Will Ferrell doesn’t mince words when describing Adam McKay, his longtime friend and comedy collaborator. “He’s kind of a dangerous individual,” Ferrell says. “He’s extremely funny; there’s no doubt about it. But he’s dangerous. I wouldn’t stay in a room with him, one on one, for any longer than I had to. There’s a criminal tendency there. We have a great working relationship because I don’t ask him much about his past. He just frightens me.” Ferrell is joking, obviously. But there was a time, years before McKay found Hollywood success directing and co-writing films such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and The Other Guys (2010), [...]
UCB has announced the schedule for its annual Del Close Marathon and as always, it seems too good to be true. The 56-hour long-form improv marathon has grown even from last year's insanity, featuring 420 shows on seven stages across New York City. There's an extra international quality to this year's festival, with teams from Mexico, UK, Portugal and Finland appearing. (Though there's also a team claiming to be from Caprica, so who the hell knows.) The highlights are spread across the stages, from the return of last year's amazing Mantzoukas and Morris at the main Chelsea theater, to several hours of Matt Besser's improv4humans at its [...]
Interviews by Matt Visconage.
Improv was doomed with a semantics crisis from the start.
When long-form improvisation began to flourish as its own art form under comedy guru Del Close in Chicago in the 1980s, “improv” referred to The Improv, a popular chain of stand-up comedy clubs in dozens of cities around the country. The Palm Beach Improv, for example.
When I used to intern at an improv theater in Hollywood, it wasn’t uncommon to find a couple who wandered in from the street, expecting to see a guy with a microphone, telling jokes. Television shows like Whose Line Is It, Anyway? helped audiences distinguish improv from stand-up, [...]
Bill Murray has always kept the media and Hollywood at a distance. Besides, regularly losing roles because he doesn’t return phone calls, he also isn't the most talkative interview. In the recent Esquire, writer Scott Raab found a trick to get him to talk: ask him about Del Close. Murray studied with Del back in Chicago and the man obviously had a huge impact on him. Murray explained:
He was incredibly gracious to your talent and always tried to further it. He got people to perform beyond their expectations. He really believed that anyone could do it if they were present and showed respect. There was a whole [...]
An hour of Amy Poehler and Jane Lynch chatting would be worth it no matter what they're talking about, but if they're talking about Amy's early days at Second City and ImprovOlympic, whether Del Close was a misogynist or just a misanthrope, and the decisions to turn down sitcom money to stay with the rest of the UCB, then you have already clicked the link and I am just talking to no one. La la la la there isn't anyone reading this because everyone is over in another tab watching that amazing interview.
Note: the video above is the trailer for Spring Breakdown, the unreleased movie [...]