The Topp Twins are one of New Zealand’s leading comedy duos, lending their witty personalities and hilarious skits to the nation for over a decade. Next month they’re bringing their Kid’s Show to Auckland.
Verve’s intern, Minnie Jung, caught up with Linda & Jools to find out all about it.
Q. When did you realise that other people found you funny? Was it then that you were inspired to become a comedy duo?
J & L: We’ve always made each other laugh at home growing up but the comedy in our shows all started in Palmerston North years ago. We were doing a show and singing country music and the audience were just really flat. So Lynda went out into the audience and said “We had to endure this growing up and now you have to endure it too!” and they all started laughing. It ended up being a great show and the start of a beautiful thing!
Q. Are your various characters inspired by real people?
J & L: Not necessarily real people, but types of people we grew up with. The characters came from us, they’re part of us and part of being a New Zealander. We’ve all known a Ken or a Camp Mother in our lives.
Q. Do you ever go off script and improvise?
J & L: We’ve never had a script in our lives. That what makes us who we are. We have ‘concepts’ that we stick to. Most performers would be horrified if they were told ‘ok you’ve got a two-hour show and no script’, but we love it. If you’re improvising you’re in the moment and if the audience aren’t reacting, or are, we can go with it and adapt.
Q. Do you like your audience getting involved with the show?
J & L: Yup, we don’t force anybody into anything but we’ve learnt to make sure the audience does come with us and get involved. We’re not trying to get a reaction we’re trying to connect and have a relationship with the audience. It’s important that if you’re going to use your audience you have to look after them, send them up, not put them down to bring them along with you. Make them superstars!
Q. Are you always dreaming up new material or do you prefer to stick with old favourites these days?
J & L: A bit of both. We like to mix things up but people are always disappointed if we don’t do some of the old stuff. You got to have a bit of old and a bit of new. Something old, something new, something pink…. that’s how it goes isn’t it?
Q. What advice would you give to people who haven’t enough laughter in their lives?
J & L: It’s important to have laughter in your life and to be able to laugh at yourself. But life can be hard and some people are dealing with a lot – if you haven’t got enough laughter in your life you need to change something and you definitely need to come to a Topp Twins show.
Q. What was the motivation behind entertaining children?
J & L: Entertaining children is a big challenge. They don’t pull any punches, and they are really fun to make laugh! You can be stupid with kids, it’s really cool, they want to be involved. And you can’t trick them either – they’ll let you know in the first 5 minutes if you’re funny or not! Sometimes we let kids come on the stage, but that has back fired in the past, we ended up with the whole audience trying to come on stage!
Q. If you hadn’t gone down the entertainment path, what would do you think you would have ended up doing?
JOOLS: I’d be training horses, and people how to be with their horses. I’m already doing that now as well as performing. One day I’ll be doing a show for hundreds of people and the next I’m in a paddock trimming horses. I love it.
LYNDA: I probably would have been a farmer.
Q. Does social media play a roll in your lives? What are your favourite platforms?
J & L: We realise it’s a platform you can use to get a message out; everyone seems to be on Facebook these days so it’s kind of a necessary evil but it’s not our favourite thing…. social media is reaction not action and we need more Action! We’d rather be talking with someone face to face.
Q. Are you cat people or dog people?
J & L: Both – we’re animal people
Q. Who’s the funniest person you know?
JOOLS: Lynda Topp
LYNDA: Jools Topp – especially when she’s in Camp Leader mode, it’s really hard to keep a straight face when Camp Leader’s going off on some tangent.
Q. Last question: What does the future hold for the Topp Twins?
J & L: Wouldn’t it be sad if we all knew what was going to happen!? You have to keep doing things to keep it exciting and challenge yourself. We like to keep busy. We’ll probably still be performing when we’re 100! Who knows – there’s no script like we said.
The Topp Twins Kids Show will be held at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls Grammar School. Running from 3-5 October. Grab your tickets from eventfinda.co.nz or call (09) 365 2342. Find out more at www.topptwins.com