entertainment

The question Hamish and Andy's colleagues are banned from asking them.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about how Hamish and Andy have changed my life.

I listen to them every day as I walk home from work. People look at me like I’m a crazy person, because it appears like I’m laughing (with the occasional snort) at nothing.

I drop them into everyday conversation as though they are my actual friends and I’m not even embarrassed about it.

Unlike most radio presenters, they manage to be painfully funny without ever becoming cruel. They never laugh at anyone else’s expense, and that is bloody hard.

They never laugh at anyone else's expense. Image via Instagram.

So I developed a theory.

Sure, Hame and Ando (nickname basis) are funny AF. They have some killer segments and unparalleled on air chemistry. But I had a suspicion that on top of all of that, they are really, really smart.

They host the highest rating radio series in Australian history. Currently, they have approximately 2.7 million listeners, and each week they have 1 million podcast downloads. That doesn't happen by accident.

And then I stumbled across a video on Mumbrella that blew my goddamn mind.

The video features the executive producer of the Hamish and Andy show, Sam Cavanagh, interviewing the pair about what goes on behind the scenes.

They discuss all aspects of their broadcasting career, from how they maintain an off-air relationship, to what an average day looks like in 'the office'. And it was absolutely fascinating.

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This week on the Mamamia Out Loud podcast, Jessie shared her discoveries about the making of the Hamish and Andy show. Post continues below. 

Their greatest pearl of wisdom was regarding the quest for a "big idea" -- a question their producers aren't allowed to ask them. Hamish says that there is nothing more paralysing than entering a meeting and having a producer ask "So, what's the next big idea?" If that's how a conversation starts, he explains, then there is a "one per cent chance that idea will be funny."

I'd often wondered if there was a degree of 'acting' in their show - particularly when they're telling each other stories that give way to a sizable segment. Surely when you have millions of listeners, you can't just leave it all up to chance.

NOPE. "Whatever I'm going to say, I want Hame to hear for the first time..." Andy explains. The pair prepare separately, with Andy meeting with producers, and then Hamish. They want to be "genuinely surprised" and share that moment with their audience.

Hamish reflects that the most important thing is finding the balance between planning and spontaneity. They need a structure, and maybe a sentence to summarise an idea, but they both consider themselves terrible actors, so need their responses to be genuine.

He says "rather than doing a lot of the cooking behind the scenes and then going 'here's a pie we've already made', for us it's about trying to figure out the ingredients of the pie live with the audience..."

Their responses need to be genuine. Image via Facebook.

They agree that it is the journey itself which is funny, and would prefer that to something "super slick" or scripted.

Andy laughs that "we're naturally lazy" which I'm pretty sure is definitely a lie. They come into the office at about 1pm, leaving three hours to meet with producers before the show goes live at 4pm. And when they go to air, absolutely no one knows where the show is going to end up.

Watch the pair talk about the art of radio. Post continues below.

Andy says a real turning point for him was when he realised "a laugh for either of us is a laugh for the team". He reflects that there's nothing worse than listening to two people on radio compete for laughs.

Their intention is never to go 'viral' or to be number one. They just want to hop on-air and have fun with each other for a couple of hours every afternoon. Anything else is a bonus.

Now that Jessie has joined the Mamamia Out Loud team, she's managed to sneak in even more Hamish and Andy content on this week's podcast. To find out why we love Sonny Blake so much, listen to the full episode here: