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Posts tagged as ucb

Sketch Group Whale Thief Produced the Fastest Movie Ever Made Over the Weekend

Sketch comedy group Whale Thief pulled off an impressive feat over the weekend that might get them in the Guinness Book of World Records. The group — which consists of former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer Benjamin Apple, Two Guys Named Josh's Brandon Gulya, Take Me to Your Mother's Matt Mayer, and Funny or Die/The Onion writers Matt Klinman and Zack Poitras — managed to put together a feature-length film in just over 24 hours, beating out the previous Guinness record of the fastest made feature. Titled Consti2tion, the film is the result over 150 writers, directors, producers, actors, artists, and musicians' efforts on this past Saturday, November [...]

How to Start Your Career in Comedy: A Guide for College Students

So you want to work in comedy when you grow up?

First of all, I'm really glad you’ve started reading Splitsider. You already know the first step of building a comedy career: learn as much as you can about the industry.

Second of all, are you reading this during class? Because you should seriously be paying attention to your professor, underpaid adjunct faculty member, and/or TA. The article will still be waiting when class is over.

If you want a career in comedy, you’re probably wondering what you can do to get from Point A: Where You Are Now, No Comedy Career, to Point B: Amazing Comedy Career, Life Dreams [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

This Week in Comedy: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Are Hosting the Next Two Golden Globes, and 'Community' Is Coming Back

-Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes for the next two years.

-Kenan Thompson gave a quote about SNL's lack of diversity, and we investigated the issue in-depth.

-NBC announced Community is coming back in January.

-Former Academic Supervisor of UCB NY Will Hines wrote about improv as a religion and why people get obsessed.

-South Park missed its deadline for the first time in 16 years due to a power outage at the studio.

-We looked at how Louis C.K.'s directing style helps translate his standup to the screen in Louie.

-We reviewed The Birthday Boys' new IFC show, which [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Gary Saves the Graveyard'

The first time I spoke with UCB Creative Director Todd Bieber was three and a half years ago and I had no idea what I was talking about. I was thinking of leaving my post-college job at Morgan Stanley and accepting a position at a small production company in New York. After completing UCB's Sketch 101 program, I figured I knew enough about digital comedy to call Todd and ask if he'd be interested in doing some web series collaborations. He was polite and he didn't want to. Flash forward to now. Years of working with UCB and its talent — including Todd — have passed and I [...]

Upright Citizens Brigade Announces the Grand Opening of UCB Theatre Sunset

The Upright Citizens Brigade is opening a brand new theater in Los Angeles. UCB announced today that it's added a new venue called UCB Theatre Sunset located at 5419 Sunset Boulevard in LA, which will be home to UCB LA's training center for both improv and sketch writing, an 85-seat theatre, cafe/performance space called Inner Sanctum (featuring "a highly-trained team of baristas" and "an incredible art and sculpture collection"), video production offices, and even retail stores on street level. Classes at the new location will start in November, and the theater will celebrate its grand opening on November 1st with a whole day of comedy. Performers slated to show up throughout [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Small, Medium, Tall'

We’ve discussed the adage “write what you know” many times in this column and have provided well over 100 examples of creators following it toward fantastic results. “Write who you know” has never been covered and that’s a huge oversight on my part. While writing what you know allows for the construction of believable worlds and set pieces, writing who you know brings these to life through the mouths and motions of characters without whom there would be no story. It occurs to me after watching Samantha Schecter’s Small, Medium, Tall  (starring Schecter, Danya LaBelle, and Elyse Brandau and shot by Russell Hasenauer) that writing who you know is [...]

Talking to Matt Walsh About His New Improvised Film, ‘Veep’, and More

One of the founders of the UCB Theatre and a friendly face in the comedy ecosystem, Matt Walsh returns to TV April 6th when Veep premieres its third season on HBO. In addition to Veep, Walsh has a number of other interesting projects up his sleeve including a role in the found-footage tornado film Into the Storm and David Cross’s directorial debut Hits. Most recently, Walsh turned to Indiegogo to crowdfund A Better You, an improvised film (the writer-director’s second, after High Road in 2011) starring co-writer Brian Huskey as a hypnotherapist in the midst [...]

Let's Talk About SNL's Diversity Problem

Kenan Thompson has been taking a lot of heat this week for a comment he made in a TV Guide interview about SNL's lack of a black female cast member, despite the recent hiring of six white performers. Following Jay Pharoah's rather blunt remark to theGrio that "They need to pay attention" and cast a black woman like Darmirra Brunson, Thompson had a more ambiguous response:

Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels or the series, which currently only employs three actors of color out of 16 cast members (Thompson, Pharaoh and the Iranian Nasim Pedrad), Thompson blames the lack of quality black female comedians. "It's just a tough part of [...]

IFC Teams Up with UCB and Above Average for New Online Comedy Hub

IFC is getting into the online comedy game. The network announced today that they've launched the IFC Comedy Crib, an online hub for short-form comedy that will feature content from online comedy powerhouses UCB Comedy and Above Average, with four brand new web series premiering today and much more to come. Current web series include UCB's ClickBait Overload and Laurie starring Natasha Vaynblat, John Murray and Geoff Garlock's John and Geoff are Married, and IFC's own impromptu standup-themed web series Comedy Drop. Click through for the full description of IFC Comedy Crib's current lineup, then head over to the site to check them out.

Yee-haw! Come On Down to Splitsider's Dog & Pony Show This Coming Monday, July 21!

What better way to distract yourself from the seemingly unending horrors of the modern day world than with an hour of pure hilarity called Splitsider's Dog & Pony Show? Join your hosts me and Joe Stanton at UCBeast on Monday July 21 at 8:00pm to see such killer comedians as Adam Newman (Comedy Central Half Hour), Michelle Wolf (Late Night With Seth Meyers), Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City) and Hugh Moore (truTV's Friends Of The People). A truly sick lineup, if I do say myself. As always, tickets are only $5; RSVP for yours here.

The Inside Story of Whiplash, One of New York's Best and Most Influential Standup Shows

"Whiplash is like a magical kingdom where laughs run free and jelly beans are the main form of currency," says comedian Aparna Nancherla, of UCB's late night standup show. For half a decade, Whiplash has consistently proven itself as an exciting and eclectic show that stands out even in the city's buzzing comedy scene, a favorite of megastar names like Louis C.K. and Chris Rock as well as a reliable well-spring for the next big stars — the likes of Pete Holmes and Kumail Nanjiani were once regulars. It's the reason that Splitsider turned to Whiplash for our first concert film, where host Leo Allen welcomed Jared Logan, Sheng [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Exciting New Number System'

What’s the key to producing successful web videos? There’s no guidebook, that’s for sure. As much as we think we know what’s funny, what’ll get shared and featured on the likes of HuffPo and Splitsider, the viewing public is highly unpredictable. Luckily, creators aren’t totally in the dark — there are some unofficial rules of web media that start to guide our path toward digital success. Many have been talked about in this very column; you know the old faithfuls like “keep it under 3 minutes,” “keep it topical,” “relatable humor is good humor,” but perhaps the most salient “rule”, one creators’ share time and time again, is “Just make [...]