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Posts tagged as ucb theatre

Inside Whiplash, 'Review,' and 'SNL' with Leo Allen

Two decades into his comedy career, Leo Allen is both the host of one of New York's most popular standup shows (Whiplash) and a busy writer who's worked for shows like Saturday Night Live, Jon Benjamin Has a Van (which he co-created), Comedy Bang! Bang!, and most recently, Andy Daly's Comedy Central series Review. Allen recently directed A Night at Whiplash, a concert movie version of his long-running standup showcase Whiplash, which was produced by Splitsider and features appearances from Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, Michael Che, and more. I recently interviewed Leo Allen about the right way to run a standup show, his stint on SNL, and the John McEnroe '80s comedy he's [...]

Here's the Pilot for a Rejected FX Talk Show Produced by Funny Or Die and Hosted by One of The Birthday Boys

Over the weekend, this pilot for a late night show on the FX network leaked online. Called What's Going On?, the pilot was produced by Funny Or Die in 2011, and it's hosted by comedian Mike Mitchell, a member of the sketch group The Birthday Boys who now have their own show on IFC. A live show at LA's UCB Theatre before becoming a TV pilot, What's Going On? has an interesting premise that makes it funnier and more interesting than the average late night show: Mitchell doesn't know anything about the show and everything (guests, jokes, character bits, etc.) is a surprise to him planned by the writers/producers.

Looking Back at the Upright Citizen's Brigade TV Show with the UCB4

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 120,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

The Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater has been talked about quite a bit this month, with escalating Facebook messages, responses from people working in every [...]

Some Things I Learned As the Artistic Director of the UCB Theatre

It’s almost impossible these days to watch a comedy movie or TV sitcom that doesn’t feature a comedian from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre either on screen or behind the scenes. From SNL and NBC’s Thursday night line-up to shows on ABC, FOX, MTV, HBO, Adult Swim, Comedy Central and huge films like Bridesmaids, The Hangover(s), I Love You Man, The Other Guys, and many, many more — UCB has taken over.

In my role as Artistic Director of the UCB Theatre in New York City, I was lucky enough to be at ground zero of the UCB Comedy Boom (I’m also happy to say that I too am joining [...]

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.

What It's Like to Be an Artistic Director at a Comedy Theater

Comedy is an industry, and for every performer on stage, there are hundreds of people working behind-the-scenes. These creative and business jobs, which exist in all disciplines and levels of comedy, collectively make up the comedy scene. In this column, we're looking a comedy jobs that are less visible than that of a performer, and talking to the people who do those jobs about what they do, how they got there, and how that job has affected their perspective on comedy.

All around the country, comedy theaters are producing the next wave of comedians. Often small organizations that play host to hundreds of shows every year, these improv [...]

Rob Riggle Gushes Over his Time at the UCB

In a recent interview with Complex, Riggle talked about his career and sports and junk but the most compelling parts came when he opened up about his time at UCB:

That was everything to me. That was my whole foundation…It was early enough where they didn’t even have a theater. Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts were the teachers. I was one of the first students to go through the UCB…They only had three levels back then and I took each one twice, just so I could get each teacher at least once. Eventually, I started teaching there. It was awesome and I give them [...]

The Only Public Screening of the 'Chris Gethard Show' Pilot Will Be for the Winners of a 'Game of Thrones'-Style Tournament

In January, comedian Chris Gethard shot a pilot of his public access series The Chris Gethard Show for Comedy Central. The network recently passed on the show, but Gethard announced today there will be a one-time only public screening of the pilot, with a catch: you have to win an intense Game of Thrones-themed competition to be able to see it.

For the UCB Theatre's annual Del Close Marathon this coming weekend, The Chris Gethard Show is doing a Game of Thrones-style show with audience members forming teams and competing in a series of trials. Gethard writes:

"When only one team is left standing, they will [...]

Talking to Matt Walsh and Matt Besser About the New UCB Book, Improv, and the Future of UCB

Since longform improvisation was created by Del Close in the 1980s, there hasn't been a book on the art form as thorough as the Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre's new improv textbook. Co-written by UCB co-founders Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh (Amy Poehler receives a "Special Thanks" credit), The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual is a new definitive tome on the subject that was released earlier this summer.

I recently had the chance to talk to Matt Besser and Matt Walsh about how the book came together, their improv pet peeves, their favorite performers, and the future of UCB.

Grand Opening Of UCB's Second NY Location Is (You Got It) Improvised

This weekend saw the grand opening of the UCB's second location in New York, after two long years of securing licenses, tearing down walls, and proving that it's not a sex club. Those New Yorkers, always so worried about a little sex club here or there! UCB co-founders Matt Besser and Ian Roberts couldn't get to the big opening because of that darned snowstorm, but ultimately there was a show (featuring Fugazi's Ian MacKaye) that Amy Poehler called "the perfect combination of funny and weird and sloppy." Ah, improvisers, always rolling with the punches. Welcome, UCBeast!