An interview With Musical Comedy Duo Picard Maneuver

Adam Fanshier and Mike Hover are the members of Picard Maneuver a musical comedy duo. Here is a link to their website:

1. How did you two meet?

We meet back in college. We were both in the film program at Cal State Long Beach studying under Brain Alan Lane (MacGyver, Star Trek: The Next Generation) and disappointing our parents. Please don’t let them see this interview… Our parents think we’re in law school.

After graduating, and doing standup for a few years on our own, we decided to join forces to perform a duo act back in 2007 because we thought our comedic voices worked well together… But mostly because we wanted to use the carpool lane.

2. What made you two click?

Adam: I get lost in Mike’s eyes.

Mike: I hate you.

Adam: Fine. I think it’s really two things. Mike and I share a mutual love of all things geeky, especially Star Trek. Second, I think that comically, Mike and I see things similarly, but we process them very differentially. That combo makes for a funny outcome. And let’s face it, we’re just friends who have a good time goofing off at comedy clubs.

Mike: Adam has a writers’ background, and is very structured and formulaic. I have more of an improvisation background, spontaneous and in the moment. When combining these two styles, we create a nice balance of order and chaos that makes our shows, we hope, fun to watch.

3. What do you like about Hollywood?

Adam: People are always mistaking us for celebrities. Unfortunately, it’s usually “The Judd’s”.

Mike: Hollywood is the entertainment capital in the world. Here the stand up community is massive, talented folks from all over congregating in a 30-mile radius. Being able to meet and see them perform is pretty awesome. We’ve been fortunate to share the stage with a lot of nice comics here.

4. What don’t you like about?

Adam: Frankly, you have to be crazy to want to live in this town and try to make a career. It’s like running away to join the circus.

Mike: That’s not true. The circus would pay better.

Adam: True.

Mike: The flip side of the coin is that Hollywood is the entertainment capital. Comedy is over saturated here in Los Angeles, because it is everywhere. From coffee shops to gas stations and prison (yes, we‘ve played in prison), you can find a stage, and a mic, pretty much anywhere. Because of this, the demand for a live show is low. We find that when performing outside of the area, people are more excited about live comedy.

5. What sets you apart from other comedians?

Adam: We wear Starfleet uniforms and sing rap songs about educational software from the early 80s.

Mike: That will do it. Also, there are two of us. That doubles our chances of being entertaining.

Adam: … And cuts our pay in half.

Mike: But what really sets us apart from other live acts is our honesty. We’re nerdy guys. In our travels we’ve found there are more nerds out in the world than jocks. Even if you play fantasy football, face it: you’re a nerd. So, telling jokes and stories of how we grew up and what the world is like for an adult geek, the crowd seems to enjoy that aspect of what we do.

6.What is your craziest LA story?

One of the most unexpected was at a gig in Hollywood. We were performing at a variety night, so there were a bunch of acts. We didn’t know this, but the special guest that night was Rob Paulsen, voice actor who, with a long list of credits, voiced Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Yakko from Animaniacs. He improvised with the host with a variety of voices and ended the night by performing “Countries Of The World” as Yakko Warner. It was, without a doubt, one of the most exciting nights of our lives.

We admit that story is a little geeky… But you could always tell people that we told you a story that started with, “Once the Olsen twins brought the cocaine, Halo Night got really crazy…”

7. Who are some of your comedic influences?

We always thought the Hamburglar was hilarious.

The old guys always meant a lot to us- Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Bob Hope and Dean Martin, Steve Martin, as well as the great duo’s like the Smother’s Brothers. We’ve also had a little known hero, Michael Rayner, who has been a true mentor to us. Michael has not only helped us comically, he also lets us eat the cheeseburgers from his act once he’s done spinning them on his umbrella (really… Goggle it).

8. Mike, what experiences in life influence your work the most?
Being a kid at heart, I would say my childhood. Be it writing lyrics to a rap song, like “Oregon Trail Rap” or a love song like “Phasers Set To Love”, I tend to reference what I enjoyed growing up (Star Trek, Star Wars, Cartoons, etc) and finding the humor in them from both a child’s perspective and as an adult twenty years later.

9. Adam, same question.

Growing up nerdy. It’s funny how much of your life (junior high, high school, college) you spend hiding who you are. The mentally of “God forbid that the big canned blonde in my community college Geology class knows that I secretly love Star Trek V: The Final Frontier!” takes over when you‘re 20. You have to get away from all of the immaturity of school and hormones before you can grow into yourself. Meeting my wife, finding someone so beautiful inside and out who accepted me for who I was, really changed me, and continues to influence me every day… Even when she tells me Star Trek V is stupid.

10. I work in the health food industry, tell me a health food joke.

185 Health inspectors walk into a bar. Bartender says, “I’m sorry we don’t serve Health Inspectors here.” Inspectors say, “Why?” Bartender responds “Last time you guys came in here you shut the place down.” The 185 Health Inspectors respond “Ah, rats!”.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


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