When a meeting at Dunkin’ Donuts leads to a new brand of sketch comedy. Meet Brett, Jordan, and Dan – better known as The Raybould Brothers.
How did the Raybould Brothers come to be?
So I should note that three members of The Raybould Brothers are not actually all brothers. Our group consists of myself (Bret Raybould), my brother Jordan Raybould, and our great friend and non-actual-brother Dan D’Agnes. He is not a Raybould at all.
My brother Jordan and I had written with each other before. One night after an awful mic Dan and I went to a Dunkin’ Donuts and for whatever reason just started pitching sketch ideas and laughing really hard. That night, we ended up writing a couple of them into full-ish sketches. I showed Jordan some of our work and it just was really natural for us all to write together because we all trust each other and enjoy each other’s company/creativity.
For the record, it was Dan’s idea to name us The Raybould Brothers, even though he is–as I’ve mentioned–not an actual Raybould brother. I’m still convinced it’s his attempt to shoehorn his way into our family.
Where is everyone from and where are you based out of?
We are based out of New York City, although Jordan and myself are originally from Kansas City and Dan is from Long Island. Dan wanted me to include that he was an former All-American high school lacrosse star. I asked him if that was really relevant and he said, “The people need to know.”
The sketch comedy scene is pretty crowded right now – how do you differentiate yourself from the pack?
Absolutely true that the sketch comedy scene is pretty crowded. I would also say that pretty much every aspect of entertainment is pretty crowded right now except maybe like barbershop quartets. There’s probably a pretty good niche there. Maybe we’ll morph into a three-person barbershop quartet, who knows?
But you’re right. The jungle is denser. So how do we hack through the noise? I don’t really know. There’s no market strategy you can have. I think that you make what you make, try your best to make it great, keep improving, be sincere with what you’re making, and it’ll find its way. If it’s made with quality and earnestness, somehow people will find it.
If I look at the landscape of Internet sketch comedy, a lot of places are writing sketch comedy with the intent of it being “social media sharable” and not the intent of it being funny and original. Yes, weirdo And I really believe–without sounding overly pretentious–our group may be writing sketch comedy for the sake of the comedy and not the sake of The Internet. So much comedy–sketch included and especially–is overly political and more opinion than humor. For us, it’s about making comedy that’s less commentary on Trump or whatever and more creationary of it’s own absurd world. It’s not about talking about the world; it’s about creating it’s own world within the premise of the sketch. I hope that makes sense.
Do you think that sketch comedy is a natural extension of stand-up comedy?
I see them as two different beasts. I certainly don’t see it as an extension because that almost implies that stand up is the first step to comedy and sketch is the second.
Do performers feel that having a sketch comedy experience is necessary to get to the next level?
I do think being able to write sketches in addition to stand up is super valuable in terms of wanting to get to the next level. I don’t even mean career-stuff-wise. I mean simply the act of developing yourself as a comedian. If you’re a stand up, not all of your ideas are form-fitted for stand up. Being able to express yourself in a different medium only emboldens and empowers you to execute whatever comedic idea it is that you have.
What’s your least favorite part of being in a sketch comedy group?
For me, personally, it’s being in a group where one member constantly reminds me of his status as a former high school All-American lacrosse player. It’s frustrating and it doesn’t feel relevant to writing comedy together.
More seriously, though, if there is a least favorite part it would probably be all the administrative work that goes in to organizing shoots. We have so many sketches that are (at this moment) difficult to make because of production minutiae. Somewhere along the way, though, we’ll find a way.
What do the Raybould Brothers have in store for 2017 – any specific projects?
We have a live show coming that we’re super pumped for. It’ll be in NYC then one of our potential hopes is to take it on the road. And more sketches which will go up on our YouTube which you can find here.