When I met the UK duo Bishop and Douch (rhymes with couch, not the other word) in New York City on Wednesday night, they seemed pleasant enough, but told me they couldn’t quite explain what they had planned for their UCB show the following night. They weren’t joking.
Their sketch show was all over the place, with segues happening onstage, and comedians Dave Hill and Leo Allen and musician Andrew Thompson participating in the sketches in addition to providing stand-up buffers. In one scene, Bishop played Jesus Christ as a hapless stand-up who shared a flat with King Herod, which culminated in a musical number, which then had Bishop disrobing to become a guy complaining to Douch and his friend about problems at Disneyland, or something to that effect, with Allen dressed up as a princess and the self-knowing repetition of the line that this scene was "perhaps a little too ridiculous!" Also ridiculous, the next sketch in which Bishop and Douche try to steal candy, with Hill as an overly aggressive security officer, superheroes and theme songs. It was all so bizzare that afterward, they had Hill and Allen question the entire show onstage. Maybe a Beatles song or the Benny Hill theme would’ve helped ease the audience into this, Allen suggested. Another sketch had Bishop and Douche looking for their replacements and getting upended in the process.
Twas all quite whimsical. Reminded me very much of the Monty Python phrase: "And now for something completely different!"
In fact, that’s what Bishop and Douch said they were going for, with Douch telling me later last night: "Every show is different." Bishop said they wrote these sketches specifically for New York City, and that when they watch the video back, they’ll be surprised to see what they came up with themselves. They’ll also perform Sunday at Pianos before heading back to the U.K. on Monday. And expect to see them in Edinburgh this summer.
And in fact, they didn’t even rehearse any of it properly beforehand. So Leo Allen and Dave Hill walked into last night’s show pretty blind (they did great, considering). "A sketch show with no rehearsal — I haven’t done that in a while!" Allen told me. Hill, I thought, had it even tougher, considering he was hosting his own talk show at the UCB immediately afterward.