David Mitchell and Robert Webb : Bullseye with Jesse Thorn British comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb have been making audiences laugh for over two decades. They began their career performing on stage and eventually transitioned to the world of television with their breakout sketch comedy shows The Mitchell and Webb Situation and That Mitchell and Webb Look. In 2003, they starred on the hit British sitcom Peep Show, a cult favorite that helped them reach international audiences. In 2017, they reunited for the sitcom Back, which is now in its second season. Mitchell and Webb join Bullseye to talk about their latest show, their experiences performing together as a double act over the years, and why they often create "unpleasant" characters in their shows. Near the end of the interview, we also talk with Robert Webb about some controversial tweets he posted in 2018 and later deleted that criticized a charity that provides care and support for transgender and gender nonconforming kids.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb

Listen to this Episode

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/986560733/986563512" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
YANN COATSALIOU/AFP/via Getty Images
(LtR) actors Robert Webb and David Mitchell pose during the MIPCOM trade show (standing for International Market of Communications Programmes) in Cannes, southern France, on October 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YANN COATSALIOU (Photo by YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images)
YANN COATSALIOU/AFP/via Getty Images

Mitchell and Webb on their extensive careers in comedy and latest series Back

David Mitchell and Robert Webb met in 1993. They were college students at the University of Cambridge in the UK and were both performing in various theater productions where they became fast friends. They eventually took to the stage as a double act: Mitchell and Webb. Soon, stage shows turned into TV writing gigs which then eventually led to their own sketch TV shows: The Mitchell and Webb Situation and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

In 2003, they starred on the British sitcom called Peep Show, which helped make them international names. Peep Show follows the lives of two dysfunctional roommates, but with a unique twist: instead of the show being set in front of a live audience, the camera is mounted on each character's head providing a point-of-view experience for the viewer.

The series ran for an incredible nine seasons. It helped launch the careers of Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman and Emmy Award-winning writer Jesse Armstrong, who went on to create the HBO show Succession.

The duo reunited for the sitcom Back, which premiered in 2017. The series follows estranged foster-brothers, Stephen and Andrew, and their long struggle for control over the family pub. Back just returned for a second season on IFC.

Content warning: While most of this conversation with Mitchell & Webb is fun and lighthearted, it concludes on a serious note. During the interview, Jesse asks Robert Webb about some past statements he made that were critical of the British charity Mermaids, which provides care and support for transgender and gender nonconforming children.