You’d have to be living under a rock to not know its Fulcher Fortnight here at The Velvet Onion – as we celebrate Eleanor’s triumphant assault on the Edinburgh Festival.
As part of our celebrations, Velveteer Afroharold has been in conversation with British-born, LA-based internet comedy legend Hayden Black about all things Black & Fulcher.
How did they meet, and what it’s like working with the man who brought Bob Fossil and Eleanor to our screens… find out below!
Hi, Hayden. Welcome back to TVO. You and Rich work really well together, especially on Abigail’s Teen Diary, how did you two meet?
Well, Rich was good friends with Shulie Cowen who worked with me on Goodnight Burbank. At some point she showed him the show and he liked it enough to ask if he could be a part of it. When she told me I was over the (howard) moon! So Rich and I got together for a brunch at Swingers, which is this hip and happening place on Melrose. We talked about various things; what we liked in comedy, about the interwebs – and then he walked me over to his car, opened up the boot, and handed me a home-made DVD of Snuff Box. This was long before it was out officially so it was an absolute treasure! It’s taken pride of place in my voluminous DVD cupboard!
How long after that did you start working together?
A few weeks maybe? I wrote a shit-ton of segments featuring him and our then newly cast make up girl Carolyn Lawrence to perform. Carolyn is a bit of a name herself; she provided the voice for Sandy Cheeks in Spongebob and Moral Orel. We rented out a green screen for the day and went to town, shooting from dawn to dusk. Rich was just unbelievable – he learned about 20 scripts or so and we just banged them out, one after the next.
Rich appeared in both Goodnight Burbank & Abigail’s Teen Diary – how did that come about?
Shortly after he’d shot GNB he was back in the UK and when he came back a year or so later, we were out having drinks and I told him about Abigail. He loved it and jumped at the idea. Abigail is a much differently produced show; it’s about a 13 year old girl who just happens to look like a 38 year old man, so it has to look like a 13 year old girl is shooting it! So I would either hold the camera myself or set it up on a table top. And then we did something pretty wonderful; we just improvised. Before each scene, one of us would suggest an idea and once we gave it a minute’s thought, we just turned on the camera and went for it. We shot 19 segments I think in ONE afternoon. Pretty phenomenal.
You’re both funny guys – can you make each other laugh?
Of course. Whenever we’re shooting, we’re always laughing at the stuff we come up with. Well, most of it. The crappy bits will never be seen!
His alter-ego, Eleanor, is currently wowing the Edinburgh crowds – have you seen the show yourself?
Sadly I have not. He performed it here in LA recently and I have been unbelievably busy with the new series of Goodnight Burbank.
Do you think Abigail would like Eleanor to be her Auntie?
I think Abigail would LOVE Eleanor to be her auntie! A blood relative would make the most sense as Abigail’s adopted and we’ve never seen a member of her real family before. It makes PERFECT sense for Eleanor to be related. Maybe even Abigail’s real mom!
Would you like to work with Rich again?
No. I hate him and everything he stands for. Oh, and he hates Jews and homosexuals.
You’ve got a lot of new projects on the go too… what can we expect to see you in next?
We’re working up the very first half-hour comedy made for the internet! It’s a half-hour version of Goodnight Burbank but with a brand new look & feel and an all-star new cast. It’s shot in the vein of The Thick Of it (that’s cinema verite for those keeping score) and switches there and back between a newsy, video look to a filmized, behind-the-scenes style. Rich’s schedule wouldn’t permit him to be in this new series but there are some VERY big names on board including another UK actor who’s pretty much a household name in Britain! We have a crew in London shooting his scenes in a couple of weeks! I wish I could be there but needs must. The series will premiere on Hulu in the Winter so keep eyes strongly peeled for news and stuff coming soon.
Sounds great! Finally, then, in honour of Fulcher Fortnight – if Rich were an animal, what animal would he be?
I’d have to go with a Hyena. A stoned Hyena.
Thanks to Hayden for those words of wisdom. To stay informed about Hayden’s new shows, follow him on twitter!