Wearing snowboarding pants with the butt cheeks cut out at a ski resort just to see how people will react to your bare bum wouldn’t occur to most of us. But for Munchie, Darling Clementine and Ramona Cash, aka the Rad Girls, whose MTV UK show by the same name includes skits called 'Bridal boxing', 'Origins of a clumsy stripper' and 'Wheel of puke', it’s just another walk in the park.
Originally from all over the States, the trio met in Santa Cruz, California, became best friends, joked about making a TV show akin to “Jackass for chicks" and the rest is history…
Laughing happily through our interview, the Rad Girls talk about their gnarliest skate accidents, surf culture, the philosophy behind their crazy antics, and why they don’t need to apologize for being girls.
Where did your nicknames come from?
Munchie: In high school I used to call my friends Munch. And then when we were getting ready for Rad Girls it kind of transferred on over to me. Munchie’s like keebler-elf style, small and cute. It just kind of fits.
Clementine: I grew up in Florida so I’m from the south, so for me it’s the southern element. And Ramona had a box of clementines at her house. So we thought Darling Clementine, that’s perfect.
Ramona: Ramona is an adopted stage name, kind of an alter ego. I was sitting at a traffic light in Santa Cruz and I was thinking, ‘what’s a cool last name?’, and I looked out my window and there was this sticker in front of me that said Cash.
You do everything from walk around with a fake period stain to pretending to be a tramp on the street. You’re obviously not afraid to be crude and rude. What kind of feedback have you been getting about the show so far?
Clementine: (laughs) All kinds.
Munchie: Good and bad.
Ramona: We found that what we do kind of divides people into two camps. People either say, ‘This is fucking great - this is the funniest shit I’ve ever seen’, or they’re like, ‘I hate those girls. They’re disgusting, they’re rude, who do they think they are?’ Very extreme responses.
I think ideally good art is really strong though. It’s better to make something that’s going to really turn people on or off than have a middle-of-the-road forgettable show. The nature of what we do is pretty extreme so it makes sense that the response is also going to be extreme.
Munchie: We do have an expanding fan base. We have a lot of fans that are really excited about what we’re doing and they give us positive feedback. We’ve found that a lot of groups like us. High school kids, single moms, the gay community…
How were the Rad Girls born?
Ramona: Well there was a nurse in this hospital…
Basically it kind of started as a joke with different ideas - like the girl walking around with a period stain on her ass. I was visiting my old friend Liz in New York who is the second producer of the show now and at the same time Jason Martinez, who’s the producer. So I shared my idea with him and we decided to go for it and soon we were filming and turning it into something real.
Do you all surf?
Clementine: Cash and Clementine surf but Munchie’s gonna learn how to wake surf. We put her behind a boat the other day and dragged the shit out of her.
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Article continues>>Worst skate accidents?
Clementine: I blew out my ACL skating a half pipe and then I blew it out again trying to do a layback.
Ramona: I used to skate vert and ramps and everything until I had a gnarly accident in 2005 and broke my femur bone skating a concrete swimming pool.
The Jackass guys were skaters too. Do you think skate culture tends to comment on social norms?
Clementine: Yes, yes, yes.
Ramona: For sure. I think skaters by definition are kind of out of step with society. I mean skating has become more mainstream - selling everything from Mountain Dew to car insurance. But skaters are the type that hang out behind supermarkets and schools when they’re closed. Naturally, they don’t want to be mainstream and value the same kind of thing that everyone else values.
Clementine: I started skating in college. I went to a big Greek school with a lot of fraternities and sororities. And I honestly felt I’d rather go to a skate park with a six pack of beer then get all dressed up for a frat party.
Ramona: There’s nothing cooler than a chick who really rips. I think skaters are for sure doing their own thing but girl skaters in particular value different things than the norm.
You’ve called yourself “Jackass for chicks", are you worried at all about being compared to Jackass?
Ramona: It’s a totally understandable comparison. We’re a little less self destructive than they are (laughs) but we’re trying to push the same kind of buttons.
Clementine: We love pushing buttons. We upset the uptight.
Ramona: I have a lot of respect for those guys. I think they’re really funny and daring. But we’re not really trying to inflict pain on one another. I don’t want to make Munchie and Clementine feel stupid. I’d rather make some uptight banker feel stupid.
Munchie: We’re more of a team rather than adversaries.
Clementine: We’re the Power Puff Girls mixed with Jackass.
Darling Clementine rode a bull in a rodeo in 6th grade on a dare. What are the most extreme things you’ve all done?
Munchie: I’ve done some really gross things. I made out with an 80-year-old. I also ate a pubic hair filled burrito for season one. I just chowed the whole thing down.
Clementine: It was our pubic hair.
Ramona: I used to be an elementary school teacher before I became a professional Rad Girl. It was intense to be responsible for 30 kids and just me. I miss it a lot but there are a lot of things that transfer to Rad Girls, believe it or not.
Clementine: Ramona took my 6.0 short board and took it down a flight of stairs. There was a wall at the end of the stairwell and she got three quarters of the way down and saw the wall and fell back.
Ramona: They sent me to the Emergency Room thinking I had fractured a rib.
A lot of your most hilarious skits break social norms and expected behaviors. How do you come up with your ideas?
Munchie: They just flow. It’s so easy, they come to us naturally. You’re just like, ‘dude that would be funny’ and kind of bounce ideas of each other and then we develop ideas together. Simple ideas snowball into something funny.
Ramona: It’s amazing how many skit ideas start with the phrase, “Wouldn’t it be funny if…"
Do you think the fact that you’re girls adds to the shock factor for viewers?
Munchie: Yeah, it’s easy being female and shocking people ‘cause a lot of people have a stereotypical view of how a woman should be in society. And we’re very different from most women. We’re not afraid to push those levels.
Clementine: Or eat food. We’re not afraid to eat a big meal.
Ramona: Comedy has largely been dominated by men. And it’s become gender specific since they’re the only ones who have been doing it and now we’re doing it. Part of our brand of humour is female-based, like being pregnant or having your period, but some of it is just based on being human and we just happen to be girls.
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Article continues>>Do you find that you get away with more because you’re girls?
Munchie: Oh hell yeah. We haven’t been arrested yet!
Ramona: Tell her about the slumber party.
Clementine: Oh yeah (laughs). We jumped into this bed in a department store and we started having a pillow fight. We took out magazines and Coke and Cheetos and were totally ruthless. And no one came to kick us out! We waited and waited and waited….
Munchie: Someone came after a while and he just felt really uncomfortable.
Ramona: He sent us to another department! He was like, ‘This is actually a display bed, the real beds are over in furniture.’ He wasn’t like, ‘Get the hell out of there!’
It if had been two guys in the bed at the department store, my God, it would have been a completely different situation. A lot of things we did in season one would not have worked if we were men. We like to play with it a lot, what we can get away with on the basis of being girls.
Do you come clean with pranks?
Ramona: That’s one big difference. Another comparison we used to get was to Girls Behaving Badly. And one thing about them is that they almost always let the people in on the joke at the end.
Munchie: It’s easier to do pranks when you know you’re going to say, ‘haha, we’re filming a show’.
Ramona: It’s a little bit more aggressive to not let people know it was a joke.
Munchie: And we’re not hanging around long enough to tell them because we’re bouncing. We’re doing the stop, drop and roll the fuck out.
You’ve said you’re trying to break from the glossy representation of girls on TV. How do you feel about shows filled with rich and pretty girls?
Clementine:It gives girls something to identify falsely with.
Ramona:We’re trying to have an alternative with our body of work. What we look like isn’t as important as having a sense of humour and keeping things light.
Munchie: The pretty girls in high school are not representative of everyone.
Clementine: Our show isn’t about backstabbing and drama. It’s about bonding and unifying women.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Munchie: I’d probably be using my college degree. I have a psychology major from University of California, Santa Cruz, so I’d do something with that.
Clementine: I’m in love with wake surfing right now. I think I might go wake surf.
Ramona: I might try to be a dance yoga fitness wacko instructor. There’s a lot of competition in LA but I think I could do it. But hopefully we’ll get a good run of the Rad Girls bonkers, bananas, hijacks…
Clementine: A good run of Rad…
Munchie: There’s no job better than this. You get to be yourself and be cuckoo and hang out with your friends and get paid. I’m like, ‘Sweet. How long can we ride this train?’
Clementine: It’s an exercise for the alter ego.
Ramona: Yeah, we just came back from Squaw Valley in Tahoe to do this skiing and snowboarding event called ‘48-Hours Straight’ and one of the things we did was get these vintage ski bibs and ski pants and cut the butt cheeks out of them like assless chaps. I probably wouldn’t just do that in real life but because we were filming and wanted material it was an awesome thing to do. And it was a huge hit.
Clementine: Every time we went through a crowd there would be a wake of laughter behind us. For us, it feels so good to make people laugh.
Ramona: Yeah, and we don’t care if people are laughing with us or at us or around us or behind us…
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For more Rad Girls action, check out the Rad Girls website.
Words: Tiffanie Wen