Long gone are the days of vaudeville, but the physical comedy circuit — albeit obscure — is stronger than ever. We caught up with Columbia County funnymen Pat Ferri and Dave Cox (aptly dubbed Those Two Guys) about the fate of their industry, alternate uses of toilet paper, and Jay Leno’s chin.
Pat: Dave’s background is in juggling, equilibrium, and balancing, and mine is in theater. So we can come up with some neat theatrical pieces that are pretty wild.
Dave: We put a lot of energy into our routines. Pat does character stuff, crazy sketches and stories, and I’m always pushing the skill, making it difficult. It’s a great mix of two different styles.
Dave: My toilet paper tightrope. I make a rope out of toilet paper and walk on it like a slack line while juggling.
Dave: Pat doesn’t think he broke my ribs…
Pat: I think I need a drink.
Dave: It was during our Unicycle Stunt Show, where we ride up ramps towards each other, cross in the air, and jump off a two-foot drop. And we basically crashed into each other.
Pat: Well okay, he got hurt. But there was no confirmation of X-rays.
Dave: I’d broken my ribs twice before, so I pretty much know what it feels like.
Pat: Surmise, surmise…
Dave: He wants current X-rays to show the damage.
Pat: It’s a very strong accusation.
Pat: I thought, “These guys are going to just set up pranks and film it? This is terrible.” But I laugh my butt off. In one bit, they jump off a mini-trampoline into a ceiling fan. That’s awesome!
Pat: I like to think I have more craft, you know? I have characters and there’s a storyline. But they’re not that far from what I’m doing, so I don’t want to put myself on a pedestal. Those guys are pretty funny.
Dave: (Laughs.) He was one of the nicest people I ever met, so I don’t want to say anything bad about his jaw. It’s all a camera trick, a big marketing scheme.
Pat: Could also just be the 10 pounds that the camera adds.
Pat: To perform in bigger theaters, and work in Europe, would be sensational. And on TV, of course. What’s your ego gonna say? “No thanks, I’m stickin’ with theater, hyuck hyuck!”
Dave: I definitely want to get on TV. I’d like to do Conan if I could, or get on Leno’s new show.
Pat: Those Two Guys is a blast to do, and we’re laughing most of the way through it. We’re not really sure how it works, but it does. It’s all totally screwy, wacky, wildly wonderful stuff.