“I like the directness of ‘fuck’. In the show I don’t think it’s gratuitous, I can justify it. I think there are one or two filthy moments when they’re just there to be filthy, but on the whole it’s kind of… it comes down to just doing things that make me laugh.”
Yon from the musical comedy trio, Tripod, is a creep. The cover art of his debut solo album, Mandaddy, shows him in various erotic poses loosely clad in a red satin dressing gown. The pictures are well-placed. To extract the CD you need to reach into his groin. All-the-while he stares at you with those crazy bug-eyes.
The content of the Mandaddy album – which accompanies Yon's solo stand-up show of the same name, opening at Chapel Off Chapel on Wednesday 29 August – is also creepy. “The album's like a chronological mission statement,” Yon explains, leaning over an espresso bumped with sugar that he almost had to kill the totally apathetic barista to get. “It starts being about sex and dating in your early 20s, but then it kind of goes into marriage and depression and having children and more grown up sort of…” he trails off. “Well, it still manages to be filthy, but around different stages of life, I suppose.”
You probably have to see the show to get the songs in context, but, to give you the gist: “If my kids were my girlfriend, I'd be sexing someone else” is one lyric; “I'm .05 percent closer to fucking her” is the chorus of another song about letting a hot girl into traffic in front of him. The song Tiny Tiny Girl is about the challenges of small girls being with, ahem, big dudes.
“You start to worry, 'is this being misogynistic, 'n' stuff?'” he says. “Guys will more quickly baulk at that because it makes them really worried, and they might over-do it.” But Yon struts the fine line with the help of his collaborator, Fiona Scott-Norman. “If you're saying something harsh, you have to get the tone of it right, you've gotta get it exactly right. She was good at that… I felt like I could be really honest with everything with her on board. She never actually went, 'y'know, that's a bit woman hatey'.”
The self-admitted veteran of musical comedy, who is also currently working with Tripod on the music for a Cartoon Network show, just can't go past good swear word. “I like the directness of 'fuck'. In the show I don't think it's gratuitous, I can justify it. I think there are one or two filthy moments when they're just there to be filthy, but on the whole it's kind of… it comes down to just doing things that make me laugh.”
Mandaddy seems a bit like the diary of a nerd on viagra making his first encounters with the opposite, alien sex. It might be something that musical comedy's coming to terms with too. “When [Tripod] started musical comedy it was extremely uncool. That was 15 years ago. I think the Conchords made it cool, and now you've got your [Tim] Minchins and people like that… We've also played off the idea of being uncool. Anyone who could do anything with computers back in the '90s was uncool. That's why a lot of nerds came to our comedy shows. But you know what? Nerds aren't uncool anymore. Everyone uses a computer now, so the lines are really blurred.”
Yon (from Tripod)'s Mandaddy runs from Wednesday 29 August to September 16, Chapel Off Chapel.