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Under the Influence

Distin & Lowe explain some of their significant influences…

When asked to come up with a list of influences, our minds immediately turned to Guinness, Jack Daniel’s, and the occasion Mark made ‘happy gravy’ to go with the Sunday roast – an experiment which caused him to spend five hours staring at the iridescent revolving cube the Playstation generated by ‘Levelling the Land’ playing on repeat while Stephen giggled at his feet.

One thing we’ve realised over the years is how similar our influences are, and as with most people our influences largely come from our immediate surroundings and those closest to us – our family and friends; colleagues and peers. However listing old tutors or "our mate Matt" isn’t going to help you understand us any better; therefore this list is made up of our more famous influences and reasons for including them.

Tony Hancock
So rarely does an actor and his material attain such near comedic perfection as Hancock and the scripts of Galton & Simpson did. Yet it’s all too often that infamy and tragedy overshadow such brilliance.

Groucho Marx
A driving force behind one of the greatest comedy teams committed to celluloid. Some would say only Jesus was more quotable than Groucho.

Bruce Campbell
So cool he’s groovy, the man best known for kicking evil’s arse is held in such high esteem by Distin & Lowe it might be prudent for him to issue a restraining order.

Arthur "Spud" Melin

A man of vision who could see gold in silly string and frisbees.

Douglas Adams

One of the finest writers to have ever written about a man in a dressing gown, his work eclipses his peers in every conceivable aspect of comedy prose even after his death; people like Pratchett can only pray to be this good. He’s also the reason Mark took a towel and a copy of the ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’ round Ireland with him. The book he left in a youth hostel in Kilkenny, but he still has the towel.

Bill Hicks

For speaking truths that had gone unsaid and for proving that comedy is as potent and powerful a medium as drama. The fact that this man’s work is as relevant today as it was when he died a decade ago is both testament to his brilliance and a sorry indictment that this world has learned nothing in his absence.

Spike Milligan
He and the Goons were the progenitors of modern comedy and their work is as funny as the day it was recorded. The impact of Milligan’s unique comic genius is still evident today, if not through those inspired by him, then in the wealth of poems, novels, scripts, radio shows, television programmes and myriad performances which remain.

Honourable mentions should also go to Roald Dahl, Laurel & Hardy and William Shatner.


All images and text © 2006 The KOBAL Theatre Company