RetroAntics: What's In The Name?
n the hot, British summer of 2016, in a very cramped, sauna-like living room in Bristol, comedy group The VA, formerly called The Various Artists, spent roughly five hours deciding what new name would be fit for a largescale reboot.
This had be a long time coming for us. As the VA (which is also the abbreviation for the US Department of Veteran Affairs... another local comedy group in Bristol) we felt as though that something was missing, or at least that our name and our brand was holding us back.
As such, a hunt for a new name began.
Now not to say that a new name can immediately solve your problems, but it certainly provides with a clean slate and a way to re-motivate yourselves.
So let's take a look at what the possibilities were during this very intense meeting...
- Stage Clear
One of the first ideas we had, this was going to be a contender, however we thought the name was a bit too ambiguous. It is also a gaming reference, which you will probably see a lot of.
- Startling Developments
Another top contender, it was discussed that this name was a bit too much of a mouthful, as well as being too close to the comedy show Arrested Development.
- Jokes Aside
Although we really liked this name, it sounded like we were putting jokes to the side and away. Which for a comedy group isn't exactly the thing you want to promote.
- Pursued By Bears
Breaking out a Shakespeare reference(!), this was the first time we played with a three word group name. Although we enjoyed, it was taken by several groups, so it was sadly not as original as we thought.
- Scott Wilson's comedy group... with others
Chief writer of Antics' sketches, Scott Wilson, approved this group name. Alas, it was not meant to be.
- Hired Goons
An always popular Simpsons' reference, this alluded to that were both easily hire-able to do anything and that we are goons. Only one of those is true.
This just sounded disgusting.
- Puns for Hire
Although it sounded a bit too mercenary for our liking, we could still appreciate a good pun.
- Blunder Bus
Indeed a witty name, it did sound more like a quirky transport service than comedy group.
- Surprising Revelations
Very similar to Startling Developments, it was a very long name to say, also two very big words to spell.
- Nothing Kinky
This is just an inaccurate statement...
- The Protagonists
A mixture of theatre and superheros, this did imply a slight hero complex to us. And you know, it's good to be humble.
- Brick for Sheep
Got to love a good Settlers of Catan reference.
Although not our group name, it is the name of our sketch show we are bringing up to the Edinburgh Fringe 2018!
- Hands Down
Rolling off the tongue quite well, Hands Down was good until we realised you can't really do anything with your hands down (Apart from cartwheels, but we haven't checked how good we are all at cartwheels).
- One Up
Another gaming reference , it again wasn't super clear about what we did, plus it was very similar name to another fantastic improv group in Bristol.
- Branigan's Law
It was too hard and too fast.
There were more names said, but we ended exchanging name ideas for a good three hours, constantly flicking the "negativity switch" on and off to eliminate names which in the end wouldn't have been suitable.
We have been performing as Up The Antics for so long now it's hard to imagine being anything else. But you never know, we might bring these names back for a show or tour... we have plenty to choose from!