‘The Moth Effect’ interview: A fun, rambling conversation with creators Jazz Twemlow & Nick Boshier about the fine art of making intelligent, topical sketch comedy that won’t date (includes poo jokes)

“This is a question, not a statement: Would we classify Wokeness as wisdom? And my answer would be: I don’t necessarily think so,” says Nick Boshier (left), co-creator with Jazz Twemlow of ‘The Moth Effect’.

Obviously with plenty of time on their hands thanks to the lockdown, Nick Boshier and Jazz Twemlow took chairs before their webcams to speak extensively from Sydney via Skype about their very funny satirical sketch show The Moth Effect, now on Amazon Prime.

As well as being an informative, insightful and illuminating look into the creative process involved in making a sketch show with several significant points of difference, the chat also turned out to be a great deal of fun.

Consequently, much of the interviewer’s meandering, semi-coherent blathering and laughing that would normally be edited out has been left in to preserve the nature of the exchange.

The gents were in a very chatty, high-spirited mood so the interview went much longer than the 20 minutes anticipated. A comprehensive index is provided both here and in the YouTube description box for those who wish to skip to a particular topic.

For a review of The Moth Effect please go here.

Please enjoy.

00:00 How the show has gone;
01:25 A “crowd splitter”;
02:20 Still growing an audience;
03:30 Landing the deal with Amazon Prime;
04:33 Nice Shorts web series;
05:55 The concept behind the show; it’s not just another sketch show;
06:20 Playing in a satirical space; gong for broader topics;
07:30 Freedom to be silly;
07:70 Non-judgmental approach;
09:30 The Politician breeding farm sketch;
11:15 Theme of dealing with online culture;
12:20 Frustration over how Twitter promotes “equal weighting” of opinions;
13:25 The Nicki Minaj tweet;
14:20 Pedometer-linked tweeting idea;
14:50 Phone addiction;
15:30 Casting;
17:00 Is The Moth Effect high-brow comedy? Time Knight sketch;
20:55 The writing process; mind melding; creative support from Amazon;
24:40 Addressing Woke culture;
28:40 The Woke Drones sketch; Woke Cop;
30:20 Is Wokeness wisdom? “This is a question, not a statement: Would we classify Wokeness as wisdom? And my answer would be I don’t necessarily think so.”
32:30 Knowing the line between funny and preachy;
33:22 Jen & Berry sketch;
34:18 Improvisation;
34:50 Kate Box;
36:31 Comedy influences; Monty Python; Big Train;
39:25 Brass Eye; Life of Brian;
41:20 The Comedy Company;
42:15 The state of satire in Australia;
44:15 Pushing back at easy labelling;
44:55 The need to understand contrary points of view;
45:50 Where satire goes wrong;
48:50 Dearth of Australian satirical sketch shows;
49:10 Too much local TV has gotten away without being lampooned e.g The Project;
49:45 Respect for The Project even though they couldn’t get on to promote Moth Effect;
52:15 Bondi Hipsters; “You can get away with murder with those characters.”
53:40 Louis Theroux spoof;
57:22 The truth behind the show’s title.

Links to Soul Mates, Bondi Hipsters and Nice Shorts.