Please Don’t Destroy’s Ben, Martin, and John caught up with ListenSD about how they got started in comedy, their favorite sketches, musical influences and moments on the road. Catch them at Observatory North Park on Friday, August 4th!
Ben from Please Don’t Destroy: We all met at NYU, and we started a show. Martin and I started a show called, Please Don’t Destroy My Farm, where I was an evil businessman coming to destroy his farm.
We had John cast as a cow who didn’t speak for the entire show. After a few times of doing that, John was like, I would really like to participate in this show, so eventually we just started doing sketches and making videos together.
ListenSD: Did you have utters?
John from Please Don’t Destroy: Yes, I did. Full utters. Full cow suit, full everything.
Martin from Please Don’t Destroy: And as people were talking in the show, I would be milking John on stage.
ListenSD: Well, that’s amazing.
ListenSD: Who Inspired you to get into comedy?
John from Please Don’t Destroy: So many people. I would say one of our favorite movies growing up was Hot Rod, the Lonely Island movie. That was just like a huge turning point for all of us. They’re just so funny and that movie is so good. And a lot of Judd’s movies, Super Bad, Knocked up. This is the End. Judd Apatow, first name, name Drop.
ListenSD: Love it. What Sketch are you most proud of?
John from Please Don’t Destroy: It’s so fast paced that it’s honestly hard to be proud of something. You’re just so glad that you got away with it, you know what I mean?
Ben: Louder is a YouTube early video that we made that I really like. That one’s funny and Martin’s Netflix thing.
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ListenSD: What would you say your process is for writing sketch comedy and how do you guys all work together to create a sketch?
John: Everybody kind of brings in their own shit and we pitch on it or we’re hanging out and doing something and we’re like, is that the thing that we could, you know what I mean? It comes from everywhere.
Martin: We tend to talk about ideas as a group and then one person will go off and take that and write it. We’ll continue editing it and passing it around as a group.
ListenSD: Love that. I saw you were hanging out with Jack White on tour, who’s your musical hero?
Ben: Jack White is one of them for sure. I’m a huge fan of Kurt Vile.
John: Tenacious D for me. God doesn’t count does he? I’ll go with God.
Martin: “Weird Al” Yankovic.
ListenSD: What advice would you give to up-and-coming comedians?
Ben: Finding a group of people who you really respect and think are funny and can work with all the time and who can be honest with you about whether or not your ideas feel good to them is important.
John: Having a sounding board of friends that you really trust and you can like grow together with is a huge, huge help.
Ben: Also starting a show. When we started a live show, that was when things really started to pick up for us.
John: Yeah, because when we did that weekly show downtown in New York, we held ourselves accountable. Everybody brought in two bits. So we were doing six sketches and figuring out how sketches worked and the majority of them bombed, but it didn’t matter. Every week you just kept on doing it.
Martin: Just getting on stage.
ListenSD: Favorite moment on tour so far?
John: Jack White was a pretty big one.
Ben: There was a moment in the late show in Boston. Basically we have this audience interaction bit, and there was this man on stage whose son was in the audience and he was doing a bit with us that probably made his son really embarrassed. So we were like, let’s get the son a drink. We got him a beer and he didn’t have a bottle opener. Then this guy who we had on stage, his dad, who was this very cool manly guy, took off his flip flop and he had a bottle opener on the bottom of his flip flop and he opened the beer and the place just exploded.
ListenSD: That’s great. I know someone got a tattoo of you guys as well. A Please Don’t Destroy tattoo. That’s pretty cool.
My other favorite moment from tour was, we played blackjack at a casino in Cleveland and I went up $300.
ListenSD: Love it. Making money.
ListenSD: At what moment did you feel like you made it?
John: Every night on tour in the least cheesy way possible, seeing everybody that has come out. It’s always just a humbling, crazy, how lucky are we feeling?
ListenSD: That’s awesome. Anyone throw their bra on stage?
Ben: No, not yet. There was like a 60 year old man who threw like a little babushka on stage. A little shawl. Same thing.
Grab your tickets for Please Don’t Destroy at Observatory North Park this Friday, August 4th before it sells out!