Laugh in 60 seconds with Bad Snappers

Laugh in 60 seconds with Bad Snappers
Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazak

By David Light

Published: Sun 20 May 2018, 4:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 May 2018, 4:10 PM

BAD SNAPPERS' MINUTE-long sketches have already made hundreds of thousands giggle, taking an occasionally close-to-home swipe at the pervasive nature of photo sharing. Have you seen it? If the answer is no, you simply must. Comedy Central's latest locally produced online show stars Dubai comic actors Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazak as two UAE-based Millenials looking to get as much social media engagement as possible, often with hilarious consequences. Whether their schemes involve posing in front of a picture of the Eiffel Tower to pretend they're in France, or attempting to create a picture-perfect scene with a partner in the park (100 tries for one shot is about average, right?), Bad Snappers lampoons the world of the Instagram wannabe, a phenomenon of which the public, thankfully, appears to be becoming more sceptical. We know we are!
With such a worthy project highlighting the issue and coming up with accessible comedy at the same time, we had to meet the funny Lebanese and Egyptian people behind it, Rima and Frial respectively.
How would you describe Bad Snappers?
Rima: I think it represents reality. It is unfortunately the reality we have gotten into where people misrepresent experiencing things and they just do them and post them to show off. This is what we show in Bad Snappers.
Frial: I feel like people are too fake now on social media. They just want to keep up with other people and start to fake their lives to do so. We do a sketch where we make it look like we are travelling to all these different places. I have seen someone do this for real.
Do you think Bad Snappers will provide a wake up call to people who take social media too seriously?
Frial: I read all the comments under the videos we do. I'm crazy! But there are a lot of people tagging each other saying 'this is you' or 'that's us!' Perhaps we all exaggerate our content sometimes, but in levels. Some people are too extreme. Sometimes when you're taking pictures, you don't enjoy the moment as much because you just want to show off what you're doing. That should change.
Rima: Some people take hours with lighting their shots. I can't believe it. You appreciate good photos, you like them - they can be inspiring - but making it a mode of life is too much. We're not making fun of the pictures, but the lack of lifestyle behind them. I once had a radio show where I interviewed influencers. The first thing those influencers would say was, 'we want people to know this is not reality. We don't want people to think this is what our life is. We work hard. What you see in the photos isn't the actual truth.' I think it's just the latest form of advertising.
How did you become the Bad Snappers?
Frial: I had never done anything on camera, but I'm a star by nature! I always wanted to act. In Egypt it's easier. But I'm in Dubai. I have been here for about four years. I signed up to an agency and I got an email through for an audition for this. As soon as I read it, I knew it was for me. Rima and I met on the first day.
Rima: We were shortlisted together. We got to audition together and we had some time, so we went into another room on the day and we invented stuff. We had to audition with other people too, but I immediately knew with Frial there was something there. I guess the producers thought so too!
Would you prefer longer than 60 seconds to get the joke across?
Rima: People's attention spans are so short, it's good to make everyone understand the joke in that space of time. We would love to have more, but it makes sense. It's snappy and interesting.
Do you come up with your own sketch ideas?
Frial: They have guidelines, but they give us an idea and we run with it. It's a frame or concept and we go for it.
Rima: We were selected because of our personalities. We are even referred to by our own names in the show. We are allowed to roam free. The only thing we are told sometimes is to go bigger with the joke. We need to make a point in just a single minute.
Do you see yourself as pioneers - bringing Arabic comedy to a wider audience?
Frial: People like stuff when it is relatable. So, I wouldn't say it is exactly Arabic comedy. Some key words are in Arabic, but anyone can watch it.
Rima: What came to my mind when I first heard of the idea was Mr. Bean. Not because the jokes are similar, but because there is very little language. Anyone can follow it.
Do you think it may change people's ideas about the region?
Rima: I think Dubai is the perfect location to place Bad Snappers because it's edgy and trendy. The TV and movies made here are often Khaleeji, which is great, but for a wider audience to base a web comedy about social media here is perfect. It's something new from a new place.
Frial: It could lead to Arabic girls in a Hollywood movie! We are beautiful, smart and strong. In the past year or so it seems there are no 'movie rules' now. Give us a chance!
What are your hopes for the immediate future of the show?
Rima: I would love it if it continues to be a permanent thing. I think the show should have more frequency but not be longer. One, one-minute episode every day would be the dream!
And if Hollywood called?  
Frial: I'd want to do a movie with Chris Rock, or all the guys from The Hangover. A female version of The Hangover...I love it.
The duo on their favourite comedy show
In unison to the question, the reply was "Friends", accompanied by an impromptu verse of character Phoebe's infamous song, Smelly Cat from Frial.
Rima: That show never dies. It says something. There were shows trying to imitate it, but nothing has been that successful. We love it.
Frial: It would be my dream to be on something like that. I loved Jennifer Aniston because of the way she cracked the jokes.
You can catch Bad Snappers exclusively on Instagram, Facebook and online 

During a sketch
During a sketch
The comedy duo on set
The comedy duo on set

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