Sam & Tom: Comedy Spotlight

Crashing kids' parties and willing to face a folkloric cannibal half-beast in battle, Sam & Tom are the most eager new beavers on the scene

Feature by John Stansfield | 06 Mar 2015
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When Sheffield’s favourite sketchers Staple/face called it a day last August after another successful appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, their show’s title of ‘Staple/face are Going Down Fighting’ made a lot more sense. Rising almost immediately from the ashes were two thirds of the group, Sam Nicoresti and Tom Burgess (or, to delaborate, Sam & Tom). They were chosen by January’s kingmakers Gein’s Family Giftshop as ones to watch this year, and have impressed with their early gigs as ex-child stars stuck in an arrested development that threatens to subsume them. The writing is tight, and the pair share an ease with each other that often boils to furiously polite rage – and may lead to this comedy editor’s demise.

First gig:

"A shop’s un-safe basement. There were mainly children and we made them cry by riding over their party balloons with our sweet BMX. But then we made them laugh, and to celebrate we gave a four-year-old a bottle of sherry. Later we were told we’d broken licensing laws but we didn’t care, we’d been paid £20 (which Sam immediately lost)."

Best gig:

"Oh, there have been hundreds. Hundreds. Huuuunnnndrrreeeeedssss… are we still on this question? Don’t know, lad! Make one up. That one where everyone laughed at all the jokes and then clapped loudly at the end for 20 minutes, no rest, with hands red raw ribbons of flesh by the end."

Worst gig:

"Probably one of those weird ones where you have to sit on each other’s faces in a dark room while strangers put dollar bills in your lingerie. We don’t even know where to exchange dollars. Tom keeps jamming them into ATMs, but all that’s led to is our debit cards being declined in most HMVs."

Circuit favourites in the Northwest: 

"In the Northwest? Nah. Southeast is where it’s at. You guys ought to do more on LDN. There’s loads going on down there. If we were forced on this NW issue – like, really pushed – we’d maybe volunteer Lee Fenwick and Peter Slater. But we really don’t see why you’d even have a ‘culture’ magazine for the NW. What do you review – collieries? Greggs? Pulp?"

Favourite venue:

"3MT in Manchester. It’s hidden down Affleck’s Arcade on Oldham Street. They have SOS TV LIVE on the first Friday of every month and we always wet ourselves (either through laughing or lack of forethought)."

Best heckle:

"A publication in your position should know better than to perpetuate the myth of heckle culture. By celebrating it, you legitimise a custom that makes comedians feel uncomfortable and intimidated. You make us sick. F*ck you. #firetheskinnyscomedyeditor"

Aspirations:

"We want to be famous and well loved by our peers. We want a feast. We want a bean feast. We just want to rap good and not sell breadsticks. Wewantanycar.com [This has gone off the rails. Please tighten it up with some GIFs]."

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing standup?

"Kissing ladies, all day every day. Probably sometimes even kissing each other by accident in the heady whirl of lip-to-lip saliva swapping. The best way to kiss a lady is to say 'Keeezing' while lurching forward, lips-first. [Fact-check this before print.]"

If you could be haunted by anyone, who would it be and why?

"The individual careers of Blazin’ Squad. It would be scary to be haunted, so if you have a choice you should choose something you can easily understand."

What’s the largest animal you think you could beat in a fight? No weapons.

"A wendigo, at Dance Dance Revolution. Not in a fight though. It’d eat you alive (literally), but it probably can’t keep to a simple beat. At the end of the day, that’ll be what it comes down to, the dance is all there is."

Sam & Tom play Matchbox Comedy, Lantern Theatre, Liverpool, 11 Mar, and XS Malarkey, The Pub/Zoo, Manchester, 24 Mar, and Comedy Cask at The Crowd of Favours, Leeds, 30 Apr @samplustom