Posts tagged as improv

Splitsider's Guide to the 15th Annual Del Close Marathon

It’s that time of year again: the week when improvisers from across the globe gather in New York for 56 consecutive hours of shows (and parties) sponsored by the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The 15th annual Del Close Marathon promises to be the biggest yet, with 420 slots featuring house teams from the country’s best theaters (including iO and Second City), indie favorites (like LA’s Shakedown and NYC’s Gadget), reunions (fwand and Mother!), supergroups (Let’s Have A Ball, TourCo Allstars), and, of course, plenty of late night insanity (three words: Match. Game. 76.).

It's a lot to take in, but we're [...]

There's a New Oral History of the UCB Out Today in E-Book Form

Writer Brian Raftery has a new, exhaustive oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade that was just released today, exclusively through Barnes & Noble's Nook program. Chronicling the UCB's rise from a small theater in the mid-'90s to a bicoastal behemoth now, the e-book is an expanded version of the excellent oral history of the UCB Raftery put together for New York magazine two years ago featuring interviews with Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Conan O'Brien, Ed Helms, Andy Richter, and many more. The e-book version, called High-Status Characters: How The Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever, is [...]

'30 Rock's John Lutz Has Some Solid Advice for Young Improvisers

SNL writer and 30 Rock punching bag John Lutz wrote a piece for the Second City Network called "10 Things to Know About Life After The Second City." It's full of good advice for improvisers like "be patient," "don't hold grudges," and "if you own a pair of Skechers, throw them out," all of which double as good advice for regular people too.

Improvisation Course Catalog, by Matt Payton

Intro to Improvisation – Mondays 7:00

In this class you will work on overcoming your disdain for improv comedy brought on by years of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and a detrimental trip to ComedySportz in your teen years. It won’t be fully successful, but Monday nights are a television black hole, so what the hell? Expect to be overwhelmed at how many people in your class sound like they have a much more fulfilling job and/or life than you.

Prerequisites: Ability to be civil when you’re in a scene with “that guy” whose friends told him to take this class and who will be gone after the second [...]

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #16: Margies & Barbies

In this week’s episode, members of Grandma’s Ashes Lydia Hensler (Ladies Night), Dru Johnston (Bellevue), and Winston Noel (Hear Me Out) join Abra to find out what happens after hours at Petco, how to hang up a party line, and the status of Moses' pants barn.

Watch Some Trailers for the Return of 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?'

Short-form improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway? is set to return to television July 16th on the CW network with new host Aisha Tyler and favorites Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady performing alongside a slew of guest stars. The CW released a series of short new promos for the season, which reveal some fourth seat guest stars, including Keegan-Michael Key, Jeff Davis, Heather Anne Campbell, Jonathan Mangum, Nyima Funk, Gary Anthony Williams, Kevin McHale, Lauren Cohan, Candice Accola, and unfortunately, no signs of Richard Simmons.

Check out the rest of the promos below:

UCB Announces Ridiculously Good Del Close Marathon Line-Up, Again

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 [...]

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #19: Chunky Bar

In this week’s episode, Christian Capozzoli (Bucky), Chelsea Clarke (The Curfew), & Don Fanelli (The Stepfathers) join Abra to create a world where getting on a boss’ dick isn’t sexual, Yo-Yo Ma performs at Yankees games, & Notre Dame Judi Dench is incorrect.

This episode is sponsored by Audible. Head over to audiblepodcast.com/comfy to grab a 30 free trial of Audible and a free audiobook of your choosing! Any book you want, for free!

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #17: Shower Time, Shower Up!

In this week’s episode, Neil Casey (Saturday Night Live), Connor Ratliff (I’m Too Fragile For This), & Jim Santangeli (The Curfew) join Abra to create a world filled with bashful nudity, misidentified men, and jellyfish on peens.

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #15: Taco Vault

In this week’s episode, Chad Carter (The Daily Show), Will Hines (The Stepfathers), and Cathryn Mudon (I'm Too Fragile For This) join Abra to create a world where Kimmy needs castle rent, glitter lung kills, and well, shit my ass.

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #21: Cup-a-Soup

In this week’s episode, Doug Moe (Man v Child), Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), & Natasha Rothwell (The Curfew) join Abra to create a world where gnomes heckle, cakes get made, but dicks don't get touched at strip clubs, & Jackson Pollock steals scholarships.

This episode is sponsored by Audible. Head over to audiblepodcast.com/comfy to grab a 30-day free trial of Audible and a free audiobook of your choosing! Any book you want, for free!

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #20: Butts with Wings

In this week’s episode, Joanna Bradley (Namaste), Dan Black (Death By Roo Roo), & Natasha Vaynblat (Things My Straight Boyfriend Says) join Abra to create a world where Dibble Dabble breaks, butt cracks help with fractions, & Walmart farts.

This episode is sponsored by Audible. Head over to audiblepodcast.com/comfy to grab a 30-day free trial of Audible and a free audiobook of your choosing! Any book you want, for free!

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #18: Razors Up!

In this week’s episode, Matt Fisher (The Law Firm), Diana Kolsky (Menage à Trois), & Tim Martin (Airwolf) join Abra to create a world where Bert eats dead people, Mrs. Gianelli travels by drain, & the Spice Girls celebrate your bush.

There Will Never Be Another Jonathan Winters

There, in his eyes.

Controlled madness. Laser-keen in bursts. Pointed and precise.

Vulnerability, too. A certain tenderness. His eyes set the tone for his act.

I can't think of an American comedian more revered and respected than Jonathan Winters. (There's Jack Benny, for those who remember him.) Winters created a world where you were welcome, but you had to keep pace. His rapid-fire mind took hairpin turns. The inattentive might be left in his dust.

Winters was one of the more offbeat performers in mainstream comedy. He was as polished as Hope. As graceful as Gleason. As biting as Rickles. Yet Winters pushed it further. Breathed different [...]