Sammy J (the human) and Randy (the purple, penis-shaped puppet) took a few rare and valuable spare minutes to answer some questions for us ahead of performing their new show, Difficult First Album. It did not go as we expected.
You were just in Perth for FringeWorld. What brings you back so soon?
R: I was at Perth Fringeworld doing my solo show. Sammy J got jealous and demanded we come back together.
SJ: I didn’t “demand.”
R: He begged.
SJ: I wouldn’t call it “begging.”
R: He sobbed uncontrollably, lay on the floor, pissed his pants, and told me he would hurt someone close to him if we didn’t return.
SJ: It worked. Here we are.
Tell us of this Difficult First Album.
SJ: Where to start? There are so many highlights! My personal favourite tracks are Happy New Year, The Winner Takes It All and The Piper.
R: Sammy, those songs aren’t on the album.
SJ: Yes they are.
R: No, they’re not.
SJ: What album are we talking about?
R: Our Difficult First Album.
SJ: Oh! Sorry, I thought we were talking about ABBA’s penultimate album, Super Trouper.
How have audiences been reacting to this show? How has it developed since it debuted?
SJ: Since debuting at Eurovision in 1973 we garnered quite an extensive following, although it took another year for us to actually win the contest with our hit single, Waterloo.
R: That’s true. They were dark days, but ultimately we prevailed.
SJ: Other European pop groups, keen to share in our limelight, quickly copied our progressive sound, as well as our two-boy/two-girl format.
R: In January 1979, we performed Chiquita at the Music For UNICEF Concert, donating all royalties for the song to the children’s charity, in perpetuity.
SJ: We really should stop that arrangement; we’re haemorrhaging profits by the day.
R: I’ll make a phone call.
How did the two of you begin working together?
SJ: We actually met at a Melbourne comedy gig; Randy was the MC and I was performing on the same bill. We liked each other’s stuff, and started doing late night gigs together.
R: Sammy was hungry to break into the UK and US markets. He was becoming tired of the lengthy band name, so – using an acronym of the first letters of our names – started referring to the band as ABBA.
How often do parents mistakenly bring their children to your shows?
R: All the time.
SJ: If they didn’t, I don’t think our tours would break even.
R: We definitely rely heavily on the accidental parent dollar.
SJ: Wouldn’t you agree, Björn?
Anything else we should know?
SJ: I’ve played all my cards and that’s what you’ve done too.
R: Nothing more to say, no more ace to play.
SJ: The winner takes it all.
Sammy J and Randy present their Difficult First Album at The Astor Theatre on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4. For tickets and info, go to perthcomedyfest.com.au.