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It's all Fahntastically Unofficial!

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Why did I create this site and what is its purpose?

Firstly, I created this site because I could find nothing like it on the web. When I searched for a "fan site" or an "official or unofficial fan site" I found nothing. Later I did discover that there are many fabulous fahn sites on Instagram (this one is particularly wonderful), and this one is also on Instagram and is the "The No. 1 Official Fahn Page." There are several wonderful art pages showing portraits of FAH by fahns, here's one of the best: feelingfah.ntastic. There is an excellent FAHn Wiki page (with 201 pages of material and growing), but no actual fan websites about FAH as comedic artists or a site exploring their comedy at length from an analytical perspective. At the time I did not even think Wikipedia offered much information that was particularly extensive, or even that interesting. So I wanted to create the sort of site that I would like to find on the web.

Secondly, as an academic, as a writer, and as someone who has been teaching in higher education for over 25 years, I wanted a place to think and write about comedy. And particularly, to write about FAH's style of comedy, which I find interesting, provocative, multi-layered, and thoughtful. I also see a lot of emotion, sympathy, and empathy in their comedy, as well as many ideas that resonate with our changing world today.

Thirdly, I believe that comedy offers the possibility of a community that brings people together through the cathartic act of laughter or tears; during the onset of the horrible pandemic and coronavirus news, especially, FAH's sketches offered viewers a moment of respite and connection. We, too, needed hugs and live music, a haircut, or the ability to have a normal conversation with our parents. Their weekly Thursday videos gave us a moment of light and peace in the dreary sameness of existence during the lockdown.

And during that time, the idea for this website was born. The purpose of this site is to provide the following:

I've written a brief history of FAH from their beginnings to the present day. I've tried to be as accurate and factual as possible, relying heavily on the interviews that I found on the web (doing an amazing array of keyword searches), and quoting directly from them. This offers readers a sense of how FAH have evolved as a comedy group. I can't touch on everything - other people across the fahn sites have done much more and perhaps, gone in different directions than I chose to follow - but I believe what I've produced is coherent, interesting and provides a snapshot of their career, highlighting the most relevant, and certainly the most asked questions in their varied interviews.

I've also provided a section called "The Lads", against the backdrop of the Irish flag colors, honoring their country and identity. This is a fun section with some personal information about each member of the trio, including one or two videos that show them doing other film work, and a few videos of when they were younger, just starting out in their careers. I also tried to include some off the beaten track information that I found through their interviews (usually radio, or podcasts revealed the most personal information), such as Hog's love of talking about bats, or the fact that Foil hates fish, or that Arms was a lifeguard at one point in his life. Again, other fahn sites probably go much deeper into their personal lives, but I just wanted to skim the surface with a few tidbits, and preserve a respectful distance.

I have a page of as many interviews as I could find on the web. I did not want to include reviews of their live shows, or other kinds of videos or material that did not address something about their lives, their comedy, their insights about how they write, or develop their work. Anything that was framed as an interview - asking them questions and getting responses from them directly - is what is on those pages.

And I've included a blog - FAHnalysis - that will explore their comedy sketches and other matters in the context of broader subjects about which I would like to write and I'm interested. I've started out with some issues that I've been thinking about a lot recently: what kind of meaning and messages come across in FAH's comedy sketches, and how do FAH as comedy artists (my term) present their work to the world. In some of my first blog posts concerning their material, I chose to examine two compelling, incredibly emotional sketches from different angles: Sandcastle Competition (2014) and Border Control (2014). FAH's comedy provokes me to think and to make connections with the wider world, and I believe this is a good thing. I have a whole range of ideas for posts waiting in the wings. Thankfully, they have 300+ videos to examine, so there is no shortage of ideas and thoughts to write about and explore!

Finally, I've created a section called FAHn Fiction: A FAH Mystery series that is in the style of American noir / hardboiled detective fiction but with a modern twist. The story is set in Los Angeles in 1954 and concerns Foil Arms and Hog as detectives following various crimes. They have been to war, and have all sorts of vices but are really detective heroes. It is filled with many characters, is alternately humorous and dark, and ultimately is meant to honor FAH and their work. I pull bits and bobs from their sketches, their interviews, and what I know about them in a general way so it should please FAH fahns to see these references in the story. At this point the novella is 27 chapters and growing.

This site is made with respect, kindness, dignity, and reverence for FAH's comedy art. I’m deeply grateful for all the work that they do to create interesting, incredibly funny sketches for their YouTube videos and live shows. They’ve been at this for 12 years, and know what they’re doing. Simply put, I admire them greatly.

I’m sure I see things in their sketches that they do not mean for me to see, do not mean for me to interpret in a certain way, or do not mean for me to analyze. But I hope they will be respectful of my views and interpretations of their work (if they ever see this site or read my blog posts), as I am respectful of their comedic training and the material that they have created for years. For like me, they are writers and they are looking for ways to make people laugh. I'm simply looking for ways to make people think.

This website is also a place to have fun and to explore ideas, whether those be silly or serious. There is so much heartache in the world, so much pain, so much brutality, and so many injustices. We all need a place to escape when life gets too much to take, and to me, that means writing about ideas, watching FAH sketches (Goddess on high, I hope I get to see them live someday), talking to people about their comedy, sharing their videos with friends and family, laughing and thinking!

Finally, I hope that this site will open up a new path of communication in the FAH Fahn community and be a place for an exchange of ideas about FAH's comedy from an international perspective. Comedy makes people laugh and creates a commonality among disparate groups. I'm just trying to create a bridge for those voices and groups to come together to laugh, and occasionally share a few ideas.

Please subscribe and join the conversation!

Onward! Barbara

P.S. Throughout this site I've used photographs from FAH's catalogue of images. All of these are by the Dublin photographer Luca Truffarelli. His pictures are exquisitely beautiful. Please visit his website to see more of his work.

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