INTERVIEW: DAVID FIRTH | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

If you attended secondary school at any point after 2007, there is a 100% chance you’ve encountered Salad Fingers before. There’s something weirdly hypnotic about the surrealist japes of the leggy, green humanoid. From the moment Mr Fingers rubbed his lettuce-like appendages against a rusty spoon and declared the feeling “almost orgasmic”, its reputation as a classic meme was cemented.

A question that often plagued many people’s mind was who brought Salad Fingers into existence, and why? The answer for his creator, animator and musician David Firth, is surprisingly simple: “I only make things that I want to be in existence… It’s comedy to me and to my friends, this is our sense of humour. What I felt was that comedy cartoons were either wacky or disgusting, but never kind of surreal. And if they were surreal, then they definitely take themselves very seriously. I want to make nonsense that is entertaining.”

Salad Fingers ticks all those boxes. Throughout the animated show’s eleven episodes (and counting) run, you’ll go through a lot of emotions. But whether it’s unease at the morbidly innocent synth soundtrack, confusion over the protagonist’s 1930’s lexicon, revulsion at his self-mutilating or just downright odd tendencies, the entertainment value is undeniable. Just trying to work out why the events on-screen are transpiring is enough to keep anyone awake at night; is Salad Fingers hallucinating this series of bizarre events, or are there otherworldly reasons behind his and his associates’ inhuman appearances? Did the Great War obliterate society, leaving behind these outcasts, or has Salad Fingers just got a very vivid imagination? Answers are unlikely, but theories are welcome.

I want to make nonsense that is entertaining

I remember watching Rugrats when I was a kid. They’d imagine they were in an office and they were all grown up. They’d put files away and someone would be typing, and then it had to cut to the reality and they’d all just be sat in the garden, pretending to do all this stuff. Maybe Salad Fingers is just pretending… There’s so many possibilities. I don’t make a decision on that. When people think that he’s this big story that’s been planned out and I’m revealing it bit by bit, that’s not true at all. I’m happy to be in the dark about it because that’s what keeps me interested.”

We may never know the truth behind Salad Fingers, but ultimately it matters not one iota. Aunty Bainbridge may bare no actual relation to him, Mr Branches may never move closer than 21 inches to his front door, and Glass Brother may just be an illusion brought on by Salad Fingers’ inquisitive mind: but these twisted events are all real enough to Salad Fingers that we go along for the ride regardless.

If the enjoyment of Salad Fingers still eludes you, maybe a group discussion is the eye-opener you need. Head to Stockton’s ARC on Friday 13th August where you can watch all 11 episodes of Salad Fingers and hear from David himself in a post-screening Q&A.

Salad Fingers has Hubert Cumberdale and Marjorie Stewart-Baxter, so perhaps the show is best enjoyed with more than just the company of the lovable weirdo. “I think people aren’t afraid to laugh, which is good. People realise that they might not find it as funny when they’re on their own, but I think it highlights the comedy when they see other people laugh. Stand-up comedy is always funnier if you’re there than if you watch it on TV.”

A screening of Salad Fingers plus a Q&A with David Firth takes place at ARC, Stockton on Friday 13th August

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout