Anyone that has experienced a night at Stamptown will likely struggle to summarise it. Words like 'raunchy', 'chaotic' and 'batshit' might make an appearance but really, it's a late-night variety show that is different with each iteration so can't be properly summed up. As the brainchild of producer and comedian Zach Zucker, it has grown arms and legs since its inception, becoming one of the most-popular mixed-bill shows at the Fringe. With a core ensemble, returning characters, sketches and skits that don't make sense anywhere else but in the 'Stamptown Cinematic Universe', it has to be experienced to be fully understood and appreciated. In this unhinged conversation, Zucker’s alter-ego and host Jack Tucker catches up with Stamptown mainstay and audience favourite Spanish Fuck Boi to try and give some insight into what can be expected at a typical night.
Jack Tucker: Hello! Oh my gosh, this is fantastic. It's my first time being interviewed. Hello London English!
Fest: Jack, lovely to meet you. Can you tell us a little bit about how you two met?
Jack Tucker: Yeah, well, it's a crazy story. Honestly. I think we met one time at a show. I was doing this show and then he was there…
Spanish Fuck Boi: I was. My whole life, I've been wanting to be in showbusiness. My mother, she's a gynaecologist. And she wanted me to be gynaecologist. But I don't want to look at vaginas. So like, every time we'll be watching TV in Spain, we will be watching all these amazing comedians and I would say to my mom and dad, one day, I'm going to be in showbusiness and they said don't be so silly. You can't be in showbusiness! You have to stay here and work on the farm with your brother and sister. And one day I saved up enough money. And I went all the way to the capital of showbusiness, New York City, and I got off the plane and I said take me to Times Square, and I went to Times Square. And then this person was selling me a ticket to a show and I walked in and there was the funniest and most amazing comedian I ever saw; Jack Tucker. And I knew from that moment, I have to… I want to help be in his show.
Jack Tucker: Yeah, I mean, I don't remember the first part of it. And I've never seen a vagina but I've seen them in Lion King when they take the little boy because I know they're like a bit nasty those little creatures… but everything else he was saying kind of checks out.
Spanish Fuck Boi: And he’s been so nice because like at first, I was just helping with the show. And then sometimes if I'm lucky, he lets me introduce people sometimes. Sometimes I can introduce the comedians. He says, 'Do you want to introduce the next comedian?' And sometimes I do it. It’s amazing!
Fest: Jack, what was your first impression when you met? Obviously he was overwhelmed by you. How did you feel?
Jack Tucker: You know, it's nice to be appreciated. I don't want to make this about me. But since you asked me a question, I guess I kind of have to make this about me.
I'm going through a hard time right now with my family, with my divorce, with my wife Sharon. And my son Joe who’s growing up so fast. You know just yesterday I blinked and he was 45 and here he is now; he's 36 year-old-man. And you know I try to get positive reinforces wherever I can't in my life. And Spanish Fuck Boi's been sort of like a brother and a son and a father and a mother sometimes, because he brings mother's milk. Not that way though. So you know, it's just nice to find somebody around who wants me there. And not just because 'the court tells me I have to be there', or that we 'legally have to go to the school play', or I have to pick him up otherwise I'm going to 'lose custody'. But I don't know, when I was growing up custody was only a thing you had for dessert. But apparently you have to have custody. I don't know, it's a crazy world we live in.
Spanish Fuck Boi: Yeah, but he also likes to eat ice cream.
Jack Tucker: That's true. Ice cream. Aaaagh!
Spanish Fuck Boi: He loves to eat ice cream all the time. He's amazing.
Jack Tucker: Yes, the little SpongeBob guy because his eyes are little gumballs. But it's a bit too hard on my stomach. I always swallow the gum balls and I think it takes about seven years to process. There's a lot of gum in my tum. I've got a really gummy tummy
Spanish Fuck Boi: He's gonna live forever.
Jack Tucker: Exactly. Exactly.
Fest: Jack, how did you first come to Stamptown?
Jack Tucker: You know that’s a really good question, but, um…my memory is not too good. You know? I don't know if you guys know this, but I am from beautiful New York City. And I live in Chinatown. And I live above a noodle shop. And I don't know if you guys know about this, I have a condition that's called noodle noggin, and that's where I've eaten too many noodles that have gotten a bit off. So the oils, the sesame oil and the seeds start to mix with my brain a little bit. You know how you have ear lobes and then I think I have my frontal lobes. And some of the oils mixed into my frontal lobes and they've knocked out a lot of my memory. So if I'm being honest, I kind of just jack in and out of consciousness all the time and I just kind of remember one day being on stage, soaking in the laughs like my brain soaks in this wonderful sesame oil. And my brain says to me, you gotta be the host of this show. And kind of after that I just started, brain blasted in and out of these shows. And yeah that's how it started.
Spanish Fuck Boi: He's very clever because if your brain is telling you to do something, and you listen, that is how you do it, because my brain was telling me to be in showbusiness and I wanted to listen to it as well, because I don't even eat sesame.
Jack Tucker: It's crazy. Have you ever had a sesame bagel? Because the bagel says to me "have another one!"
Fest: Spanish, What do you do to relax when you're not on stage?
Spanish Fuck Boi: You know how I do the dance when I come on in Stamptown? Oh, yes, well to relax, I do it slowly without music. Because the music makes it a bit fast. But if I do it without music, it's relaxing and it makes me feel calm.
Fest: Same question to Mr. Tucker.
Jack Tucker: There's not much, I'm always kind of on the go. I'm a New Yorker. I'm from New York City. We're always moving and grooving. And while we move and groove, I guess in the same way I kind of like dance. Spanish Fuck Boi's dance is more of a slow dance with no music. My dance is sort of a comedy show with no audience or microphone. I like to just practice jokes. Like KNOCK KNOCK
Spanish Fuck Boi: Who’s there?
Jack Tucker: So then, I would think about who I want to be there and then that’s what I’ll say and if it makes me laugh, I'm kind of relaxed out a little bit.
Fest: So, what has been your most memorable Stamptown performance?
Jack Tucker: I think I know my answer. My answer would be when we were attacked by the vicious O2 Arena security in London and they came out like paratroopers in security uniforms. And they were so rude and so nasty, and they ripped me and my friend Archibald off stage. And they yanked us off which, you know, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Pride Month, but I'm not someone who wants to get yanked off all the time. But these guys came on stage and they yanked me off, New York Yankee style, in front of all my family and friends. It was very embarrassing. My son was in the audience, and he saw his father getting manhandled. Like a piece of meat, flopping around. And I just thought it was very distasteful. And, you know, I'm still recovering emotionally, physically and mentally from this experience.
Fest: Your favourite, Spanish?
Spanish Fuck Boi: My favourite moment was in the Edinburgh Fringe last year, where Jack Tucker let me sing a song to end the show. I mean, it was just crazy. It so amazing. Jack was…
Jack Tucker: I was practising being a gynaecologist!
Spanish Fuck Boi: He was being a gynaecologist, yes. Jack Tucker and Tara Boom and Reuben Kaye were all doing an amazing act, and I just didn't expect to see it. And I didn't know what they were doing. Like I didn't really understand what was happening. But like everyone in the audience was really enjoying it. It was really just amazing to be singing with them. To be joining in singing. My answer is when I was able to sing with Reuben Kaye and Tara Boom and Jack Tucker while they were doing a circus act and I was singing.
Fest: Now this is a scary question. I don't know if you'll have an answer for it, but what are plans for the future? Are there plans beyond Stamptown?
Spanish Fuck Boi: Beyond? What are you talking about? What do you mean beyond?
Jack Tucker: Like Buzz Lightyear to infinity and beyond? Sure. I guess I could play Toy Story.
Spanish Fuck Boi: Yeah, I could be in it. I could be in Toy Story too. I can be the I can be the policeman.
Jack Tucker: You can be in Toy Story Two, I can be in Toy Story Three!
Spanish Fuck Boi: We can all be in Toy Story. And that is what Stamptown is about.
Jack Tucker: In a way, we're kind of like our own Toy Story – in a way, I'm kind of Woody. If you know what I mean. And you're kind of Buzz. And my wife was kind of Bo Peep. Well, she was until she decided to be a rotten bitch about it. And then also Viggo Venn is kind of like the Slinky Dog. Except if it won Britain's Got Talent. And then Mr. Potato Head’s kind of like Dylan because he's silly.
Spanish Fuck Boi: And the O2 security guard is like Sid the next door neighbour.
Jack Tucker: Yeah, cuz he's always mashing us around and mashing our parts together. And then Pixar is kind of Stamptown or Pleasance. And in a way the audience is kind of like everybody who goes and buys tickets to the movie and enjoys themselves.
Fest: That's actually what I was going to ask you next, about the audience and how you connect with them and why you think the audience find Stamptown so special.
Jack Tucker: Well, I think they probably find it so special because watching Stamptown’s kind of like watching Toy Story. And you know, it's that part in Toy Story 3, where all your friends get together, and they're huddling up and they're all hurtling towards a big fiery ball. And you're wondering how the freakin’ heck are we going to get out of this? And all of us in a moment, embrace that we might have to accept death. And the moment that we all accept that there's nowhere to go, three little special friends come out of nowhere. Three little aliens, and they lift us out with a beautiful claw and take us to safety, where we can go and ride again into a pit of fire another day.
Fest: That’s beautiful. Is it exactly the same for you?
Spanish Fuck Boi: Toy story is a collaboration between Disney and Pixar and that is what showbusiness is about.
Fest: Anybody got anything they didn't cover?
Jack Tucker: I wasn't a big fan of Brave. That was probably my least favourite Pixar one. I know it's in Scotlish and that's not nice to say but they just don't sound like the Scotlish I know.
Fest: Which shows would you recommend at the Fringe?
Spanish Fuck Boi: Oh yeah, definitely see Zach Zucker and Josh Glanc.
Jack Tucker: I'm not really sure who either those guys are. I'm more into the classic stand-up comics, not these weird wacky guys. You know, people like Alan Gertrude and Morten Dinglebosch.
Spanish Fuck Boi: Yeah, go see Harry Triggerball.
Jack Tucker: And go see Lyndon B Laughing and Osama Bin Joke Man.
Spanish Fuck Boi: Saddam Hoo Ha Ha Ha.
Jack Tucker: And then after Saddam Hoo Ha Ha Ha, go see my favourite religious comedy hour; The Insha ha ha ha ha la hour. Or, my favourite friends from the Jewish community. The SHA ha ha ha ha LOM comedy time.
But also, but I guess also, besides all these very real recommendations probably Comedy for Christ, Mormon Mormon Laugh Times, and Amish…ya-so-much-because-you-make-me-laugh.
Fest: Thank you so much. Any actual shows?
Jack Tucker: Michelle Brassiere [Brasier] if you know what I mean…. Annabel Marlow. Ike Ufomadu.
Oh, and Fartin’ Martin Urbano. But you have to put it Martin Fartin’ Urbano because everyone in New York City knows him as Fartin’ Martin Urbano. Moses Storm. Drew Michaels. Huge Davies. Courtney Pauroso. Actually Spanish has a crush on Courtney.
Fest: Ah. She's very crushable. Who wouldn’t have a crush on Courtney.
Jack Tucker: Yeah, I could crush her with my fingers.
Courtney and I are sort of not dating but we're not not dating. You know what I mean?