, Why Avery Monsen is 'definitely going to get sued'
Why Avery Monsen is ‘definitely going to get sued’
Kids, parents, babysitters, people walking through a park that might have children in it somewhere — listen:
K is for Knifeball. And Knifeball is NOT for kids.
Everybody got that? Good. Because we don’t want to get sued. And we REALLY don’t want Jory John and Avery Monsen, a performer with the UCB Maude team Beige and in many UCB BETA team videos, taken to court, either.
Still, we just had to catch up with Monsen, to talk about his and John’s book, K is for Knifeball: An Alphabet of Terrible Advice (out now on Amazon!), plus the above video that swept the web and taught kids everywhere how to double your fun using kitchen utensils.
Here goes. And to the litigious, remember: We’re just the messenger.
Tell me about the book — what inspired it, and what went into making it happen?
Our new book — I say “our” because I write with my very funny friend, Jory John — is an alphabet book of terrible advice calledK is for Knifeball. It’s an idea we’ve had for a while. Jory and I met in 2002 when we were counselors at a performing arts sleep-away camp in California. Sometimes, instead of watching the children, we’d just sit around and write ideas for books and comics and t-shirts and things. We were truly awful caretakers, but that summer we created a couple little mini-books that eventually turned into actual, published maxi-books: All My Friends Are Dead and How to Be: A through Z, which we later renamed K is for Knifeball.
So how does it compare with your other books?
It’s another children’s-book-which-is-not-for-children, likeAll My Friends Are Dead and its sequel, All My Friends Are STILL Dead. We’re trying to corner the market on books whose target audience is unclear. We’re not in it for the glory or accolades or money or fame or readers. Mostly, we’re just trying to impress our ex-girlfriends.
And the video — pretty hilarious; has it helped to promote Knifeball (the book…and hey, maybe the sport)?
We made the video with Ryan Hunter (of POYKPAC and UCB BETA team SCRAPS). We showed it to our publisher, who promptly told us they couldn’t possibly use a video of children throwing knives at each other. Fair enough. But we whined about it for a few days and they eventually let us release the video, as long as their name wasn’t on it. Basically, if some kid throws a knife at some other kid, Ryan and I will be the ones who get sued. Please contribute to our preemptive legal defense on Kickstarter. THANKS.
Moving over to UCB, how did you get involved there, and with sketch comedy in general?
I moved to New York from San Francisco about a year and a half ago because Jory and I were writing a book called I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York and we realized that neither of us knew anything about it. So I moved east and almost immediately started taking UCB classes. Prior to that, most of the acting I’d done was Shakespeare and Beckett and stuff. But I got placed on the Maude team Beige last January and everything has been great ever since. I love UCB (and, specifically, my Maude team) in way that I can only describe as “psychosexual.”
So, any particular favorite video you’ve done with UCB?
Adam Sacks (of BETA team The Punch) and I shot an iPhone 5 parody very late one night in the UCB training center and then a TON of people watched it. A lot of them told me my head was fat, which I had never considered before. They were right, though. My head is sort of fat. I just joined a gym.
Writer’s note: Read more about the man adept at filming fat heads, Adam Sacks, here.
Finally, what’s next for you, in terms of sketches, videos and even books?
We’re working on an actual children’s book right now. Hopefully no children get confused and purchase our book about knives and balls and ways to combine them. (We are definitely going to get sued.)