Absurd, charming, hilarious, and possibly sharing a brain – The P! Company is Austin’s most inseparable comedy duos. Which made it extra shocking when company man Andy Petruzzo moved to LA. We’re very excited that Andy is reuniting with Kyle Sweeney to help us kick off the Fest on our opening night Wednesday, 10pm at ColdTowne Theater (get tickets).
Where did your name come from?
Kyle Sweeney: It came in a vision. A single word.
Andy Petruzzo: In j-high (junior high), we constantly made videos after school with my parents’ VHS camcorder – cementing us forever the weird video kids.
Andy: During one “sketch”, which featured us playing with alphabet blocks for some reason, someone spelled “Presentoklyok” – a nonsense word.
Kyle: When we got tired of explaining it, we abbreviated to the cool, calm, and collected “The P! Company”.
Andy: Other great name choices like Star Wipe Video Productions were forever shut out in favor of the new moniker.
So you guys met in junior high?
Kyle: Actually we met in Kindergarten.
How did the initial friendship form?
Kyle: Andy and my twin brother shared a teacher. And for the longest time I was considered a weird doppelgänger in the alternate reality that was the neighboring classroom.
Andy: Kirk, Kyle’s brother, was blond, and Kyle had brown hair. This is how I distinguished them. But It wasn’t until probably 2nd grade that the ice between us officially broke over the common interests of Star Trek, The Real Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles and pee pee jokes. The rest as we say is history.
Kyle: Historically, we’re friends. That’s what the history books will say.
Andy: And as we all know, the victor writes the history books.
Kyle: Would the future revisionists possibly erase our friendship?
Andy: I don’t know, Kyle. I just don’t know. If the power structure at the time felt threatened, they absolutely would. And that scares me.
Kyle: It’s a crazy world we live in. Anyway, in junior high that’s when we started making videos and being the weird antisocial kids with the video camera.
Andy: Like the guy from American Beauty. I mean, he wasn’t all that weird. Eh, who am I kidding? I guess he was.
Kyle: We video taped like a hundred flying plastic bags.
Andy: They were… beautiful.
Kyle: Yes. We used to tell people that the film American Beauty was based on us.
Andy: It was a lie.
Kyle: But it did get us on at least one date.
Andy: She was real impressed. But it was then and in high school that we used this “video” “technology” in class assignments, birthday videos for friends, and any other opportunity to showcase our “talent”.
What can we expect from your ASF show?
Andy: It’s no less than the near-messianic return of The P! Company to the Austin stage!
Kyle: It’s going to be a hot 25 minutes. 10 of which will be us explaining the origins of the word “Presentoklyok”. Really it’s just two dudes having fun, loving life, and making a go of it.
Andy: Well said.
Kyle: Thank you- the way I see it P! Company is helping open the Austin Sketch Fest in style. And the P in The P! Company stands for what?
Kyle: No. What else?
Andy: [whispers] Poop?
Kyle: Try again.
Kyle: Exactly. No one parties until the P! Company is done!
Andy: We are the party. So tell everyone that the “after party” is actually at our show – Wednesday 10pm at the Coldtowne Theater.
Kyle: That plug should help fill the house- good work, Andy.
What’s the collaboration like with Andy living in LA?
Kyle: I’m sure some of you remember when Andy was taken by the illicit and dirty “city of angels”.... starring Nic Cage and Meg Ryan.
Andy: Not a bad film.
Kyle: Great soundtrack.
Andy: Oh, yes. Anyway, I shipped off to the west coast. Now the technological marvels of
Gmail, the telephone, and modern air travel have conspired to make this show possible.
Kyle: If it’s not possible, then I say- why try?
Andy: That’s the spirit! It’s different for obvious reasons, but the collaboration remains the same in many ways.
Kyle: There’s a lot of phone calls, I suppose. Really a bunch of phone bits. I’ll call and pretend to be his agent or his dry cleaner, maybe a rich distant dying relative with a big conditional inheritance.
Andy: Absolutely. Sometimes we’ll improvise for an hour or more as those characters.
Kyle: So much fun. It’s been a way we’ve used to generate tons of ideas for the show.
What are some of your biggest comedy influences?
Kyle: I’m a fan of the dadaist movement- which may not be comedy per se, but hmmm….
Andy: I think The Simpsons would be the all time greatest influence. I’ll be the asshole who specifies seasons two through nine that absurdity is reflected in our stuff.
Kyle: Simpsons is big. I really like the movie Ghostbusters.
What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?
Andy: I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle, seeing my friends, and performing with my main awesome Austin dudebro, Kyle Sweeney.
Kyle: Oh man, you shouldn’t have.
Andy: Hey Kyle, is there anything specific you are looking forward to?
Kyle: Oh yeah, um Superego, Paul F Tompkins, Ennis & Kaye,
Andy: Anyone hometown favorites?
Kyle: Sure! Your Terrific Neighbors don’t disappoint. And I can’t forget my main man’s STAG, right Mac?
The P! Company is performing Wednesday May 22, 10pm at the SpiderHouse Ballroom along with The Austin Comedy Hour and Joe Hafkey.