The Sifl and Olly Show was a comedy show on MTV with sock puppets, animation, and music. Created and performed by musicians Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco, friends since childhood. The show aired from 1997 to 1999.
The two main characters are a black sock puppet named Sifl and a white sock puppet named Olly. Sifl is the calmer (though less responsible) leader of the show, while Olly is excitable and often breaks into crazed furies. Their assistant Chester is shy and often incoherent, and claims to be great at everything. Only puppets appear on the show, except during Precious Roy's hamster sale.
The show is always very simple and low-budget, showing only the characters and background images or animation. The two co-hosts often have a microphone in front of them. The show has an extemporaneous unscripted feel, with the characters talking to each other in a realistic, conversational style. Sifl and Olly sing both original and classic songs throughout the show, with an original song at the end. Though it featured sock puppets, the series was not intended for children. The humor often featured profanity, surrealism, sexual references, drug innuendo, crude humor, bodily functions, and violence.
Regular segments included "Precious Roy's Home Shopping Network," where Olly would briefly lose what sanity he had left to sell very dangerous or impossible products to people; "Calls From the Public," which is exactly what it sounds like (and always includes a call from their landlord who threatens to evict them for some very weird reasons, like collecting monkeys and building a waterpark); "A Word with Chester" (later "Letters to Chester") where Olly would spend a little time talking to Chester, since he wanted to give him a spot on the show; and finally "It's Almost the End of the Show!" where the duo would sing a song, many of which were recycled into the "Kickin' It Old School" segments of Season 2.
Starting in September 2012, the show has been revived as a "review" show on YouTube. The first "season" was on Machinima's account, but now the second has started on the Nerdist channel. Watch the initial trailer here.
In June of 2018, game publisher Devolver Digital expressed interest in working with the Sifl and Olly license, and Liam Lynch responded approvingly, but whether or not anything will come out of it remains to be seen.
- The Ace: Zafo. Musician extraordinaire. Able to play 15+hour shows (on top of Mt. Rushmore!) without batting an eyelid. His voice itself is musical (he talks Vocoder/electric-guitar-like). When he calls the show, the boys can only bask in his awesome in fanboyish glee. He is so awesome, the Earth has been saved from destruction (twice!) by the mere mention of his name.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Many of Sifl and Olly's guests. One notable occasion was when they interviewed an orgasm and his sidekick the G-spot.Olly: "So... How do you feel?"Orgasm: "Man, how do you think I feel?"Olly: "...Probably pretty damn good."
- Bears Are Bad News: Apparently singing the Sifl and Olly theme song will summon bears and entice them to attack you. They used this trick when the IRS called.
- Berserk Button: An odd running joke where the answer to the rock trivia question is (falsely) "Bjork," leading Olly to lose his head over the impugning of Björk's reputation. Evidently he's a fan.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: When it became apparent that MTV didn't give a damn about the show.
- Body Horror
- Butt-Monkey: Olly.
- "That's so Crescent Fresh," discussed and introduced with a song.
- Precious Roy concludes all of his segments by shouting, "Suckers!" at the screen.
- Clone Degeneration: The first couple of clones which come out of Sifl's cloning machine are fine, but it quickly begins pumping out very substandard models. They make great gospel singers, though.
- Cloudcuckoo Lander: Primarily Chester (who is probably high), but both Sifl and Olly have their moments as well. Precious Roy is an extreme case, since he primarily shouts gibberish, except for "You guys are SUCKERS!"
- Corpsing: A lot of the show is improvised, so there are often parts where the actors chuckle at themselves and each other. Rather than cut this out, Liam Lynch just moves the puppets to make it look like they themselves are the ones laughing. A particularly notable instance of this is "Baby for Gravy", they keep flubbing the tongue-twisting lines, and end up bringing the song to a halt because they can't stop laughing.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Well... at least in theory anyway.
- Eye Beams: Olly's got laser eyes, and he knows what you're thinking.
- Follow the Bouncing Ball: Parodied in their performance of "Omega" (see Overly Long Gag): Over the course of the seven minute song, the bouncing ball disappears and returns wearing earmuffs to muffle the sound of the music, disappears again and returns hanging from a noose, and finally appears again with a halo and angel wings.
- The Grim Reaper: Shows up in person once or twice. Pretty nice guy. Little bit eccentric.
- Grotesque Gallery: The fact that they're almost all sock puppets doesn't change this in the slightest.
- Hand Puppet: Every character.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sifl and Olly, since childhood. This reflects the real-life relationship of Liam and Matt.
- Honest John's Dealership: The "Precious Roy" ads, which are always ridiculous, either because they're obviously fake (chicken-flavored air conditioning — a fan with a chicken wing on the front), or because they rationally should not exist, but do. (A bottomless swimming pool).
- Hot-Blooded: Olly, particularly during Precious Roy segments.
- I'm a Humanitarian:
- Olly has contemplated eating Sifl a few times, going as far as incorporating into the lyrics of not one but two of their songs.
- Also during one Aesop Jones segment, a kitchen accident turns his brains into mashed potatoes which his co-host eagerly devours.
- When reviewing the game Red Head Redemption, Olly's character kills and skins a man who called his character a Tomato Goblin, which gives him +1 Skin and +1 Meat (this is a mechanic in the actual game, albeit with animals, not people). Sifl balks at this until Olly reassures him that human meat Tastes Like Chicken, "a real big chicken", and that he loves to take it home and fry it up.
- Jerkass: Just about everyone.
- Kavorka Man: Somehow, off-screen, Olly hooks up with beautiful, interesting women... Uh, sock-women... Who dump him after he makes their lives utterly miserable.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one "A Word with Chester" Olly walks out, leaving Sifl to have an awkward exchange with Chester. The joke being that Sifl and Chester don't normally interact, because Matt Crocco plays both of them.
- Lethal Chef: Aesop Jones — though he's always the only one who ends up dying.
- Little Known Facts:
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Sifl pulls this on Olly, but it's likely just a throwaway gag.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: During the "Precious Roy" segments...Sifl: "You know the problems I've been having with X."Olly: "Sifl, you got some serious-ass X problems!"
- Mad Scientist: Sifl, sometimes.
- Mushroom Samba: Thanks to a friendly mushroom who shows up as a guest.
- Noodle Incident: Why Chester loses it when he sees bubbles is never explained, only that it involved a kid who blew bubbles on the school bus he used to ride.
- Overly Long Gag: The "Calls from Gamers" episode of the game review series ends with Sifl and Olly singing "OMEGA", a music track from a fictional video game called "Galaxy Star Universe". The song is insanely repetitive and goes on for 7 whole minutes.
- Parody Names: Deuce Loosely's name is a play on Ace Frehley — This made more sense in the character's first appearance, where he crashed the show by posing as a rejected KISS member.
- The Power of Rock
- Real After All: During one "Precious Roy" segment, Olly claims to have power over lightning, Sifl disparages this until Olly actually fries one of the callers. Sifl is appropriately horrified.
- Really Gets Around: The aptly-named Sex Girl. About the only person who can't score with her is Olly. Amazing, considering the quality of his pick-up lines:Olly: Baby, everything I'm about to do to you, I learned at SeaWorld.Sex Girl: What!?
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sifl is Blue, Olly is... VERY Red.
- Running Gag: The Precious Roy segments are filled with the same jokes, including the "Sold" counter running down instead of up, and Precious Roy's shouted non-sequiturs, followed by his catchphrase, "Suckers!"
- Sanity Slippage: Olly always loses his cool while describing the Precious Roy products, described by his psychiatrist as "manic-compulsive salesmanship". He apparently started taking prescription medicine for it, but forgot to when they were reviewing "Red Head Redemption."
- Seinfeldian Conversation
- Show Within a Show: Peto and Flek.
- Smoking Is Cool: Quoted by Stealth, who has facial piercings and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and is constantly billowing smoke. He likes to talk about death and destruction. He's also there to kick Olly's ass.
- Stoner Flick: A surreal sock puppet show airing late on MTV. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who the intended audience was. It's still hilarious to sober people. That, and Chester is clearly high, as he has trouble telling what's real. When he walked on a set for Star Worlds (a rip-off of Star Wars), he actually thought he was in space and that BYOB Kenobi was going to kill him.
- Straight Man: Usually Sifl, although occasionally he switches this role with Olly.
- Strictly Formula: Each episode featured the same set of segments, all announced beforehand, including "Calls from the Public" and "Precious Roy." Precious Roy segments would also follow the same formula: Sifl and Olly would introduce the product, during which time Sifl would admit to having a specific problem. Sifl would agree that Sifl has "serious-ass _____ problems" that the product would solve. They'd take some calls and Sifl would lose his temper, then they'd hear from Precious Roy, who would spout a non-sequitur and finish with his catchphrase, "Suckers!"
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The Grim Reaper does this willingly at the end of the Precious Roy segment for "Luxury Coffins", repeating the phrase "and rots" in time with the background music.
- Subverted Catch Phrase: On a rare occasion, Sifl and Olly's "serious-ass X problems" catchphrase for the Precious Roy show will play out differently.Sifl: Oh, dude, you know the problems I've had being stuck in a police cruiser.
- Talking to Plants: And plants are more than willing to talk back. And cuss you out. And throw bricks through studio windows.
- Title Theme Tune: "Sifl... and... Ol-ly! Sifl and Olly Show! (ROCK!)"
- The Unfavorite: Olly's mom favors Sifl, who's not even her son.
- Villain Song: "Cindy's the Hostess" is supposed to be a happy and innocent song, but Stealth turns it into one of these.
- With Friends Like These...: Sifl and Olly, frequently.