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Posts tagged as improv

Watch Robin Williams Improvise at Second City Santa Monica in 1989

Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy's biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we'll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.

This week's unearthed clip comes from Second City's short-lived Santa Monica location back in 1989, in which Chris Barnes takes a suggestion for a phrase from the audience — "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" — and transforms it into nearly ten [...]

Watch a Newly Unearthed Clip from Bill Murray's 1980 Show 'Bill Murray Live from the Second City'

We're excited to announce the start of a new recurring feature called The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy's biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we'll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.

Our first gem from the archives is this clip from Bill Murray's Second City Chicago show Bill Murray Live from the Second City from 1980 — the same year Caddyshack was released in theaters [...]

Let Thomas Middleditch Walk You Through His Del Close Marathon

Vulture had improviser and Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch keep a journal of his comings and goings during the UCB Theatre NYC's 72-hour improv festival, The Del Close Marathon, last weekend, and it's definitely worth the read if you want to hear about and Improvised Shakespeare, weird cab drivers, and a rude Korean barbecue restaurant.

UCB Announces Its Packed 16th Annual Del Close Marathon Lineup

In a press release today, the Upright Citizens Brigade officially announced that its 16th annual weekend-long improv marathon DCM will take place from Friday, June 27th through Sunday, June 29th in New York and feature over 570 improv shows on eight different stages. UCB co-founders Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser will kick off the marathon, which will continue throughout the weekend with improv teams from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Austin, Philadelphia, England, Canada, Japan, Finland, Puerto Rico, and more with shows starring the writers of Key & Peele and Late Night with Seth Meyers, a Broad City live show, reunions of [...]

Help UCB's Matt Walsh Produce His Improvised Comedy Film 'A Better You'

UCB cofounder Matt Walsh has turned to the internet to help finish his improvised comedy A Better You. Starring and co-written by Brian Huskey (who recently appeared on Kroll Show and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), A Better You follows a hypnotherapist in the middle of a midlife crisis. Horatio Sanz, Adam Pally, Natasha Leggero, Rob Huebel, Jo Lo Truglio, and Andy Daly are among the comedy pros who appear alongside Huskey in the movie.

While A Better You has already been shot, Walsh and crew are using Indiegogo in hopes of raising the $52,650 needed to cover enough post-production costs to "make it perfect." Check out the Indiegogo video above [...]

Finding Business Lessons in the World of Improv

In his book Funny Business, Bill Connolly explores the connection between business and comedy. With interviews from Boston’s powerhouse standup Gary Gulman to the owners of Boston’s Improv Asylum, Connolly explores how his ten comedic principles, if applied, can better any boardroom or office.

For several years Connolly performed at the Improv Asylum in Boston and worked as a marketing analyst. He couldn’t deny the benefit his professional life received from his comedic one, and it inspired him to research the correlation.The result? His book and a new career.

Connolly currently travels for the ad agency iCrossing teaching improv to all its US employees. I caught up with him while [...]

Paul Scheer Is Hosting an Interactive Improv Sketch Show for CC:Studios

Comedy Central's digital wing CC:Studios has greenlit a new improv sketch show that will take audience suggestions via Twitter. Titled CC: Social Scene, the six-episode series is hosted by Paul Scheer and features improv performers from both The Groundlings (Lee Newton, H. Michael Croner) and UCB (Lilan Bowden, Jacob Womack, Jeff Sloniker, Barak Hardley), who improvise scenes based on Twitter suggestions using the hashtag #CCSocialScene. CC: Social Scene will debut a new episode each week, and you can catch the first installment "Worst Breakup Lines" below:

Adam McKay on What He Learned from Working with Improv Guru Del Close

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), [...]

Improv as Practical Life Advice

When you ask people to think of reasons why someone took an improv class for the first time you get answers like “I wanted to do something fun” or “I’m a huge comedy fan” or “I wanted to be able to think on my feet more for my job.”

(Side note: people often say “wanted to get better at public speaking” but only when they’re guessing why OTHER people might be taking improv classes.)

Improv classes aren’t as silly as you expect. Yes, they’re fun but they’re more like acting classes.  Many big comedy fans don’t know what long-form improv is, and they take a class because they’ve memorized [...]

Check Out Showtime's Longform Improv Special 'House of Lies Live'

Showtime's 30-minute longform improv special House of Lies Live, featuring House of Lies cast Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, Lauren Lapkus, Eugene Cordero, and Ryan Gaul performing improv at LA's UCB theater earlier this month, will air unedited and uncensored on the network tomorrow at 10:00PM. If you're not a Showtime subscriber, you can still watch the censored online version above.

Talking About the End of Chicago's Upstairs Gallery

The Upstairs Gallery started in September of 2010 as a small performance space in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. It is now one of the city’s best known comedy theaters. After four years of putting up some of the most exciting and experimental theater in Chicago, it is closing at the end of this month. The Gallery is operated by Alex Honnet, Caitlin Stephan and Walt Delaney. I spoke with Alex and Caitlin about the Gallery’s shift from “performance space” to “comedy theater”, as well as the upcoming second installment of their independent comedy festival, A Jangleheart Circus.

CW Renews 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' for Third Season

The revived Whose Line Is It Anyway? is getting another season on CW. According to THR, the network recently announced that they've renewed the improv game series — with original performers Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles and host Aisha Tyler — for another 24-episode season to premiere sometime in summer 2015. This makes the third season of the revamped Whose Line and the eleventh season overall, counting its runs on ABC and ABC Family from 1998-2007.

'Vanity Fair' Talks to Groundlings Alums to Celebrate the Theatre's 40th Anniversary

Vanity Fair has a new oral history out today of The Groundlings, LA's legendary improv theatre that has spawned countless comedic talents on SNL, movies, and beyond like Paul Reubens, Lisa Kudrow, Phil Hartman, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, and Melissa McCarthy. Here's Reubens recalling the first time he tried performing as Pee-wee onstage:

I probably had eight or 10 pretty solid characters and maybe four or five of those were very popular and featured in the show. But when I [debuted Pee-wee Herman onstage], that got a completely different reaction. This was a reaction that made me think, Wow, this means something. And very quickly, I decided, "Yeah I [...]

Steve Carell, Cheryl Hines, and Rob Delaney to Appear on New Fox Improv Show 'Riot'

A new improv comedy series is premiering on Fox next month, and TV Line reports that a bunch of all-star improvisers have signed on to appear as celebrity guests over the course of the debut season. Titled Riot, the series features a group of regular players participating in improv-based challenges, and here are the confirmed celebrity guests for the season:

Steve Carell, Cheryl Hines, Jason Alexander, D.L. Hughley, Tom Green, Chris Kattan, Mayim Bialik, David Arquette, Oscar Nunez, Andy Dick, Orlando Jones, Nicole Sullivan, Michael Ian Black, Will Sasso, Andy Buckley, Rob Delaney

Riot's regularly participating performers will include John Ross Bowie, Jamie Denbo, Brian Palermo, Jordan Black, [...]