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, [...]
On "It's That Episode," Craig Rowin (UCB Theatre) invites guests over to his apartment to watch any episode of any TV show they want. They discuss the episode and a bunch of other crap. Episodes are released every Monday.
Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade, Freak Dance, Improv4Humans) stops by to watch the downfall of society, AKA "Teen Mom." Matt and Craig talk about having babies without even knowing it, discuss a new adoption policy for the Christian right and get angry about how terrible the teen moms in "Teen Mom" are. Get ready to wallow in the infinite dark depths of "Teen Mom."
Do you like improv and podcasts? Sorry, I forgot who I was talking to. Do you loooooove improv and podcasts? Then this is fantastic news! UCB founder Matt Besser launched a new podcast on Earwolf today called improv4humans, and it consists of longform improv based on a one-word suggestion from Besser's Twitter followers. This must be what improv was like back in the golden days of radio, when people just listened to the scenes without the visual experience of watching guys in plaid and glasses cut imaginary vegetables. Back when the whole family would gather around the radio to hear FDR give his famous Fireside Monologues to generate [...]
To honor the UCB's 15 years in NYC and the opening of UCBeast, New York Mag checked in with about 50 alumni of the many-headed comedy hydra, who discuss everything from the troupe's guerilla improv days in Chicago (Horatio Sanz: "My idea was, 'How awesome would it be to be arrested in front of this audience, and have them thinking, Did they plan this? How did they get that cop car? What’s going on?'”) to the process of bringing long-form to NYC (Rob Corddry: "In 90 minutes, they changed how I felt and thought about comedy. It was punk rock — super dirty and loose.") Says Amy Poehler, [...]