My Comedy Hero: Yianni Agisilaou on Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- Brian Donaldson
- 2 August 2017
Ahead of two Fringe shows and a national tour, the comedian, writer and 'global clown' picks the South Park, Team America and Book of Mormon creators as his comic icons
You might think that touring a show called The Simpsons Taught Me Everything I Know would mean my comedy heroes must be Simpsons-related. And some are. But since The Simpsons is such a collaborative effort, who do you choose? Matt Groening, who conceived the show but has hardly written an episode? Conan O'Brien, author of classic episodes like 'Homer Goes to College' and 'Marge vs the Monorail'? John Swartzwelder, the Ron Swansonesque reclusive genius and record-holder for most episodes written (look up his self-published books, they're utterly laugh-out-loud hilarious)? The amazing voice talents: Sam Simon? Al Jean? George Meyer?
They're all incredible but if I have to nail it down, I choose satirical masters Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Their ability to reinvent South Park multiple times during its life (have you watched it recently? Admit it, you haven't. Rectify that and binge some *right now*!) and their eye for hypocrisy and ability to skewer both sides of a debate is rare: in the increasingly polarised world we live in, it's sorely needed. They are bold and brave and risk significant backlash from their targets ('Mom! Tom Cruise won't come out of the closet!'; pictures of Mohammed anyone?). And what else is there to say about their side projects such as Book of Mormon, BASEketball and Team America except 'fuck yeah!'
Finally the fact that episodes are made in six days (oh hamburgers!) means they're able to react to and satirise events pretty much in real time. They're ridiculously talented geniuses and I love them.
Yianni Agisilaou: The Simpsons Taught Me Everything I Know is on tour from 6 Sep–9 Dec. His Edinburgh Fringe show, Pockets Of Equality, is at Banshee Labyrinth, 5–27 Aug (not 7, 14, 21), 2pm, free. He also hosts Comedians Against Humanity at Subway, 5–26 Aug (not 7, 14, 21), 7.30pm, free.