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
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.