November 1998
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Rock!

An Interview with Liam Lynch of Sifl & Olly

by Jason Morrison

If you're still up at 12:30, you've probably been channel surfing and run into this program. Two sock puppets talking into a microphone, occasionally to other sock puppets and "transformed" baby dolls. This is comedy. This, is Sifl & Olly.

Born in Liam's living room, this show was first aired on MTV Europe in the form of shorts and commercials, but it can currently be seen on American MTV (unfortunately, at the same time as Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Thank God for VCRs!). The plot, if there is one, is simple. Sifl and Olly are sock puppets, they live together with young, clueless Chester, their landlord wants the rent money (and he wants them to get rid of the monkeys), and they put on a show every night. Madness ensues.

Our man Olly As far as The Shrubbery is concerned, we think this show is hilarious, brilliant, and all-in-all a great show to watch. There's hardly been any hype, you can't find Sifl & Olly merchandise next to the Kenny dolls, but someone at MTV has the guts to keep this show on the air!

This month, we were granted a little e-mail interview with Liam, who plays Olly, and does alot of the writing, producing, creating, and directing of the show. (Sifl is played by Lynch's long-time buddy and colaborator, Matt Crocco.)

If you haven't seen it yet, we urge you to watch, and get ready to laugh your asses off. Check out some Sifl & Olly links at the end of this page!



The Shrubbery: How do you like working with MTV?

Liam Lynch: It's fine. We're surprised they have given us so much freedom. They have been cooler to us than alot of other shows.

TS: My friends and I joke that you're bound to get cancelled because MTV always seems to dump its good shows in favor of "The Real World All Star Jams of the Month" and whatnot. Do they ever pressure you to change the show in anyway or censor you?

LL: No, they know if they changed anything the show wouldn't be the same, and also that only we could make the show. You can't really hire writers or anything because it's got to be our personalities. We are currently making season two. The reason Mtv favors The Real World is because (believe it or not) week after week it still pulls one of the largest audiences of any cable program, it's their assured way of getting high numbers of watchers which secures more expensive commercial time. It makes sense business wise, but geeez.

TS: I noticed a blurb about the show in Time magazine. Have your moms put it up on the refrigerator?

LL: Yep

Precious Roy TS: How does it feel to "sell out"? I'm not accusing, but are you enjoying the exposure? Is this where you wanted to be when you grew up?

LL: Dude, we haven't sold out. We don't really get the exposure. No one knows who we are. We aren't public figures in anyway, someone could be the hugest fan and be standing next to me or Matt and they would never know. We like that. It's more fun that way. We never thought we would have our own puppet show when we grew up. I never thought one of my jobs would be as a puppeteer.

TS: Any plans on releasing a Sifl and Olly CD, al la Spaceghost's Musical Bar-B-Qu? I can guarantee you at least a few sales--everyone I know wants "Fake Blood" and "Crescent Fresh."

LL:Yeah, we are making plans to release the songs on a CD. This has been a topic for a long time now. [What] we want to do, even more than having a show, is to put out an album of the weird songs we write. We're really excited. There is no time frame yet or when it will happen but talking is going on.

TS: I remember reading when I was young about how many hundreds of Kermits Jim Henson went through in a year. Do you guys tend to go through puppets pretty quick? Ever get caught with one too few Olly's in stock?

LL:There are only one Sifl and Olly. They could never be duplicated. They are Sifl and Olly. So that answers all the questions. They are still the ones I made two years ago at 4 am, just grabbed two socks out of my drawer and sewed them around my hands. Never thought they would be in magazines and stuff. Weird.

TS: You mentioned new the new episodes you're working on--can you give us any previews?

LL: Previews? What do you mean? Don't you want it to be a surprise? They should start showing the new ones in February. I know it sounds like a long time away, but it's only a few months...we'll make the whole season at once. It takes a long time. When the shows start we will have finished all of them, we aren't making them as they are airing. There will be some new characters that I'm sure you'll dig but all the standard folks will still be there, there will be a little more Chester...I will axe rock facts and the news for new segments. Precious Roy will still be there and stuff, but lots of totally weird situations...now that people know us, we feel like they are ready to get more weird with us.

TS: A lot of The Shrub staffers and readers are aspiring comedy writers. Any tips on how to make it?

LL: Ask her alot of questions, show interest. Use your eyes seductively, eat in a sexy way, over-do movements while licking food off your lips, invite her back to your "pad" to show her some erotic Japanese etchings. Once you get close, you should pretend that you're yawning, and while stretching out your arms put one arm around her, while handcuffing your other hand to her ankle.

TS: By the way, since you've granted me this interview, I'd be happy to return the favor and be interviewed on your show. Or my hand, in a sock. Or not. Have any celebrities asked about being on your show? Who would you let on, if you could have anyone?

LL:I have been hanging out with alot of rock stars for some reason. I went out with Beck last weekend. I think he would really fit in....I would really rather invent my own celebrities and pretend like they are super famous. We are friends with the guys from South Park and have joked about having a crossing show where for no reason, the South Park kids would be watching Sifl and Olly and on Sifl and Olly, we interview Cartman and use one of the toy merchandise Cartmans in the interview. It was only joking though...

Chester! TS:And just what the heck is Chester, anyway?

LL:Chester is a rubber mold used to make statues of Buddah. It's Buddah with his head pushed down into his shoulders. The rim around Buddah's neck and shoulders are Chester's lips.



The Official Sifl & Olly Homepage
The UN-Official, yet Super-Cool Fan Page (ROCK!)

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