We speak to the person creating the best docs you’ll never see
As a nation, a collective love of Louis Theroux is the only thing that truly bonds us. I love him. My friends do. My doctor probably does. My racist uncle, while we may fall out over who does and does not deserves human rights, loves him. It’s a universal truth that everyone would absolutely marry him in a heartbeat. And who couldn’t love him: the documentary filmmaker and real-life angel who has made his career hanging out with sex workers, Nazis, wrestlers, and anyone else who interests him, has become a national treasure over his two-decade long career.
And that is, in part, because as well as being good at his job, he’s really fucking funny. Look at him! Listen to him! Both intentionally and in his apparent naivety and innocence, Theroux and his face are an endless source of laughs even in the most deadly serious of situations. And the internet has picked up on it: No Context Louis, a Twitter that posts screenshots of Theroux more ridiculous one-liners, has racked up over 100,000 followers and been noticed by the man himself. Now, Andy Kelly, who is also behind Danny Dyer Bot (another national treasure) and the wonderfully surreal @darkstockphotos has created Louis Theroux Bot. @louistherouxbot, which only started tweeting two days ago, spits out potential introductions to new Theroux documentaries. We spoke to Kelly about the bot, Theroux, and what would happen if Danny Dyer and Louis Theroux had a drink.
I'm in Amsterdam to meet Hannah, a former IT expert turned cybergoth who believes Hull is a portal to Hell— Louis Theroux Bot (@louistherouxbot) October 25, 2017
Why Louis Theroux?
Andy Kelly: I love Louis Theroux. He’s a national treasure. But while I admire his shift to more hard-hitting documentaries, I do miss the days when he’d interview oddballs on Weird Weekends. And it was idly tweeting about this that gave me the idea for the bot.
What is it about Theroux and Dyer that’s so inherently funny? (because they are)
Andy Kelly: Dyer and Theroux couldn’t be more different in their approach to making documentaries. But they both have a knack for ingratiating themselves with their subjects, and through that comes a lot of humour. The episode where Louis goes to a swingers pool party is incredibly funny, and I’ll never tire of Dyer ’bricking it’ as he drinks lager in grimy pubs with tattoo-covered ex-cons.
I'm in Louisiana to meet Evelyn, a former fox hunter turned sitcom writer who believes cats are alien spies— Louis Theroux Bot (@louistherouxbot) October 25, 2017
Who would you love to do next? (or is it a secret)
Andy Kelly: I have a few ideas for new bots, but I think I’ve bled the “randomised documentary” joke dry. Both bots are essentially a variation on the same joke, so I’ll need to try and come up with something wildly different.
Which of your bot children do you love the most?
Andy Kelly: I love all my robot sons equally, but I think Louis Theroux Bot is probably a bit funnier than Danny Dyer Bot, which was the first one I made. There are more variables to randomise, which naturally results in more absurd tweets.
I'm in North Korea to meet Molly, a former escort turned water diviner who believes masturbation is art— Louis Theroux Bot (@louistherouxbot) October 24, 2017
Do you want Louis to find out about it (or has he)?
Andy Kelly: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Louis to find out about the bot. I’m sure it’ll drift past his eyes eventually. Danny Baker has retweeted a few, and I know that Louis follows him, so fingers crossed. I’m not exactly sure why, though. I wonder if he’ll even think it’s funny. From listening to his various appearances on Adam Buxton’s podcast, I do know he has a good sense of humour.
If Louis Theroux and Danny Dyer went for a pint, what would they talk about?
Andy Kelly: I think if you put a camera on Louis and Danny in a pub for a few hours you’d get 40 minutes of amazing TV. I reckon Louis would be interested in Danny’s royal lineage and his career, and Danny would probably love hearing about all the outlandish people Louis met when he was filming Weird Weekends. I feel like I’m writing some kind of bizarre fan fiction here.
I'm in Nepal to meet Paige, a former chocolatier turned fascist gymnast who believes they're Hitler's cousin— Louis Theroux Bot (@louistherouxbot) October 23, 2017
I'm in Ireland to meet Josephine, a former haberdasher turned Guardian columnist who believes Guy Fieri was behind 9/11— Louis Theroux Bot (@louistherouxbot) October 23, 2017