The Blanks aka Ted's Band

The Blanks aka Ted's Band

The Blanks aka Ted's Band

Freed from the four walls of Sacred Heart, The Blanks (aka Ted's Band from the show Scrubs) have packed their bags with a cappella tunes and sketch comedy and are headed down under in March 2012

Everyone loves the underdog and when it came to the smash hit show 'Scrubs', Ted Buckland, the hospitals slightly depressed, put upon lawyer, certainly fell into that category. The one time that he came to life was when he was with his, a cappella quartette, known on the show as the Worthless Peons.

Off screen, the band called The Blanks, developed a cult like following after 8 years on Scrubs, in worldwide syndication and over 7.5 million YouTube views. In 2004 The Blanks releases their debut CD 'Riding the Wave' and with a combination of a cappella tunes and sketch comedy they hit the road with a Live stage show in 2008. Now almost 4 years on The Blanks continually attract hoards of fans and amazing reviews.

In a series where Zach Braff made the music such an intergeral part of the show, The Blanks fitted in perfectly. In addition to the on camera performances by the band of Prime time TV and cartoon themes and Commercial Jingles, As a composer, Blanks member Paul Perry wrote over half the songs for a special musical episode for Scrubs in 2007 entitled "My Musical," one of which, "Guy Love," was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.

For those who are already fans of the talented foursome, the show is just what you'd expect. Quick, witty repartee and four voices in fine form. Guests who haven't previously tuned in to "Ted's Band" should be prepared to laugh out loud - and maybe even sing along. If you're a fan of classic comedy like The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, and Monty Python with a little splash of 'Glee' then The Blanks will be right up your alley.

Be sure to catch them in March as they make their way up and down the East Coast, one satisfied audience at a time. Tickets on sale now from the outlets listed below.

Wednesday March : The Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Thursday March 8: SheppARTon Festival
Saturday March 10: Laughing Stock Comedy Gala, Newcastle Civic Theatre
Wednesday March 14: The Old Museum, Brisbane
Thursday March 15: Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong
Friday March 16: The chUCkle Hut, Zierholz @ University of Canberra
Saturday March 17: The Roxy Hotel, Parramatta
Sunday March 18: The Basement, Sydney

Interview with Sam Lloyd and Phillip McNiven

Question: What should audiences expect from the upcoming shows?

Phillip McNiven and Sam Lloyd: Australian audiences should expect (singing) a little song, a little dance, a little salsa down your pants...

Phillip McNiven: We are also going to do a bunch of the songs we did on Scrubs and we'll also include a lot of funny, silliness! Did you know that in many countries 90 minutes of a cappella is considered a form of intense interrogation, right next to waterboarding and then a cappella music. Actually some people think a cappella is more effective for eliciting concessions and information.

We decided to put comedy into the a cappella singing - that's what we do!

Question: How did The Blanks get onto Scrubs?

Sam Lloyd: Actually I had been cast as Ted on Scrubs and the first year they had a cast and crew Christmas party and I offered The Blanks up as entertainment and we sang a ridiculous song and they said "that's ridiculous, we have to put it on the show" - that's how it happened! They continued to bring us in over the next eight years.

Question: What do you love about performing live?

Sam Lloyd: What's great about performing live is that you get immediate gratification; you know immediately if what you're doing is working or if it's is bombing. After some trial and error we have gotten to the point that most of it works. It's great to be able to hear an audience live, responding and laughing, there is nothing better than that.

Question: When you're writing for the shows, what inspires you?

Sam Lloyd: If it makes us laugh, then it makes it into the show. Occasionally there are things that make us laugh but don't make other people laugh and we'll try it out and then we'll take them out of the show. The stuff that makes us laugh and other people laugh - that's what ends up in the show!

Question: What's a typical day like?

Sam Lloyd: With the four distinct personalities in this group there is always something that is going to make you laugh. It is hard to tell who makes us laugh the most; George Miserlis makes us laugh all the time!

Phillip McNiven: Mostly because of things he does, by accident.

Sam Lloyd: George Miserlis doesn't always mean to make us laugh but he does make us laugh. Something always goes wrong; we'll be travelling around in a van and Phillip McNiven will have to go to the bathroom…

Phillip McNiven: Woaahh

Sam Lloyd: …and we'll be on the freeway, with nowhere to stop.

Question: What is the story behind the band's name, The Blanks?

Sam Lloyd: Our name, The Blanks well…

Phillip McNiven: Well… we're all adopted, because our parents are all sterile.

Sam Lloyd: How did we end up here?
No, the truth is that we couldn't come up with a name, it was too hard and we didn't come up with a name for a long time and then Phillip McNiven's grandma was having a birthday in Vegas and Phillip offered us up for entertainment for his grandma who is a gambler and boozer (laughs) and I don't want to say what else…

Phillip McNiven: Hey! That's my grandma you're talking about (upset)!

Sam Lloyd: On our way to Vegas, for the gig, we decided to make Phillip the leader of the band because it was his grandma and his family will be there and we were thinking along the lines of 'Derek and the Horrors' or 'Gladys Knight and the Pips' and we thought 'Phil and the…' 'Phil and the…' 'Phil and the…' 'Phil in the… blanks' (laughing) as in Fill-In-The-Blanks! That's how it happened, after the gig we took out the 'Phil in'.

Question: What plans do you have whilst in Australia?

Phillip McNiven: I managed to book us a week on the Whitsunday Islands as we have this video project for our next song, we are going to sing a capella underwater, in the Great Barrier Reef - we'll call it aqua-pella! I have this terrible fear that we'll be underwater, singing out song and a big shark will come up… or a crocodile! Aren't sharks the most dangerous animals in Australia? Or is that the women… or a great female shark (laughing)!?

Interview by Brooke Hunter