Foil, Arms & Hog return

FA&H 2015

DUBLIN comedy trio Foil, Arms & Hog made their Limerick debut last year, introduced on stage by local hero Karl Spain. Mischievously, Karl had earlier asked the audience not to think of Foil Arm & Hog as a comedy act but rather, “think of them as the second interval”.
Despite the dodgy introduction the comedy trio had a great show, according to Conor McKenna, speaking to Limerick Post this week.
“It was our first trip down to Limerick. We had a really good time. We expected only a few people at the gig but it was packed. The impression we got was that a lot of them had seen the videos that we put up on YouTube.”
Established seven years ago Foil, Arms & Hog write comedy for TV and radio regularly uploading sketches to their YouTube space weekly. Their YouTube site showcases over 100 of their comedy sketches with 6,000 subscribers and over 800,000 views. Their videos are one or two minute setups that are filmed and edited it by the trio. Funny sketches like ‘The Ryanair Song’, ‘Renting in the City’ and ‘Do You Know Band Guy’ have all got a ring of truth to them brilliantly exaggerated by Foil, Arms & Hog.
Conor says, “We started to put up the videos for ourselves. We were experimenting. Trying to figure out how to be funny in a low stakes environment.”
The videos have proven to be a great calling card as television companies can see what they are capable of and the sketches are being enjoyed by thousands of followers on social media. “It might take just a few hours to get a thousand hits. It would take a lot of work and a lot of petrol to play to a thousand people.”
The name Foil, Arms & Hog is based on nicknames that the group has for each other based on how they used to perform. Sean Finegan is Foil, the comedic foil, the boring guy, so all the jokes will be bounced off him. Conor Mc Kenna’s nickname is Arms because being just so gangly he throws his arms and legs all over the place, so he got the name Arms. Sean Flanagan got the name Hog because he is always trying to Hog the limelight.
One sketch on their YouTube channel called Twitter Twats caused an online spat and got over 80,000 hits in eight hours when Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon performed an almost identical sketch on US television months after F, A & H had made their sketch public. So, do the trio worry about others stealing their ideas?
“We don’t worry about it. We just get on with it. People can get too hung up on these things. It’s only good if someone famous robs your material and you open yourself up to a wider audience. If people from American TV chat shows would rob our material every week, that would be very beneficial.”
Foil, Arms & Hog ad-libbed sketches can be seen on TV3 currently on Jason Byrne’s ‘Snaptastic’. Critical reaction to Byrne’s latest television show, based on celebrities’ childhood photographs, has been hugely positive and working with Jason was an inspiration for Conor.
“Jason is just one of the best guys to work with. He is exciting and fresh. He really wants to do something different and the best part about it is that he lets you off the reins. So much of it is improvised from Jason. Being in the studio recording is even better because you see the mental things that he does.”
For the new Irish tour expect brand new material to be road tested and lots of audience participation. The trio has sketches about when a mime class “turns deadly”, when a stand up comedian tries to give a eulogy for his deceased mother and a parody of the Russian roulette scene in the movie ‘Deer Hunter’.
Foil, Arms & Hog perform at Dolan’s on Friday March 20.