Last week we live-streamed our 2020 Funny Women Awards Presentation from the Groucho Club in London, where the winners of our other Awards categories were announced. This year saw the return of one of our newer Awards categories, Best Comedy Web Series, voted for by you and people voted in their droves for Sophie McCartney, AKA Tired and Tested, and her web series Planet Mum. We caught up with Sophie to talk about winning, doing a Gwyneth and her creative process.
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the 2020 Funny Women Comedy Web Series Award?
Sophie McCartney: I’m so chuffed! Honestly, I’m not a natural-born achiever, up until now my greatest accomplishment was that I’d never had nits; so this means a lot. I feel like I need to do a ‘Gwyneth’ at the Oscars, hysterically thanking everyone, Funny Women, people who voted online, my parents – especially my mum who had to create 600 different email accounts, and Jesus Christ – because that seems to be the norm, however, I’d prefer he spent less time voting in comedy competitions and more time sorting out COVID.
FW: Tell us about your series.
SM: Planet Birth is a David Attenborough-esque wildlife mockumentary following the day-to-day adventures of modern motherhood. The idea came to me after I was heavily pregnant at a hen party, and as alcohol is obviously not a good idea when you’re with child (puts you at high risk of pissing yourself) – I was able to observe, and, more importantly, remember all of the night’s wild shenanigans. The mums in the group were absolutely feral – behaving like caged animals who’d just been released from captivity, it was like watching a wildlife documentary, and I was like ‘Wait a minute… I can exploit this on the internet for laughs!’ and that was that Planet Birth was born!
FW: Can you share a little about your creative process?
SM: I post a new piece of online content every week, so my creative turnaround time is pretty quick – I’ve had to train myself to not pore over the details too much and go with my gut instinct instead of reworking scripts for days. I generally start thinking of an idea for a video at the weekend – mapping it out using joke webs, word associations etc. Monday I start writing, Tuesday I edit and re-write, Wednesday I film, Thursday I edit and subtitle – then it goes live that night.
Funny Women: Any words of advice to comedy creators?
SM: I think my biggest piece of advice is to keep going regardless! It’s really easy to let online negativity get to you and affect the creative process – you might have hundreds of lovely comments, but one horrible one makes you question EVERYTHING. You cannot please the entirety of the Internet, so don’t bother trying. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things – mix up your content, give your followers a reason to keep coming back – variety is the spice of life and all that. Lastly, don’t hang on the coattails of your last funny video – keep creating, keep producing, keep engaging and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.
FW:And lastly, who are your favourite funny women?
SM: I love, love, love Iliza Shlesinger – no one does a goat impression quite like her. I also think Mae Martin is hilarious, and I’m going to throw Victoria Wood into the mix as well because I grew up watching her and she will be forever legendary.
Watch Sophie’s winning series here and follow her here!