Luis Forte is the co-star and founder of the Clubcast Podcast as well as the new president of the UEA Headlights comedy society. Today he talks about his plans for the society, how the podcast is put together and the intriguing members of his fantasy superteam (WARNING- Some strong language!)
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1. How did the idea for the Club Cast come about?
ClubCast was really just a simple way of getting across some characters that Al Jones and I had invented. We’d toyed with the idea of writing scripts, and considered recorded and live sketches and performances, but we ended up going in the spirit of some advice that I heard off Matt Lucas (on the radio, not personal advice) which was that you should write for radio, as that’s the easiest place to start. ClubCast really just began as an off-the-cuff conversation. I was standing outside with Al, who was having a cigarette, and he just embodied this new character ‘Brian Diamond’, the act progressed through conversation and improv, and I became his doorman Larry, and from there new characters and situations just developed organically.
2. Are the recordings completely improvised or do you have a plot outline?
Looking at it simply, the recordings are completely improvised, there are no practices, scripts or mandatory lines. That said, me and Al mess around as Brian and Larry so much that old jokes and ideas do naturally resurface throughout the recordings, so I guess in a way they are informally prepared. The most direction a ClubCast instalment will ever get is before we hit ‘record’ we’ll decide where the characters are/what event has just happened, and that’s about it. We both know where we want the characters to end up, what trials they will face, and in our minds they are such rich characters that it’s easy to improvise. Very often you’ll hear one of us cracking up in the background because something completely new and unexpected has happened, and that’s really the fun of ClubCast.
3. Who are your comedy heroes?
I grew up being the weird child in primary school who when it was my turn at hangman, I’d pick ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus‘, whilst all my schoolmates were choosing ‘Pokemon’. Naturally, John Cleese, Eric Idle and co. are all heroes of mine- I grew up watching them. More recently, I’ve been plunged into the comedy scene, and it’s difficult to point out anyone specific. I’d have to give a nod to the cast of Jigsaw (Dan Antopolski, Nat Luurtsema and Tom Craine) who were thoroughly lovely to me in Edinburgh 2011, and a real inspiration- as well as the other Avalon and Cambridge footlights guys who (whether they know it or not) gave me the courage I needed to go up there and start performing myself.
4. You are also the new president of the UEA Headlights comedy society. What do you hope to achieve next year?
Oh man, this is a difficult one. See, there’s so much I’d love to do with the society, but so many different people with different ideas that it’s quite a job to keep it short and sweet. I guess I’d just love to improve our live performances, get us a big audience, offer diverse performances and activites to our members, and keep on having fun! I’d love to get us to take a cracking show to Edinburgh in 2013 too, that’s the dream.
5. Who would play you in the film of your life?
The only person I can really think of is Jim Carrey. I reckon beneath his flippant silly exterior, he’s actually very sensitive and sincere. He’d be able to act the clown whilst still being a screwed up individual at the same time. I think that’s the beauty of comedy. Yeah, Jim Carrey.
6. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
The power to live as long as I want (without ageing). Maybe flight too, that’d be pretty awesome. How about being the genie from Aladdin? That could be cool, but only after the film, life’s pretty shit for him up until his happy ending.
7. Who would you have on your Avengers-esque superteam (can be a mix of Marvel, DC and other superheroes and villains. You can also throw in Sherlock Holmes, King Kong, Lara Croft, anyone you like!)?
Right, leading my superteam would be the lovechild of Jimi Hendrix and Gandalf, I’d have Ban Mido and Ginji Amano from ‘The Getbackers’ (do your research, it’s bloody awesome), Zordon would be in there, but he’d have to be more useful than just being a slugface in a tube. Might consider Yoda, depends how smug he is, and whether he goes all awesome, or just hobbles around a bit. The dark horse of the team would be the Pixar angle-poise lamp. Nobody suspects the lamp. I love lamp.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I hope to be able to speak another language, and what I’d love to be doing is full-time comedy. That’s really what I want to do.
UEA Headlights meet every Friday at 7pm at the INTO building of the University of East Anglia during each semester. You can listen to the antics of Mr Diamond and Larry via the Clubcast available for your listening pleasure here-
Luis Forte (left) and Al Jones (right)- stars of The Clubcast