VENGA MONJAS

“PORT AVENTURA TURNED THEIR BACK ON US”

One day we wanted to interview Esteban Navarro and Xavi Daura, the two people behind Venga Monjas, who are famous for their videos, their Youtube channel, their work as screenwriters for Museo Coconut, their 8th anniversary, their new DVD, likely to be found in shopping centres, with wips and stuff. In the end, something unclassifiable came out of it. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

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– I’m gonna record the interview, if you don’t mind.

ESTEBAN: How does it sound? Good or bad?

– Horrible.

E: But you will use Siri to write it down, won’t you?

– No…Can you really do that?

E: Look, in your mobile phone you have this girl called Siri… (He picks up the phone) Let me see. Siri. SIRI.

XAVI: Trusting Siri for the whole interview seems a little risky to me…

E: SIRI. HEY, SIRI, I’M ASKING YOU STUFF HERE. Look, she’s typing it. She’s smart, she knows “Siri” is a personal name and she uses capital letters.

– But shouldn’t she be answering to your questions?

The fact is that this is not Siri, this is…Look, she is even putting the accents!

I confess I labelled you “Lenny and Carl” before I could distinguish between you two.

X: Lenny has that strange tramp kind of face, hasn’t he? And Carl, in the first seasons, had a Cuban accent. Then they took it off because it sounded a little bit racist I guess.

Once you said: “Our videos come out of our unfulfilled dream of having a cat. This is the closest thing to having a cat we could do.”

E: Did we really say that? I can’t believe it.

X: Man, it seems plausible to me…Look, we really don’t remember having said that, but it sounds like a good way of defining it. It’s the unfulfilled dream of having a cat. Well, he’s allergic to cats!

E: Might be because I’m allergic to cats and for this reason I’ve always wanted to have a cat. Even though I had a cat called Sofia once.

Wasn’t it a lot easier having a cat than doing all this stuff?

X: A cat might be more difficult to deal with.

E: Cats are said to be very self-sufficient.

X: I would have a dog if I had a pet, mind you. But I don’t.

– The other day I wanted to buy a hedgehog.

E: But…A proper hedgehog? Like Sonic?

Seeing how much fun you have with the things you do…Everybody feels jealous about you guys.

X: That’s the idea! We know that when you are making comedy you want to make the audience laugh, but there is always a subtle jealousy in the background, something like “if only they could be friends of mine”. When you get this kind of feeling, it’s when you start having fans. When I’m watching a comic series I like, I always end up thinking “How wonderful it would be working there”.

I suppose that, at first, working with Miguel Noguera, Nacho Vigalondo or the Chanantes might have been rather impressive, wasn’t it?

X: No, with Noguera it wasn’t. (laughing)

E: No, I mean, with Noguera it wasn’t like that, but when we met him we were so scared because we thought he was awfully rich. We thought he was multimillionaire, we were convinced; the day we met he was wearing a FC Barcelona shirt under a blazer. It looked the supreme proof he had lots of money.

X: When we met him, Noguera had been working with Ultrashow for a year, so we had been working more or less for the same amount of time. We discovered him on YouTube, because at that time his shows were made with a megaphone in the middle of the street. All very underground. He emailed us and we thought, “this guy is so good that it’s impossible he’s not famous”, so we came to the conclusion that he was a billionaire. And then it happened that he was a supervisor in a school canteen.

You will soon notice that people look at you impressed.

X: It happens during comics’festivals. People want to take pictures with us and they shake.

E: You touch their chest and you notice their hearts are going to explode. They beat incredibly fast.

X: Comic boys.

E: In order to calm them down you try kissing them, and things get even worse.

X: They just faint.

It may be a typical question, but since it’s your job…What’s the funniest thing you have seen lately?

X: Well, today he showed me the video of a baby in his diapers dancing in a very sexy way. It was a reggaeton or something like that.

E: A super latino baby.

X: But apart from that…What we actually do is make a fool of our friends behind their backs. This is the funniest part of it. You have to live it. We can be really cruel.

I’ve got a theory; it happens when something is very, very extreme, it turns into the opposite. Like when water is so cold it burns. Following this idea, what is the worst thing that caused you to burst out laughing?

E: Go, Ibiza, Go! follows your reasoning, but it’s intentionally made.

X: The Popular Party (PP). It’s so bad that it’s kind of fun to see it in action. Even though, well, later on, things get so bad it turns dramatic. Carlos Vermut makes very interesting things in this line of thinking. His way of making short films is so realistic that the result is really funny.

You are a bit of a perfect couple, so you must know perfectly how to match things. And we are obsessed with food. So…What is the best food combo for Venga Monjas?

X: Esteban is the expert here.

E: I do things like Doritos and Nutella. And I do it seriously. Doritos or Risketos. Stefano’s Italian father, the one from Mendetz y Verkeren, always brings him some enormous Nutella jars, like 5 kilos big, something totally crazy. When I was at his place, I just went down to the shop at the corner and bought these things, Doritos, Risketos, Ruffles, Jamón-Jamón…I like every combination. I’m also a fan of pizzas or ham and cheese sandwiches with chocolate milkshake.

X: That is creepy.

Your favourite sandwich filling?

E: Salami with hummus.

X: Prawns with garlic sauce and cheese.

The best music duo?

E: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.

And the worst?

E: Fuck…This is so complicated…

X: I might say Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury. Or the bearded woman from Eurovision and Chikilicuatre.

TV couples. The best.

X: The worst… Parada and the piano player. And the best…Cárdenas and any interviewed.

E: The guy from Mallorca.

X: Our favourite is the guy from Mallorca.

Didn’t they invite you from TV to put up your own show?

X: Yeah…In reality, we could be working in something like that. Nowadays doing TV shows it’s so complicated that even our mates from Muchachada, who are recognized professionals, are seeing the flames of hell in it. Actually, after Museo Coconut we made “Retorno a Liliflor”with them; it’s all recorded, it just needs the TV men to press play. And it’s been three years since we did that. For this reason, we know a TV program sounds like a very cool idea, but if you stop for a moment and think that you have to pass through so many tortures, just to have a program that you don’t even know if it will last more than three weeks…

E: We are quite into this TV thing right now, but maybe when you get to the last stage of it everything falls apart.

Xavi, you were with Mariló Montero in Ilustres Igorantes.

X: Mariló; she is very good, she is lovely. A thing that impressed me was that just before going out on the stage, when the speaker announced our names, she crossed herself. And I almost did it, too. She is like that, very religious.

Let’s talk of what’s most important: Port Aventura.

E: Hell yes!

X: We go there every year!

E: There are people who spend their time during VIP events and stuff like that just try to get into programs or advertisements. The other day I was trying to get free entries for Port Aventura at the Madrid Open Tennis.

X: We want to say it out loud that we emailed Port Aventura once and we explained that we love going there, and that maybe they could use us for some viral promotion of the park; they could give us some free entries, and we could tweet something from there or whatever.

E: Pictures, laughs…They said: “We aren’t interested”.

X: I would like this to point this out very clearly. Port Aventura turned their backs on us. And of course, we will still go, but…

– They must have a new attraction, like a quiet boat…

X: One for retired people, you mean, right?

E: Like a boat with bingo?

X: Let me tell you one thing. There was one scene in E.T. where E.T. had to eat some sweets, so the production contacted the company they had chosen, and they said “No, we aren’t interested”. So they chose M&M’s instead. When the film was such a big success, M&M’s made the most of it. The boss of the other company met the responsible of the refusal and…

E: And they hanged him on the spot.

X: And he was fired. I hope this also happens with the person who rejected us! (laughing)

Favourite area in Port Aventura and favourite show.

E: You just have to think that Furius Baco and Shambhala are in different areas…

X: I feel this question means something like the place where you are more comfortable. I think my favourite is the Far West. Everything looks cosier, neater…

E: There is that crow…

X: The talking crow…He masters 20 languages…

E: Sometimes he breaks out with some French sentences that leave you in sheer shock.

– Wait, that isn’t a crow, it’s a…

E: A condor.

X: A scavenger!

E: A dove.

X: A vulture!

E: As for the show, undoubtedly, the bird man.

X: Every time we are going, we try not to miss it. Actually, we try getting to the show completely drunk.

E: Moreover, the later it is, the more desperate is the man.

X: He hates his job. I had a very funny experience with the bird man. I was very drunk and the sun was getting at me. The man was making the birds fly. I was resolute in defending that as the best show on Earth, shouting things like “YEEEAH MAAAN!”, “FUCKKKKK YEEEEAAAAHHHHH”, every time he did something. “YOU ARE THE FUCKING BOSS!”and things like that. I made a woman turn towards me and tell me “Well, it’s not such a big deal”.

I’m relatively new in Barcelona. So, as a newcomer, what can you recommend me from the series Coneix la Teva Ciutat?

E: You could take a look at the videos, don’t be lazy.

X: To be fair, in the videos we haven’t been to any cool places.

E: Look…Shopping Malls. The one in Plaza de España is quite good.

X: You can go up and down the stairs.

E: There is a canteen where they give you chicken fajitas with chocolate.

X: I like walking around the Ronda Sant Andoni.

E: Oh no, he’s already mentioning that.

X: It’s a very good place to unwind.

E: Here we go with the flippin’ Ronda again.

X: We also like Els Tres Tombs. We had lots of laughs there.

E: We have this funny story about Tres Tombs. We made a birthday cake for a friend; we took a meat ball bomb and placed a firecracker inside of it. It disintegrated. They didn’t even have to clean it, nothing remained.

X: Noguera, who was also there and he got really nervous. He generally gets nervous when there is something out of the ordinary. He acted all crazy, saying the meat bomb had turned into particles.

What are your projects for the future?

X: Eeeeh…We want to go on being stupid, isn’t it obvious? Apart from this, a lot of things. The cool part of it is that we can go on doing sketches for our Youtube channel, because these are little things that don’t require much effort but that can be enjoyed by a lot of people.

E: For my part, I want to find a girlfriend and get married.

X: O-lé.

We ask this question at the end of every interview here at La Monda. We give you the first part of a sentence and then it’s up to you to complete it. So, “Artistic expression as a way of defending…”

X & E: Something. Something is good. We stick with “something”.

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Interview Ane Guerra

Main photo Andoni Beristain