By now, you've probably heard about the Green Men, the two guys in bright green bodysuits that sit near the penalty box in Rogers Arena. They've been pressing their junk up against the things for well over a year now, and they've achieved national recognition for their efforts, especially after an inspired showing during last Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada telecast. Recently, PITB sat down with the Green Men to find out how they can possibly have girlfriends, what they say to the haters, and their opinions about prop comedy, Vince Vaughn, and taking their act on the road.
PITB: After last season, there were some people who seemed to believe that the Green Man "schtick" was played out. Did you ever think of retiring the act?
GM: We "Brett Favre'd" several times throughout the summer, but after a couple of days we would talk and agree we had another year left. We wanted to go out on top. This year, after the Canucks win the cup, we will hang up the suits for good.
What have you done to keep things fresh and interesting? Have you ever considered working with a choreographer?
We just try and go with what's topical (Hence the waffles) and be as creative as we can. We haven't worked the a choreographer, but we probably should as the phrase "Green Men can't dance" is as true as "white men can't jump."
Saturday's game against Toronto featured some of your most creative efforts: did the larger stage of HNIC play into that? Did you feel like you needed to step up your game?
We didn't actually decide to go to the game until four hours before puck drop. Many of our fans had been encouraging us to go, so we knew we couldn't miss it. The opportunity to harass Toronto was too tempting. It's not like the Leafs needed help embarrassing themselves, but we figured we could give them a gentle push. As for the game being on HNIC, we did feel the need to step up our game... It was our one chance to have the craziest suit on CBC. Suck on that, Don Cherry!
The Kurtenblog took a bit of a shot at you guys yesterday while discussing waffles and opportunism. Any response to the implication you're benefiting off of somebody else's idea?
We did see the Kurtenblog. They have never been fans of us... haha. They are always trying to squeeze in a little dig at us when they can. They make a living off of trying to be younger and "cooler" then most sports journalists and if something is popular it is "cool" to make fun of it. That being said we enjoy most of their columns and we listen to them on the Team 1040, and usually agree with their opinion. As for the stealing ideas.... We disagree. What have we done to steal ideas? The waffles? It was a trend that we played off of and everybody obviously loved it. As for the suits, we have said all along we took the idea from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and the star of the that show (Charlie Kelly) has said multiple times he thinks we are hilarious.
I guess it just goes to show that feedback is never entirely positive. What other negative reactions have you seen from fans, players, or even Rogers Arena staff? Have you ever been asked to stop?
We've been taking a beating from members of the local media lately on Twitter... Heh... We expected it though, because, as is everything, it's only cool until it's popular. After Rick Rypien's fan incident in Minnesota, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos wrote a column suggesting the Canucks and Green Men were to blame. It was a moronic piece of writing, but it was great to see the backlash towards him on Twitter afterwards. Out of NHL players, only Duncan Keith really laid into us. Game 6 of last year's playoffs and Bolland scored shorthanded late in the second. Keith was in the box and just laid into us. We deserved it, but it was rough to hear an NHLer chirping us as another Canucks season imploded.
What about women? Women never understand. Do either of you have women in your lives, and do they understand?
Force is recently single and back on the market (Any Green Girls out there?) and Sully is taken. Surprisingly, his girlfriend puts up with it. You know she's a keeper when she puts up with someone who spends excess time in a green body suit.
What's the best reaction you've received from an opposition player?
Most of the players try to ignore us, but usually end up cracking a smile. Dave Scatchard's reaction last year helped make a name for us, but more recently Paul Stastny said he thought we were hilarious, and Mike Komisarek told us he watches our Youtube videos. Apparently Patrick Kane is a big fan, so we are still waiting for him to take a penalty to see what he has to say.
How do you feel about the various imitators around the NHL that have sprung up this season?
It was bound to happen I suppose. It is interesting to see them pop up in the non-traditional hockey markets like Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We are all for other imitators doing their thing in other NHL arenas. It takes a lot of self confidence to wear a body suit that reveals everything (as we quickly found out!), so props to anyone who tries it!
Speaking of others, is it always just the two of you, or do you have Green Men understudies that step in from time-to-time?
It is just the two of us, but we have had many offers from people wanting to step in for a game. It is always cool to get emails from kids asking to join us and we've had numerous people tell us that they went as "Sully and Force" for Halloween. We did have two junior Green Men join us during the third period of the Canucks game against Chicago in November. They were sitting a few sections over from us, so we had to get them involved!
Are your nicknames--Force and Sully--based on real-life nicknames? If not, how did you choose them, and are you aware you missed an incredible opportunity to be named after Sesame Street's greatest blue-collar duo, Biff and Sully?
They are based off real-life nicknames, but we agree that we should have skipped those and gone with Biff and Sully. Can't say I am aware of the Biff from Sesame Street, but it would be pretty bad-ass to have the same name as the bad guy from Back to the Future.
With your recent foray into prop comedy, how are you treated by security at the doors to Rogers Arena? For instance, how were the waffles received?
We are on good terms with the security people at Rogers Arena. We have an unspoken agreement that if we do anything to over the top we are in trouble, but as long as we are respectful and keep things safe they'll leave us alone. When we brought the waffles in, they didn't say a word, which was pretty cool. The first time we ever showed up for a game they were all over us though. They told us several times to stop touching the glass, talking to the players and standing up, etc... but by the second game we had three or four security guards stop us because they wanted photos. I think we won them over!
With whom do you identify more? Carrot Top, for your shared love of prop comedy, or Andy Serkis, for your shared love of green bodysuits? Please say Serkis.
Well Serkis it is then! Probably safe to say Andy is the only one to spend more time in a green bodysuit than us. We know first hand how hard it is being in those suits for more then a couple of hours, and he spent all day in it for months while filming Lord of the Rings.
Your green bodysuits are two entirely different shades. One of you is lime, and the other is Libyan-flag coloured. Why? Is it possible that you're both colour blind and this is the first time somebody's told you?
Haha... I guess that's what happens when you order two green body suits from China!
China, huh? I would have guessed American Apparel. How do you wash and maintain the suits, anyway? Are they dry-clean only?
We usually just toss them in the wash. The suits do get beat up though. After every game Force's usually has a rip somewhere. There is a tailor in Surrey who fixes up the suit every month or so. She is one of the few who knows the real identity of the Green Men!
You've made appearances other places. Do you ever just show up places uninvited? Have you ever considered crashing a wedding?
Wouldn't that be a great reality TV show? Wedding Crashers 2! If we are ever out and about we try and do something crazy. We did a team triathlon in the summer in Vancouver in the suits, and afterwards there was a couple having their wedding photo's done nearby on Kits Beach. We crashed the photos, which the wedding party found hilarious. The bride, not so much! Another fun day we had was during the Olympics, in which we wandered around downtown in the suits and capped it off by riding the Robson Square zipline with thousands of people watching from below.
Do you have a response to Roberto Luongo's lost poem, now revealed to have been about you and the distracting nature of your packages?
You know you've hit it big when one of the world's best goalies references your junk. We will use this interview to apologize to Luo for our distracting nature, but Luongo has given us ammunition to pick up any girl. How could she not be impressed when we say that Luongo has talked about our package?
Care to give us the inside scoop on plans for future Canucks games? Any dates already circled on the calendar?
Unless something changes, we won't be back until the New Year. We have to lose all of our holiday weight before getting back in the suits; you gain two pounds in that thing and the world knows! We'll give you guys the exclusive though.... In the New Year we are trying something new... we will be taking our act on the road. We don't want to give away the game just yet, but we have seats beside the penalty box in an opposing teams arena. It will probably be our last game as Greenmen because we will likely be killed by angry fans, so lets hope it is worth it!
Tell us something awesome we would never think to ask about.
We mentioned it in the Puck Daddy interview we did this week, but we had heard from several people that Vince Vaughn was not happy that we photoshopped him wearing a Canucks jersey during the playoffs last year. Right after we put the poster up, someone ran down during a stoppage in play and said he was friends with Vaughn and that Vince wanted the poster taken down. At first we declined, but ten minutes later the man returned and said Vaughn insisted it be taken down. They gave us $250 for the cutout! It was pretty much the only money we have ever made off of Green Men, but what was more rewarding was pissing off an A-list movie star!
Also, we are huge scrabble fans and wish you the best of luck in your match against Tanner Glass! We like to play, but it is a little hard to see out of the suits and that complicates the games too much for some people!