"It’s always a dangerous game asking the crowd to get involved in a show..." - Dan and Phil talk new DVD Interactive Introverts
Daniel Howell and Phil Lester, better known as simply Dan and Phil, began life as YouTubers, amassing a huge online following with their zany videos and antics.
With hundreds of millions of views, the pair were soon in demand over the next few years scored a show on Radio 1, presenting gigs and even their own documentary.
At the end of 2015, the pair decided to step out from the camera and went out live with their first stand-up tour. That tour, The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire, was a big success, and a follow-up was demanded. That arrived this year in the shape of new show Interactive Introverts.
This time, the pair handed over control to their audiences, promising them rants, roasts, battles, stories and more surprises. Now the show has been captured on DVD and is now available in hmv stores and here in hmv's online store.
With the DVD now on shelves, we spoke to the pair about the inspiration behind Interactive Introverts and the perils of audience participation...
Can you talk us through the inspiration for Interactive Introverts?
Dan: "We were thinking like if we were about to both get hit by a meteor and spectacularly cease to exist forever, what would we want to do in this show?"
Phil: "The answer is give the people what they want! It’s not about us or what we want - just giving our audience the best time of their lives."
Dan: "The entire show is about that, but who are the people? Are they all the same? What do they want? Why do they want it? Is it even a good idea to give it to them? All about the relationship between artists/creators and the audiences that violently consume them."
Phil: "And so the idea for our show was birthed! As for the name.. well we’re two introverts who don’t really leave the house or talk to people and here we are handing ourselves to hundreds of thousands of people. Kind of funny and ironic."
Dan: "And catchy."
What did you want to do differently from The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire run?
Phil: "Our first ever stage show was basically the ultimate celebration of the history of ‘Dan and Phil’ on YouTube. Literally, every word was an inside joke to something and it was insanely over the top and amazing, but for this new show we wanted it to be funny for anyone."
"You can take the jokes and the meaning behind all the parts of the show and apply it to any fandom which is really interesting! My parents understood this one which says a lot."
Dan: "Also we wanted to shake up the style of what we did in the show. Our first one was mainly scripted with a few interactive segments which were always the highlight, but given the name of the show, we knew this one had to be almost entirely controlled by the audience."
"This was awesome as every show was different and reflected back on who was in the room that night, but it was also incredibly fun for us to do a mix of stand up/sketches and improv based on the interesting things the audience wanted from us."
You allowed audience members to input their own questions and polls via your own website, did that ever bring any unexpected results?
Dan: "Every town is totally different, it was hilarious! Turns out most people in the UK and USA just want to laugh at us and for us to suffer for their amusement, but in places like Russia and Manila, they were so kind and wholesome, even when we were literally asking to be roasted."
Phil: "It’s always a dangerous game asking the crowd to get involved in a show, that’s what made it so hilarious though!"
You took the tour to 18 different countries, were there any particular highlights on the run?
Phil: "When you say it like that I suddenly feel really tired. We performed the show 82 times can you believe that?! I loved travelling across the USA in a tour bus, looking out the window at all the strip malls filled with IHOP’s. I had a dank Denny’s ‘breakfast slam’ at 2am in Florida."
Dan: "Phil mainly enjoyed the USA for the breakfasts. I loved going to all the far-out places we’d never been before like New Zealand and Mumbai! The craziest thing is no matter where we went in the world everyone had the same sense of humour and meme references, it’s a small internet after all."
You filmed the DVD in Los Angeles, why did you decide to do it there?
Dan: "The audiences in LA are wild."
Phil: "It’s true! Having performed live there a few times we know it’s always a good crowd and being halfway through our tour we knew we’d be good at performing the show by then."
Dan: "The people in the room in the film are so diverse from all age ranges, including a couple of terrified fathers who were quaking in fear that we’d interact with them. They were so animated though!"
"Our audience close ups in this film aren’t people sitting down politely clapping - we have people standing up and jeering, throwing themselves on the floor laughing and even an ironic dab which we had to highlight in shame."
What are you going to be up to in 2019?
Dan: "That’s a good one! Sleeping."
Phil: "Dan’s gonna be like an angry bear deep in a cave that you should only approach with a sharp stick. We’re both gonna chill after our insane adventure this year then think about some new cool stuff we might try."
Dan: "Everyone knows we both like to try new things whether it’s Radio, writing or even game designing so I think each of us will look within and see what we’re tingling for next."
Have you started planning your next live tour?
Dan: "Yes in 2019, I’m going to do a tour of a remote mountain top that I will fly to and live in solitude."
Phil: "Can I do a tour of places that serve sweet breakfasts? I’ll happily do a show about that."