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Matt Heath - Funny As Interview

Funny As Interviews – 2019

Matt Heath was one of the key creative minds behind anarchic, stunt-filled show Back of the Y, before becoming a Radio Hauraki DJ, NZ Herald columnist and comical cricket commentator. This extended, sometimes bloody interview includes:

  • Heath's early love of The Young Ones and Badjelly the Witch — and later unconsciously plagiarising cult film Kentucky Fried Movie on Back of the Y
  • Making stunt-laden short films Vaseline Warriors and Shafted with fellow Back of the Y perpetrator Chris Stapp, while they were both at university in Dunedin
  • The many stunts and injuries on Back of the Y, and Stapp's miraculous survival ability, despite some close calls 
  • Broken guitars and ribs, while on tour with musician Tim Finn
  • The long route to getting Back of the Y on mainstream TV — and how Bill Ralston's critiques almost saw the show cancelled before it debuted
  • How the show reflected a lo-fi, homemade, "accidental aesthetic", in the days before such content hit YouTube
  • How colleague Jeremy Wells came up with the idea for the Alternative Commentary Collective, and how the team mix edginess, stupidity and respect
  • How Heath's first gag for forgotten rugby show Offside got the programme banned from Jade Stadium
This interview was recorded for 2019 TV series Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy. All audiovisual content is copyright to Augusto, and may not be reproduced. Publication of Funny As extended interviews made possible with funding from the NZ Lotteries Grants Board.
I would describe it as a violent chat show slash infomercial. Goodies meets The Young Ones meets What Now?, I guess.
– Matt Heath describes anarchic TV show Back of the Y