JUST FOR LAUGHS

Clown­ing around at school trans­lated into a YouTube skit for mates which went vi­ral, and sud­denly these two broth­ers are the real deal

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - COMEDY - JODIE MUNRO O’BRIEN

Be­fore Year 11, Theodore Said­den was used to get­ting in trou­ble with fedup teach­ers who would re­sort to mak­ing him face the wall in class.

“I was a smart-arse in class, I’d be im­per­son­at­ing teach­ers and just be­ing dif­fi­cult,” Theo says. “(Brother) Nathan was the same. We were just very an­noy­ing, so we got used to fac­ing the wall a lot at school.”

The Syd­ney broth­ers, who at­tended the pri­vate Trin­ity Gram­mar School at Sum­mer Hill, never ex­pected that their cheeky child­hood an­tics of im­per­son­at­ing peo­ple would re­sult in them hav­ing a hit com­edy show Superwog on YouTube, let alone a live stage show.

The satir­i­cal and of­ten crude skits por­tray the ex­ag­ger­ated dif­fer­ences be­tween Aus­tralians and those of eth­nic back­grounds.

In 2008, Theo says he rolled traits from “a cou­ple of wogs I knew who spoke like that” into one char­ac­ter and called him “Superwog”.

“At our school, be­ing called a wog wasn’t like an in­sult … maybe be­cause we were in school and no one cared about po­lit­i­cal correctness.”

The broth­ers, who hail from an Egyp­tian-Greek back­ground, filmed the Aus­tralian co­me­dian Chris Lil­ley-inspired mock­u­men­tary on their mother’s $100 cam­era and up­loaded it to YouTube to give their mates a laugh.

By then, Theo was a sec­ond-year busi­ness and law univer­sity stu­dent, hav­ing buck­led down dur­ing his se­nior years at high school, and Nathan had started his own online fur­ni­ture busi­ness.

They were shocked when, in 2010, they up­loaded the aptly named Superwog: Class­room Come­backs (In­sults) and How to Win video and watched it rapidly climb to what is now more than 2.7 mil­lion hits. Sub­se­quent YouTube skits were just as suc­cess­ful, with com­bined to­tal views of about 70 mil­lion hits so far, prompt­ing the broth­ers to take an act­ing class.

They both scored some gigs as ex­tras, in­clud­ing on Gangs of Oz, Un­der­belly, Packed to the Rafters and Home and Away.

“We didn’t set out to be ac­tors, we just en­joy im­per­son­at­ing peo­ple,” Theo says. “My brother and I kept get­ting crim­i­nal roles on al­most ev­ery­thing we did, so that’s just funny to me.

Superwog: Talk Sh*t Get Hit de­buted in March with a sell­out run at the Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val. The show fol­lows the Said­den broth­ers’ first suc­cess­ful live tour in 2013 with fel­low YouTube co­me­dian John Luc, known as My­Chonny.

When he was about 10, Theo says that ev­ery week­end he, Nathan and their mates would hang out and play a game they dubbed “drama”.

“We’d tell jokes, re-en­act fam­ily mem­bers, friends or teach­ers,” he says. “Some­times my brother and I would reen­act when our par­ents would fight. That would al­most be ther­a­peu­tic for us. They even­tu­ally got di­vorced. Mum would find it funny, Dad, not so much.”

But, mostly, it was just some­thing he and his brother did to make each other laugh.

“No one makes me laugh the way my brother does,” Theo says.

Superwog broth­ers Theo and Nathan Said­den have be­come online and real-life su­per­stars.

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