For Henry Riggs and Maari Suorsa, laughter is the best way to stay out of the matrix. The husband and wife sketch comedy duo known as Nameless Numberhead describe themselves as “surveillance chic” with a “post-apocalyptic vaudeville vibe.” Their comedic target? The mainstream. They satirize everything from generic office conversations about television shows to hipster restaurant specials and the foodies who love them. “We take a scenario or a person you might encounter in day-to-day life and just heighten the shit out of it,” says Suorsa. “We’re trying to stave off becoming the cynical older people wagging our fingers saying, ‘Look at these kids these days!’ We want to laugh at it all.”
To sum it up, Nameless Numberhead is all of us. “I think everyone’s the funniest when they’re hustling in their day jobs. We’re constantly seeing people in different situations,” says Suorsa. “We work a bunch of day jobs. We take our show on the road. Everywhere we go, we’re looking for the people you see all over.” It’s the social norms we engage in without giving them a second thought — forced small talk, the latest fads, blind pursuit of the supposed American dream. Nameless Numberhead is noticing the unnoticed and asking us why we interact this way via hilariously absurd sketches.
Riggs and Suorsa know that even they can get caught up in routine. They aren’t calling anyone out. They’ve even had to reassure friends and family that they aren’t making fun of them. “We’re making fun of the structure that we’re all accustomed to,” explains Riggs. “We’re working on the idea of people based on algorithms. We’re looking at the power of social media and advertising to make people into these pockets of identities, and then we’re making light of that. We live in a very silly world, and it’s too ripe with material to not laugh at yourself.”