were now a team and going to put on shows. So that’s what we did.

I named it ‘Dude, What’s A Harold?’ and we played at Bad Dog and the Blue Moon, every other week. It was the only show of its kind, and as far as I had heard, the first Harold show in the city. Yes, there had been other long-form shows, but I believe Dude was the first ‘classic’ style Harold. And it was great fun.

When students finished the course with David Shore they could come and play at Dude, and that gave us a large, rotating cast. It lasted for over a year until I moved on to another show.”

“A team of improvisers fully explore a suggestion through scenes and games creating disparate stories, themes and characters that eventually weave together seamlessly.”

Dude, What’s A Harold? Halloween show

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Photos © Tom Vest

And how about that slogan, ladies?  Thanks Tom!