Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs are women just like us. Especially if you rate Vladimir Putin, use wine to twist aphorisms and have no flaws whatsoever.
Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs are women just like you. If you happen to be a middle-aged woman of schadenfreude, self-loathing and mysterious talent. In their own words: “…we’re not rarefied trophy wives…we are the kind of women who know how to put up our own shelves!”
With seven children between them, parenting and their own reoccurring instances that they call ‘failure to parent’ are certainly the focus of some of their material, but then so is the beauty industry, getting older, getting fatter, strange surgeries, weird TV shows, obsessions, frustrations, and at the end of the day, who unpacks the flipping dishwasher.
We sat down with the eponymous two to discuss the important things. Such as the merits of Vladimir Putin, and the negatives of wounding yourself in a very private place.
What do you think is the key factor in you ending up where you are today career-wise?
M: I’m manipulative, demanding and not as attractive as I think I am. But I’m extremely confident. Basically, I am a relentless force of nature and I don’t take “no” for an answer. I love making people happy. Even if they don’t want to be happy.
E: People think I’m really lovely and sweet, so they want to be around me. I’m not. I’m a bit mean and judgmental, but I keep it to myself. I’m also the most organised person you will ever meet, which is rare in comedy, so I am a sure thing of turning up on time. Even when I’m not booked.
Who do you consider the most intriguing public figure to watch at the moment?
M: Putin. Because he’s kind of sexy in that “I’m going to kill everyone in the world” kind of way. Just when you thought sociopathic tyrannical dictators were a thing of the past, along comes Putin. That should be the name of a film about him… “Along comes Putin”
E: Emma Gonzalez, the 18-year old student from Florida who is leading the anti-gun rallies in the USA. She is up against one of the most powerful organisations in the world – the NRA – and she is fierce and defiant and captivating.
What is the worst way for a person to try and get your attention on social media?
M: If they post funny dog videos, I’m out.
E: Endless selfies. I just see the back story – the 40-odd you took before you got one that you looked “perfect” in and tried to make it look like it just happened. Put the phone down and step away.
What advice would you give to your 15-year old selves?
M: Step away from the eyeshadow. And your first boyfriend is going to sleep with your best friend.
E: Don’t sit on the bike rack of your boyfriend’s pushie. When you stack, those injuries are going to last for weeks in an area that shouldn’t be injured – ever.
What is your most annoying trait?
M: I talk a lot. And I repeat myself. And then I keep going even when I know you’ve heard the story. I think I’m fascinating no matter what I am saying or doing. I don’t know if this is annoying or just fascinating. Oh and I need constant affirmation from people around me.
E: How easily I get annoyed by almost everything and everyone around me. It makes travelling with me very distressing.
What is the one gift you will pretty much always re-gift?
M: Anything my husband gives me. He buys awful presents, but he’s very loving and constantly tells me how amazing I am which is all I require anyway.
E: The Massage Voucher. People give them to me all the time because they think I need to relax, but I hate people I don’t know touching me, so even the thought of a massage gives me anxiety.
What is your favourite lame quote or cliche?
M: Wine gets better with age. Actually, age gets better with wine.
E: Count to ten and breathe. It’s supposed to calm you down before you do something stupid in a tense situation, but it just gives me more time to plot my revenge.
What can your fans expect from your upcoming book tour, Women Like Us?
M: They can expect to hear their own stories. Like we’ve been outside looking through their windows. Actually, we have. It’s a book about women like us: cranky, conceited, resentful, bitter, exhausted…and that’s our good points!
E: They can expect to laugh, cry, blush and feel like they know and love us, and then probably be glad and relieved they don’t!
Women Like Us is hitting shelves on the 1st May, with an east-coast tour to follow.