We need a short circuit
Written by Artemide De Blanc
“Laughter is technically a tilt of the body. To cry you need a lapse of time, whereas the burst of hilarity is a kind of short circuit, a sudden emotional reaction. There are things that trigger it immediately: a man running into a pole, for example’. Or the Bench. The one where the ‘dumb provocateur’, Francesco Villa, arrives to break into Ale’s quiet -bent over the newspaper- and invade it with commonplaces, digressions, apparently meaningless questions. In short, the classic ‘troublemaker’ in front of whom we smile a bit sheepishly while we would like to tell him to go to hell and resume reading.
‘ Hilarity is triggered when you identify yourself. The Bench is an exasperation of the reality that we all experience a bit. Ale gives voice to the things we all want to say! And in the identification the gag is born’.
We disturb him in the middle of Easter, while he is carrying doves around with Ale for a non-profit organisation.
Francesco Franz what are you up to?
In these two difficult years we have tried to bring lightness, which is never superficiality. It means giving people a necessary break, while being aware of the problems in a respectful manner. For example, when we went to Bergamo, we thanked the people for their dignity and commitment during the pandemic. That of the comedian is a complex job, there are moments where laughter cannot have space. Now there is a recovery, there is a desire to return to the theatre, to have some fun’.
One of your last paradoxes was the TV of pain. What are you working on now?
Ecology and environmental protection. Ale is at the bus stop. A passer-by asks him for information and they start commenting on how much plastic is around, how long it takes to be disposed of, always with comic verve. That’s where it all starts.
You have never targeted male and female archetypes, how come?
We find it easier to target the bank loan. Real problems translated into parody. I once tried to step into Ferragni’s shoes, with selfies and lips, but I didn’t know how to represent that world. Better to find more fertile cues that lend themselves to being taken apart and overturned.
How similar are you really? You the ditzy one and Ale the pissed off one?
Well, we kind of represent ourselves, but I don’t want to say that Ale is a hyena (laughs). Of course, he’s one with a ready answer! Quick, brilliant, incisive, like on the bench!
Your relationship with women?
I don’t talk about my private life. It’s the only sphere I protect, which I keep to myself. But now that you mention it, my relationship with Ale is the longest-lasting relationship of my life….that’s exactly 27 years. Love is a serious thing. In fact, the song that most corresponds to it is “Quando sarò capace di amare” by Giorgio Gaber. I firmly believe in it and that is where I really put my limits on the line.