#MoreGalavant interview: Ben Presley is all laughs and no joke as the Jester

Ben Presley
Ben Presley knows how to keep us laughing as the lovable Jester. (Photo credit: ABC/Disney via Twitter)

The moment we heard Ben Presley belt out “Galavant‘s” unforgettable theme song, we were hypnotized by his smooth, buttery baritone. He wears many hats as the lovable Jester. He narrates each season’s grandiose tales, keeps the royals entertained, participates in clever escape plots, delivers “Comedy Gold” with every gag, and bookends every season with hilarious and moving catchy recaps.

Despite all of the wild tasks the Jester undertakes, we’ve yet to learn that much about him on a personal level. When I had the chance to interview Presley via e-mail, I was eager to hear his thoughts on the #MoreGalavant campaign, get some behind the scenes scoop on his favorite moments, and learn about the Jester’s hopes and dreams. Enjoy our chat below (brogue and all!):

Tiffany Tchobanian: The #MoreGalavant campaign has really taken off! There is a tremendous outpouring of love and support for the show and cast. How do you feel about the fans’ efforts to save your show?

Ben Presley: It’s incredible man. What they’ve done in such a short space of time is just brilliant. I don’t think anything on this scale has happened with a show before, it’s overwelmingly brilliant and we can’t thank our galavanters enough. We hope they enjoyed our little video too!

T.T.: What is the craziest #MoreGalavant thing you’ve seen from the fans online?

B.P.: They’re all as crazy an brilliant as each other, I love it! I’m always bein surprised by what I see online, always makes me smile.

T.T.: Some big celebrities have joined the campaign and are encouraging their fans to support #MoreGalavant. Which celebrity’s support has surprised you the most?

B.P.: I know it’s mental eh? Absolutely nuts but brilliant for our campaign. They all surprised me because they just came out of nowhere. Billy boyd’s clips on the fan video were hilarious, was so kind of him an all the others to get involved.

T.T.: Season 2 was sensational! What was your favorite scene/song to film?

B.P.: Ah man, too many to mention I think! Honestly every day was a joy to film, had so much fun. My favourite song is the theme song though, I love beltin that out. So catchy!! Singin that out in the moroccan desert was pretty damn special too. My jester stick is my best pal on set & John Hoberg [“Galavant” Season 2 co-show-runner] & I always try to find something in the scene for him too which is funny. You guys should all watch season 1 & 2 again purely for the stick. He’s a better actor than me!

T.T.: The writing on the show is so hilarious! Have you ever struggled with a particular line/scene/song? Are there any improvised lines or moments that made it into the final cut…or better yet, is there anything wild that ended up on the cutting room floor and out of the gag reel?

B.P.: There was a struggle everyday to keep a straight face! The scripts are brilliant and the cast is bang on so even though we know whats coming in the scene after maybe 5 takes, it’s still as hilarious so it’s corpse o clock! Vinnie Jones cracks me up big time, I laugh most when he’s on set, his improv is so funny it should have it’s own show man!

T.T.: Season 2 delivered some happy endings and an unnerving cliffhanger introducing the mysterious Dark Evil Lord. There are still so many more stories to tell and the possibilities for future seasons seem endless. What is your Season 3 wish list for “Galavant”? For example: What kind of storyline would you like to explore with your character? Is there a musical genre you’d love to cover that has or has not been done yet on the show? (By the way, I think Jester deserves a love interest and adventure of his own.)

B.P.: Ah wow, the endless possibilties of galavant! Your absolutely right. It really could go anywhere, that’s what’s so great about the show. Wish list hmmm….would be nice to see the jester get out the castle and head for a bit of an adventure, off in search of drama an love! Ah yes a lady friend for the jester would be ideal, although she’d have to have a friend for my stick man of course. Music wise we’re just so lucky to be singin Alan [Menken] & Glenn’s [Slater] songs! Honestly what a treat. We’d all love the big Disney Menken love ballad duets, but jester needs to get a date first. Or maybe he could duet with the stick man!

T.T.: The Jester always gets stuck catering to the Royals’ bizarre wishes and we’ve seen him do so many silly things. If you had a jester of your own, what would you have him do to keep you entertained?

B.P.: He does indeed, the sillier the better! If I had a jester I’d have him jam with me an my guitar I think. Coupla jesters jammin, start a band!

T.T.: What does the Jester do when he isn’t jesting? Does he ever have any downtime or any other career goals?

B.P.: Oh aye he has big ambitions. He wants to be the greatest actor of his generation, wants to crack onto the stage an belt out some shakespeare!

T.T.: Do you have any favorite jester jokes from the show, did you ever come up with your own gags or find something hilarious while researching classic jester jokes?

B.P.: I love a bit of toilet humour, always turns me into a wee boy again haha! So I loved the fart noises jester kept doing in scenes, so much infact I kept making the noise throughout some takes and some of it made the cut! Very funny. Can’t beat a good fart joke!

T.T.: At the end of S2, did you have any discussions with show-runners, Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, about possible S3 storylines? Have you ever pitched them a scene/song/scenario you really wanted for your character?

B.P.: Kat & John are the best. They’re always open to chattin about the stories & it’s such an open creative time on set too. But as far as season 3 stories…I know a few ideas that were talked about and they are brilliant. So easy to get excited about this show and where the characters will go. I’m as big a fan as anyone of the show, I love it.

T.T.: Here’s something fun and creative, open to interpretation…no pressure 🙂 Since “Galavant” is an uproarious musical comedy…If you had to convince a network executive to save “Galavant” through song, how or with what song would you serenade them?

B.P.: Oooh nice. I would stick on my best puppy dog eyes and sing part of your world from little mermaid. The metaphor of ‘your world’ meaning ‘your network’ of course haha.

T.T.: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to the fans?

B.P.: You rock!! Seriously guys you’re all amazing, none of your support and love goes unnoticed, so thank you thank you thank you!! We hope to give you more seasons soon….

Awww! You must admit, Presley’s wonderfully fun answers make you want even #MoreGalavant than before. We would love to see Jester fulfill his Shakespearean dreams, find romance with a lovely lady, rock out with other jammin’ jesters, and go on his own adventure (with stick man, of course!). He also gave us all extra incentive to keep re-watching “Galavant” just to see what the stick man was up to…not that you really needed the extra nudge.

It should also be noted that I came up with the song question before the cast’s epic “thank you” video for the fans (below). So extra thanks to the delightful cast for coming up with fresh answers! I like how both Darren Evans and Presley are sticking with Disney songs. Just goes to show how there will never be enough beautiful music created by the brilliant Menken and Slater.

Alrighty Galavanters! We can’t expect Presley’s puppy-dog eyes to do all the heavy lifting for us. Fans need to keep doing their homework, so here’s the “To DEW” list:

Check Karen David’s Facebook page for updates HERE.

Find details on the #MoreGalavant campaign HERE.

Sign and share the petition HERE.

Circulate the cast’s #MoreGalavant video (below) online and get #MoreGalavant trending on Twitter!

Nominate “Galavant” for Entertainment Weekly’s Season a Finale Awards using the guidelines listed on Karen David’s Facebook page HERE. Deadline for submissions is May 26.

Share your thoughts below and on Twitter (@TalkTVwTiffany) and stay tuned for more scoop!

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