Bringing their world premiere to Perth this Fringeworld Festival, up and coming stand-up comedians Nic Monisse and Grant Mushet have their worlds collide to form A Different Class. Exploring the distinctions between social class, Nic, raised in leafy Leederville, and Grant, hailing from rural Scotland, draw upon their vastly different upbringings to produce hilarious, all-out class warfare. As they continue to perform throughout February, I sat down with them to find out more about the show and being funny.
Can you each give me a one-sentence synopsis of the show?
Grant- Nic’s a posh wanker, I’m not. Can you say wanker in a magazine, is that alright?
Nic- I mean that’s pretty concise. I was going to say, I was brought up with a little bit of class is Mush is rough around the edges.
How did you two meet and come to work together?
Grant- We met through comedy.
Nic- At a kebab shop.
Grant- Nic remembers the details, it’s adorable.
Nic- Yeah it was really nice— we got a kebab and went to a gig together.
And from there you decided to merge your comedy together?
Nic- Yeah, well we still do our own too. The way the show works is we do 25 minutes of comedy each, but we sort of address the fact that the other person’s there. I think our comedy compliments each other quite nicely. We have pretty different content, but I think we’re both quite high energy and I’d say pretty positive comedians. I think that comes across, but where the whole class thing comes in, and what we thought would be a pretty interesting idea, is that Mush talks about some more hectic material. Like he’ll talk about doing drugs, I mean I don’t listen half the time but I assume he’s talking about drugs, living in Scotland and Rockingham. I assume it’s funny. And then, you know, I’ll talk about riding bikes and my parents and voluntourism and that sort of thing.
Grant- Yeah, all the exciting stuff.
Do you work together much in developing the show then, or do you work separately and come together to perform?
Grant- No, we’re pretty confident in the fact that, like Nic said, the material sort of compliments each other, so we knew if we’d just written our 25 minutes each we’d be sweet.
Nic- I think the other thing is that we’re always around each other you know, I probably see Mush more than my girlfriend. We’re doing comedy four or five times a week, so we’re constantly seeing each other perform. All jokes aside we probably know each other’s sets quite well. I knew if I was going to do a split show I was going to do it with Mush. Also, Mush, coming from Scotland, doesn’t have any friends so I didn’t have any other option. It worked out quite well.
How long have you guys been putting this show together for?
Grant- Since like August, whenever the Fringe hunt went up, maybe July.
Nic- Yeah, July. I think the best way to look at it is probably, is that even though we’re a bit early in our career to be doing a ‘Greatest Hits’, but that’s more or less what it is. You know we’ve both been around comedy for two and a half years, so this is probably the best stuff from that time and in reality the best stuff of the last year and a half or so.
Has either of you performed in Fringe before?
Grant- This is the first time doing 25 minutes and doing it as a show that we’ve got on our own.
How did you find yourselves first pursuing a career in comedy?
Grant- That one’s deep. I don’t have the intellectual level like that. I just thought it’d be fun.
When did you first realise you were funny then?
Grant- Probably about two years in. I’m barely even funny now, I just work hard.
Nic- I use to come home and watch stand up comedy. Probably from age 13 or 14 I use to watch stand-up just on Youtube and smash through Live at the Apollo and those sorts of shows. I never really thought about doing it properly until I was in my early 20s. I did a few speeches at mates’ 21sts— I had one friend that was particularly boring and I somehow managed to bring the house down, and I was like ‘you know what, I should probably do some stand-up’. So I guess if you want to make it into a fun little story, that was my process.
Both working full time, how do you find juggling your ‘day job’ and what you’re doing in comedy during a busy time like Fringe?
Grant- It’s alright. You know you probably end up doing 16 hour days most days so it’s pretty hectic, but good old coffee and green vegetables keep you going.
Nic- I think Mush and I are sort of parallel in many ways. We started in comedy about the same time, we both work full time and then gig full time as well. So they are long days and hard work, but it’s good fun.
Grant- We’re pretty much the same person except Nic went to private school.
After this show wraps up at the end of February, what is next for you both together and separately?
Grant- We’re going to Adelaide at the end of February and doing five nights at a place called the Black Bull . After Adelaide, probably try and get over east a bit, and try and step up a little in terms of the old comedy game.
Nic and Grant are performing A Different Class every Friday and Saturday night through February— you can read more and buy tickets on the Fringeworld site.