Jono & Ben: Remix talks to TV's dynamic duo

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 2.51.43 pmInterview by Olivia McPherson Fans of TV satire duo Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce will be familiar with their brand of fast-moving, self-deprecating humour and take-no-prisoners style of comedy. Now in its fourth season, Jono and Ben have delivered New Zealanders many of their favourite TV moments (Fake News, The NeXt Actor) and infamous pranks involving Post-It notes, water cups and flour guns. However, despite their endless terrorising of each other on screen, their off-screen relationship reads more like a beautiful bromance, or at the very least, a dysfunctional family unit, complete with illegitimate children Guy Williams and Rose Matafeo. Get them in a room together and the boys speak in unison, finish each other’s sentences and relay anecdotes with the synchronicity of an old married couple. So you guys are prime time now; Jono & Ben has moved to 7:30pm on Fridays on TV3. What’s changed for you?
 Jono: Beforehand only teenage boys would stop us for selfies, but now it’s kids and mums and dads. We noticed it last year, there were a lot of kids watching the show, which is a sign of bad parenting... Ben: We became conscious of that, so we wore off a few of the rough edges last year so it wasn’t so much of a big mental shift to go to 7:30, because we’d been trying to make it a little less risqué. J: I met a guy yesterday who was like ‘It’s so shit now because you can’t say ‘fuck’... and I was like, ‘good review!’ What can we expect from Jono & Ben this year - new content or projects?
 B: We’re trying to get a lot more guests. What Graham Norton does is so great in the UK... we’d love to be the show that when celebrities come to New Zealand, they want to be a guest on our show. Do you still feel like you have free rein to take the show where you want to go?
 J: TV3 has been really good, not just with our show but across the board with comedy, like with 7 Days, that really showcased New Zealand comedy on mainstream TV. I guess up until that point there was a certain part of New Zealand going; ‘We’re not really funny people,’ and then 7 Days proved that we could be. B: And then we proved that we weren’t. J: Yeah we’ve taken it back five steps. But it was good TV3 were willing to take a risk on that. You wear H Brothers suits on air – was that a decision that you made, to present in suits? J: Well if it was up to us, we’d probably turn up in our underpants, so we had a sit- down meeting with them, and talked about the stylistic shift in terms of the set from a late night show to a prime time show, it was collectively decided that suits would be the go. B: They’ve really helped Jono out a lot, ‘cause he would only wear Iron Maiden t-shirts... J: I didn’t realise you could wear clothes that didn’t have your favourite band on them. B: You’ve come a long way, haven’t you, since Hallenstein Brothers have been on board? J: I’ve become a fashionista. Do you guys hang out outside of the show? J: Yeah, a lot. B: It’s like a marriage. And fortunately we don’t fight too much. J: We’ve got a bastard child, Guy Williams. We didn’t plan on it, but he’s here. B: Rose is the one we like. J: I don’t know how we ended up with a Samoan daughter. But these things happen... maybe Ben strayed in the relationship. I look after her like she was my own anyway. B: We’ve both got little kids, our wives get on well. But then it’s good to have days where I don’t see you. J: Yeah to be honest. I’m not gonna lie either. B: I know pretty much everything about him, and he knows everything about me, I wish there was something more scandalous! We don’t really fight. We debate stuff at work, but I think that’s only natural. If I like something more than he does, we debate it, and in the end, I’m usually right and we carry on. Do you find work stressful at all – do you need to de-stress? 
B: I think people can be quite disappointed that we actually work quite hard, on what we do; ‘Oh you put effort into that?’ We do work long hours, but it’s fun. You might be stressed, but then you film something or you do an interview and you think, ‘Wow that was really fun, I had a laugh there.’ J: Mowing lawns is quite good to de-stress. I’ve been mowing my neighbour’s berm, because they don’t mow it. But then I held out... I was like, ‘You bastards need to reciprocate,’ because for years I’ve been doing it, but they let it grow! But that’s the little world I live in, that’s why people think I’m very boring. B: Hanging with the kids on the weekend... because they don’t care that you do TV, they just want to have [time with] you, so you can be a dick. I end up going to the Fairy Show, I’ve got two girls, so my weekends are all about princesses and Barbies. Frozen. I’ve seen that movie too many times. I’m trying to learn how to paint nails... they’re like the smallest things in the world, so these are the things I need to master. J: And he’s not even painting his own daughter’s nails. B: Yeah I do my own. That’s for K Road in the weekends. What’s your favourite holiday spot? 
B: We had a fun night in Vegas, our radio producer Dan almost got into a fight on the craps table playing the dice game... J: Very innocently. He was throwing six in a row, he had a blinder, and then the lady who was running the craps table says; ‘Just so you know, the dice needs to hit the end of the table, so just throw them a bit harder.’ So he threw them hard, and one dice lands, and the other dice smacks straight into the biggest dude’s face, at the other end of the table... B: This was a massive guy... J: And so he’s like; ‘What the fuck? What sort of man throws a dice in another man’s face?’ And he starts bleeding, from the dice... the funniest thing was it bounced off his face, landed on the table and we all won again. And we were like; ‘Yeah!’ And he turns out to be an NFL player, and he’s got his entourage around him, and poor Dan tries to give him money. And he’s like; ‘I don’t need your money! I’m a pro baller!’ We had to leave because we were crying with laughter. Poor Dan... security from the casino had to come and talk to him. Then the guy got this massive white bandage over his face because it wouldn’t stop bleeding from the dice. We call Dan ‘Vanilla Dice’ now. Kill a man with a dice.