The Pajama Men: interview
America’s finest surreal physical comedy duo, The Pajama Men (Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez) caught up with each other over tea and scones to discuss their current successful show, 'Versus Vs Versus' at The Soho Theatre
Mark Chavez: 'All right, let’s get started. People ask where we get our ideas. So, Shenoah, where do we get them?'
Shenoah Allen: 'Well, I generally come up with them and you take all the credit.'
MC: 'You really believe that?'
SA: 'Yeah, I write all the jokes.'
MC: 'And I write all the punchlines.'
SA: 'Exactly. So, Mark, how long have you been doing comedy?'
MC: 'For as long as I can remember. Which isn’t that long considering I have a terrible memory. So, I don’t know… a few months? Who are you again?'
SA: 'Your best friend.'
MC: 'Oh… where did we meet?'
SA: 'We met in a wooded field. Otherwise known as a "forest". Come to think of it, I’m not sure you were there.'
MC: 'Yeah, it’s coming back to me now. I wasn’t.'
SA: 'What are you writing down?'
MC: 'Oh, I’m just jotting down more interview questions.'
SA: 'Anything good?'
MC: 'Well, we both come from rather large families. Big, fat families. Why are our families so fat?'
SA: 'Is that a rhetorical question?'
MC: 'Yes, and I demand an answer.'
SA: 'One word: thyroids. They’ve been eating too many thyroids.'
MC: ' "Shenoah" is a fairly uncommon name, right?'
SA: 'I’m a fairly uncommon guy.'
MC: 'Do you ever go by any nicknames?'
SA: 'Well, I’ve been trying out "The Rock" lately.'
MC: 'Why’s that?'
SA: 'Mainly because The Rock isn’t using it any more.'
MC: 'Suits you. So, The Rock, what are your plans for the future?'
SA: 'Well, I’ve been thinking about developing a one-man show.''
MC: 'Oh... really?'
SA: 'Yes, "The Pajama Guy".'
MC: 'That’s a pretty good name.'
SA: 'Yeah, you know, you and I do a lot of the same voices, we play a lot of the same characters, so I started thinking: Do we really need two of us?'
MC: 'Yeah, that makes sense. One-man show. Wow. Do you need a partner?'
SA: 'It couldn’t hurt …'
MC: 'Cool. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.'
SA: 'I have a list of a few personal questions I’d like to ask. First, how do you feel about the word "comedienne"?'
MC: 'I find that word very annoying. Especially when it’s used to describe me.'
SA: 'Okay, next. Is it true that you recently took a vow of celibacy?'
MC: 'No. I just never get laid.'
SA: 'Ahh, yes. Well, what’s your favourite book?'
MC: 'Ha! I’m not going to fall for that one; reading’s for nerds.'
SA: 'Well, if you absolutely had to pick?'
MC: ‘ "The Brothers Karamazov". In the original Russian.'
MC: 'Our work has been described as "indescribable". Describe.'
SA: 'Well, it’s like a new colour nobody’s ever seen before. "Blu-een".'
MC: 'That’s just a combination of blue and green. That doesn’t seem so difficult to imagine.'
SA: 'Whose side are you on?'
MC: 'I’d say our show is as difficult to describe as it is to imagine the concept of nothing. You know, the absence of everything. No colours. Not even white. Just nothing.'
SA: 'It sounds like a really interesting show… nothing.'
MC: 'What’s your goal as a comedian?'
SA: 'I hope one day to slay a giant … with jokes. When telling jokes, what sort of response do you strive for?'
MC: 'I really want people to whisper to one another, "What did he say?" '
SA: 'Well, it seems like you’re getting what you want. Speaking of which, if you could have one wish, what
would it be?'
MC: 'I’d wish that every day was today; that way I could live forever. Presuming I don’t die today, of course. Next question.'
SA: 'Who’s the leader of this gang?'
MC: 'This isn’t a gang.'
SA: 'Guess I’m the leader then, since you don’t even know that we’re a gang.'
MC: 'So should I call you the "Big Cheese"?'
SA: 'No, I prefer "Head Honcho". "Big Cheese" makes me sound fat.
MC: 'That reminds me, what’s your favourite food?'
MC: 'Let’s talk about the show; I just have a couple notes. Could you stop stepping on my line in the camel-riding scene?'
SA: 'You need to say your line earlier; mine’s coming at exactly the right time.'
MC: 'If I say it any earlier, I’ll step on your line.'
SA: 'I’m willing to make that sacrifice.'
MC: 'Fine, then answer me this: who is that guy with the guitar at all of our shows?'
SA: 'That’s our musician, Dominick.'
MC: 'Oooooh. Really? I thought he was a just a big fan.'
SA: 'Oh no. Not at all.'
MC: 'Well. That’s about it. We’re running out of space. Man, the end is always the saddest part.'
SA: 'Yeah, like the end of "Old Yeller", when Lenny gets shot.'
MC: 'Thanks for sitting down with me, Shenoah.'
SA: 'My pleasure, Mark.'
The Pajama Men’s show ‘Versus Vs Versus’ is at The Soho Theatre until Mar 28.
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