Idiots of Ants

This article is from 2008.

Idiots of Ants

Internet sensations return with more sketches firmly on the side of silly

A lot of modern comedy dwells on the darker side of life, but that’s not an accusation to be levelled at Idiots of Ants. The London-based four-man sketch act can be placed firmly in the ‘daft’ file, and if you don’t believe us just check out their online Fringe preview video, where the quartet parade around rush-hour London in just their pants. ‘Silly, that’s the key word,’ says Andrew Spiers when asked to describe their show this year. ‘It’s fun and upbeat; we veer away from anything too dark. At the end of the day it’s what we find funny, which turns out is very wide-ranging, but the best way to describe it all is very silly, definitely.’

The act debuted at last year’s Fringe, selling out their run, and this runaway success has continued onto television slots on BBC3 and E4. Their biggest triumph, though, has come from an online sketch entitled ‘Facebook in Real Life’, which sharply parodies the ridiculousness of online social networking sites. With over a million hits, it’s a genuine internet phenomenon, even featuring on Fox News in the States. ‘It’s been crazy; friends of mine have seen it all over the world,’ laughs Spiers. ‘My sister was in a pub in Australia, and some guys she’d never met were talking about it. We hit that zeitgeisty thing, I guess, where everyone could connect with it to some degree. Unfortunately, there’s no money in being an internet sensation.’

Sketch shows are not exactly in vogue these days, but the four Idiots, who met at drama school, reckon it’s the perfect way to make a living. ‘There’s a real enjoyment in just larking about with your mates,’ admits Spiers. ‘Having that as a career appeals much more than doing Shakespeare on tour, or stand-up on your own.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 2–25 Aug (not 11, 18), 6.20pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews until 1 Aug, £5.

Idiots of Ants

  • 4 stars

The internet sensations return with more sketches firmly on the side of silly. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

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