Deliciously deadpan sketch collective Gein’s Family Giftshop have been rolling in accolades from all corners since finding themselves and each other in Salford. Their knack for absurdist tweaks to everyday scenarios draws comparison with UK black comedy series like The League of Gentlemen, Garth Marenghi and Psychoville, with comic twists, turns and multiple punchlines to surely sate even the most stoically humourless.
Just back from another successful stint in Edinburgh, the gang had their say on our handful of questions, fired at them ahead of their appearance at Pen:Chant’s cabaret show at Gorilla on Wednesday 21 September.
You have a knack for finding humour in death and murder. Do you find inspiration more in serious drama than other comedians? Which series do you tend to watch?
We love horror. And also Alan Partridge, League of Gentlemen and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
A Gein’s night in tends to involve a horror film and Jim clipping his nails into* the kitchen bin. We watch both from behind a pillow.
Add to that being sat on by a dog that doesn’t understand it’s own body weight and you’ve got yourself a great night in.
Was there a particular moment when you realised you’d found the right formula as a group?
We found out pretty early that most people don’t want to see three people trying to change costumes behind a pool table.
Are there any topics or themes you’d avoid, whether due to public taboo or personal choice?
Nope. It’s not bad to raise awareness of serious topics and find the funny around them. It’d be misjudged to take the piss out of them, but then that’s not what we do. Although people often think that we are because we’re from the North.
What’s the best heckle you’ve ever heard at your shows?
Someone winning on a fruit machine. Mainly because no one ever wins on a fruit machine. Also, someone booing Ed’s penis. Who boos a dick?
What do you think the future holds for sketch comedy, whether for the Giftshop or more broadly?
A spree killing. Not got the patience to serial kill. Also Jim leaves his nails everywhere if we stay too long.
Gein’s Family Giftshop are set to perform at Gorilla on Wednesday 21 September as part of Pen:Chant’s largest show to date, headlined by Soweto Kinch and Bellatrix.
Tickets are available for £6 (supported rate), £9 (standard rate) or £12 (sponsored rate) from penchant.org.uk