The secret of 'No one knows anything' to conquer HBO: "Being polite is the new punk"

To understand the essence of the success of a phenomenon like nobody knows anything, it is enough to attend to a spontaneous phrase that can be heard in the second episode of its new season. In the middle of the program, visibly annoyed at having been messed up by Andreu Buenafuente to play a childhood pastime, Berto Romero yells at the microphone in his hand in the middle of the street: “You can do comedy without offending!”. It could be said that this plea against a hooligan captures the DNA of the program. One who, for nine years, has delved into a chiquipark for adults where two gentlemen appear throwing themselves into the absurdity of the improvisation of a humor that, at times idiotic and at others profound, seeks —as Berto exclaims— to make people laugh without having to irritate the rest of the world. If we can now see that scene like this, with the protagonists invading Barcelona’s Eixample while it’s pouring down, chased by cameras ready to follow the occurrences of these comedians, it’s because something has changed in the tenth season of this show that began in 2013. In this new batch, which premieres next Saturday, in addition to being able to be heard on SER, SER Podcast or followed on YouTube, as usual, there is also the possibility of seeing it through HBO Max.

Produced by this television platform and by El Terrat, the new stage of what has become the podcast most listened to in Spain in 2020 and 2021, according to Spotify, it also comes with a mini-tour through Argentina and Mexico in July and with a change of fixed recording stage in Spain. The couple has left the classic SER Toresky studio in Barcelona to go on to record themselves, also with an audience, in a venue in El Terrat specially conditioned for the show, a few meters further on, on Casp street itself. “The program is in a very sweet moment and this change, which does not corrupt its essence, catches us in a perfect vital calendar. I have finished my daily program and he [Berto] He has just finished shooting his fiction series. We had a perfect quadrature of stars to dedicate more energy and give ourselves fully”, Buenafuente clarified regarding the reason for this expansion of platforms and territories last Monday, guarded by his partner and by Miguel Salvat (responsible for original productions of HBO Max in Spain ), on the sofas of the new set.

A neon with the word
A neon with the word “Samanté” presided over the new set of ‘No one knows anything’, which begins its tenth season by joining the HBO Max platform, in addition to its usual channels.LANDER LARRANAGA

Unlike his solo shows, where he is incapable and the idea of ​​getting out of the script gives him a “panic”, Berto confirms that if here he feels free to improvise and wallow in the absurd, it is because of pure trust in his artistic partner: “If I do it because Andreu is there. In addition, we have a team that is the host. The program has an amazing invoice and in the recordings I don’t even notice the cameras. For the public this is very sweet, because it is the opportunity to see an exercise in artistic survival that, above all, can go wrong. Achieving this and making it look like radio, but being TV, is very complicated”, he warns. The objective of this transition is to move forward, but without breaking the magic that has cemented that success. “If something kept me awake at night it was betraying the format”, continues Berto, “that implied failing the community, which is all those people I meet on the street and tell me ‘Samantebrother’, as if we were part of some kind of cult of imbeciles”.

The comedian referred to that ecosystem of his own that has shaped the program, like when Andreu made a mistake and instead of pronouncing “Namasté” he said “Samanté” and that’s how he stayed forever, like a neologism and password to access his tribe, a cult nod to the humor they practice, the one that has relentlessly survived every possible crisis or political polarization.

An “antiviral” against noise

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“The only time I was really alarmed was in the most severe confinement,” Buenafuente recalls. “We recorded ourselves at home, we saw each other on Skype with two microphones and there I thought, damn, we are touching a wall, we are in stagnant water territory. There the program changed its name, during those days it was called Nobody comes out anything and that almost stole the air from the program, but not even with those. We went back to the set and here we are. I guess this is an antiviral that can do anything. There is no toxic social or public fire that can with this redoubt”, he sentences.

For Berto, the key to his survival is isolation: “The heritage of this program is being able to be bright. I started doing comedy in 2006, with the fall of Lehman Brothers, so I haven’t worked without having a country in front of me that wasn’t in crisis. In this corner neither the news nor the noise from outside enters. It’s the closest thing you can get to meeting up with a friend and having a laugh. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to find. We have shielded ourselves so that toxicity does not enter, ”he clarifies. And the best remedy is to navigate the absurdity of everyday life, a territory in which the borders between vital suffocation and evasive laughter are perfectly diluted to play with them. “This fascinates me”, says Buenafuente, “anecdotes work there and people laugh a lot with personal experiences, that when living them, we don’t feel especially funny, but not at all. But you count them there, with that ambient temperature, and they find it very funny”.

Can you make people laugh without offending, as Berto says in that key sequence? The comedian is ambivalent: “You can, yes. Whether it should or not depends on each one. I think, right now, being polite is being the new punk. In my case, it is where I feel most comfortable. I don’t like to offend or get into trouble because I’m a coward. It is not for lack of desire to offend, but it is that I do not like it too much, ”he clarifies. “Ours is more of an armored space of surrealism,” adds Buenafuente, “we don’t hurt anyone there.”

“We hardly even talk in real life”

Nor has it given them time to deconstruct their success. In a scenario that has proven that the comedy or communicator duos that have filled stadiums because, due to a lack of opportunities in the generalist media, they decided to self-produce themselves —there is the case of the Ondas a Stretching the gum either Deformed Weekly Ideal Total—Do you think they would have come this far as women? “Honestly, I haven’t spent much time reflecting on this matter. It seems to me that as a comic man of my age, the most appropriate position is to remain silent”, answers Berto, and adds “yes, I believe that female comedians are treated very harshly and are not allowed to make mistakes or go into unpleasant territories. , incorrect, or aggressive, as they please. And Andreu agrees: “With feminine humor, luckily, all these obsolete approaches are being overcome. All the delay that we had is being updated and they are going to sack. Now it is much more visible and spectacular, ”he replies.

Their complicity, the crutch that they give each other without rest while having them in front of them, works despite being a couple who barely call each other or send WhatsApp messages before recording. “It’s that we hardly even talk in real life,” Buenafuente jokes, appealing to that need for constant freshness in his talks with the public week after week. “Sometimes I tell him: ‘Hey, something has happened to me, but I’ll tell you about it later. No one. How am I going to tell him about my daily routine? If I tell you, I’m killing our material.”

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