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"I worked VERY hard on it." - steve brule

After two long years, season three of Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule returns to Adult Swim with a look at Planes. A spin-off of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, it stars John C. Reilly as Dr. Steve Brule. Every week, Dr. Steve Brule "checks stuff out" like Relationships ("If your body's lonely it's gonna get sick, probably!"), Food ("Try going a day without it. You'll miss it, Charlie!"), Space ("One small mankind, I'm gonna leap the hell out of this rocket!"), and Animals ("Just turn around and look, you dingus. Your best friends are animal.") All 13 episodes and two special presentations are available online. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 28, 2014 - 21 comments

 

Superego & Thrilling Adventure Hour present "The War Of Two Worlds"

Superego (previously) and The Thrilling Adventure Hour present A War of Two Worlds, a multi-part, crossover, podcast event spectacular. Written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker and improvised by Superego, The WorkJuicePlayers, and special guests. Written and improvised? Yes! [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 28, 2013 - 2 comments

Thanks to Paul F. Tompkins, for no particular reason.

The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 2, 2013 - 23 comments

A Relationship in Five Minutes

It was probably the cap on the toothpaste that did it. Matthew Flynn and Autumn Stein improvise a video that distils an entire relationship into 5 minutes.
posted by WalterMitty on Oct 20, 2013 - 9 comments

And now, conducting the 'The Marriage of Figaro'....

Last week, Improv Everywhere set up the ACJW Ensemble Orchestra (of Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School) in Herald Square in New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, "Conduct Us." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 30, 2013 - 41 comments

They couldn't put one quote up here from my act?

Set List is a live show where "the world’s top comedians get a never-before seen “set list” of bizarre, outrageous, and ridiculous topics as the audience follows along on the screen behind the performer." Edited highlights of this combination of improv and stand-up have just started to be posted on the Nerdist's Youtube channel. Including sets by: [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 23, 2013 - 20 comments

I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

Jonathan Winters, the wildly inventive actor and comedian who appeared in such films as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Loved One" and played Robin Williams' son on the TV show "Mork & Mindy," has died. He was 87. [more inside]
posted by mazola on Apr 12, 2013 - 128 comments

Hugh Hefner's Playboy Philosophy and Richard Nixon's My Six Climaxes

On this date in 1963, the most influential comedy theater to ever emerge out of the Bay Area - The Committee - opened its doors at 622 Broadway in North Beach. Thus began a full decade of widespread cultural influence, with multiple studio albums, appearances on The Tonight Show and The Dick Cavett Show, and a feature film. The Committee's provocative and confrontational style, influenced equally by Chicago's Second City and the radical politics of the era, set the stage for much of the comedy to follow. The Groundlings was a direct descendents (Gary Austin came from Committee workshops) and the improv structure known as Harold, basic arithmetic in the halls of IO and the Upright Citizens Brigage, was birthed at The Committee under the direction of Del Close. To celebrate this anniversary, I'd like to present a recently unearthed recording of their Satirathon from 1968, from the archives of the late Peter Bergman. Featuring, among others, Garry Goodrow, Carl Gottlieb, and Chris "The Egg" Ross, an improv genius who succumbed to an overdose, in 1970, at the age of 25.
posted by mcgordonliddy on Apr 10, 2013 - 4 comments

Paid in Vibes

Last week a debate erupted in the US comedy community between stand-up comedians (like Kurt Metzger and Mike Lawrence) and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater about the fact that at none of their three theaters pay any of their performers (including UCBEast in New York, which often has Saturday Night Stand-up shows). Other comics such as Chris Gethard eloquently came to their defense. This week two of the founders Matt Besser and Matt Walsh released an episode of Besser's pocast Improv for Humans that goes into details about the club's philosophy, including why they have never taken any money from founding and running the theater. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 1, 2013 - 68 comments

Patrick Stewart: Poetry, Kissing, Crotch-Grabbing

Patrick Stewart performed with NYC's Improvised Shakespeare Company. Famed thespian Stewart joined five lads from Chicago to perform improvised Shakespeare this past week. The Improvised Shakespeare Company reports that "Patrick Stewart is the coolest person [they] know."
posted by Joey Michaels on Jan 11, 2013 - 28 comments

I would respect you like CRAZY

For Vanity Fair's Comedy issue, the groundbreaking improvisational comedy duo of Mike Nichols and Elaine May sit down (but don't quite sit still) for their first joint interview in decades.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 5, 2013 - 8 comments

The Uneasy Relationship Between Mental Illness and Comedy

"There are plenty of reasons to recover from addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma....But comedians are perverse people who often don't care about any of those things. So maybe this will convince them, and maybe this will convince me: get better — so you can get funny." In a frank, personal, and revealing article, essayist Jaime Lutz interviews comedians Marc Maron, Eddie Pepitone, Paul Gilmartin, and Anthony Atamanuik about the uneasy relationship between mental illness and comedy.
posted by scarylarry on Dec 14, 2012 - 9 comments

2 fried amps, a drummer playing lead, and brains full of boo: The Dead C.'s Harsh 70s Reality turns 20

One of New Zealand's greatest-ever exports of experimental music, The Dead C. have built a huge catalog of challenging "rock" music over the last 25 years that offers massively dosed psychedelic excess, improvised all-night flights, blistering free noise and deconstruction of blazing garage punk for adventurous listeners. They've cheekily called themselves "The AMM of punk rock" and it's not far from the truth. Their high-water mark -- the double-LP Harsh 70s Reality -- has reached twentieth anniversary status and has just been reissued on vinyl by legendary US imprint Siltbreeze, restoring a few cuts that didn't make it to the late 1990s CD re-release and offering this fearless free music to a new generation of fans. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 23, 2012 - 24 comments

"its all you can do with them, since theres no money anymore."

Composer Dr. Richard Eigner put together a group of musicians to jam on a bunch of improvised instruments made out of credit cards. slyt via andrewsullivan
posted by andoatnp on Jul 11, 2012 - 10 comments

It's a window *and* a metaphor of your life!

In 1999 MTV launched Downtown, an animated slice of life show about young people in Manhattan's Lower East Side based on interviews with non-actors (Pilot part 2 part 3 ) created by animator Chris Prynoski (Daria, Beavis And Butt-head, Metalocalypse). Despite an Emmy nomination, the show was cancelled after one season (with one unaired episode). Like so many MTV shows, licensing complications prevented it from reaching DVD, meaning the only way to watch the show was to e-mail Chris directly. Until someone uploaded the entire series to Youtube.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 16, 2011 - 18 comments

Don't presume; that's a backstory we didn't agree on before.

Liam Neeson Wants to Branch Out. [SLYT]
posted by eugenen on Nov 11, 2011 - 33 comments

The story you are about to hear is true, all the world is a stage

Sex-crimes cop by day, improv artist by night. Kyle Kizzier works as a detective in the Sexual Assault & Child Abuse Unit and is also one of Seattle's best improvisational comedians. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Aug 18, 2011 - 8 comments

25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Films

25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Films
posted by Rykey on Aug 16, 2011 - 81 comments

Everything's made up, and the points don't matter

Years after its final broadcast, the award-winning, pond-hopping, cult comedy hit Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television! Sort of! Tonight in just a few minutes, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza (promo, sample segment) makes its debut on GSN, reuniting Carey with popular "Whosers" Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, and many more. Though the show will air every weekday, you don't have to wait around for new episodes to get your improv fix -- in spite of the lack of DVD box sets, there's a veritable treasure trove of past content available free from multiple online sources, including the complete run of the American Whose Line on both YouTube and fansite WatchWLIIA along with every episode of the original UK run from Channel4's official YouTube channel and their streaming video site 4oD. Too much content? Look inside for selections of the show's most hilarious moments as sampled from the show's burgeoning TVTropes entry. See also: Fan guide - American episode guide (UK version) - List of game types [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 11, 2011 - 49 comments

free jazz reviews

Stef reviews free jazz. Review index.
posted by kenko on Oct 24, 2010 - 14 comments

Name a piece, anyone...!

Richard Grayson is a (now retired) composer and classical improviser. To give you just a taste, Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" in the style of a Tango, "Heart and Soul" a la Mahler, "Take the A Train" as a Chopin Funeral March.
posted by non-kneebiter on Oct 13, 2010 - 43 comments

You are part of the Rebel Alliance, and a traitor.

Constantly productive and frequently amusing theater group Improv Everywhere takes on an iconic Star Wars scene in a New York subway car. [more inside]
posted by lholladay on Jul 14, 2010 - 83 comments

It's by doing whatever that one becomes whoever

Improv partout? N'importe qui descends on an amateur football (soccer) match outside Montpelier, Improv Everywhere style. Allez, pantless dude in the sombrero! The force behind this is Rémi Gaillard, a shoe salesman turned French prankster. My favorite prank is Le Tour de N'Importe Qui, which turns unsuspecting casual cyclists into trophy-winning heroes. (videos contain brief images of male nudity from behind)
posted by desjardins on Jun 10, 2010 - 18 comments

The answer is Ghostbusters II

When budget cuts are imminent...who you gonna call?. [more inside]
posted by djgh on May 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Sleep is a compelling narrative experience

Jason Rohrer's Sleep is Death (discussed previously) has been awake since Friday, and one thing is certain: This is not a game. It's improv theatre. And though it costs $14 to participate, sitting in the audience is free.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Apr 19, 2010 - 12 comments

Are you sad? We've come to cheer you up.

SLYT: Ben Folds responds to Merton's Chat Roulette Improv (slightly NSFW: language) [more inside]
posted by miratime on Mar 21, 2010 - 67 comments

Happy Birthday, Second City!

The Second City, the world's premier theater of comedy and school of improvisation, is celebrating its 50th birthday. The school has had many notable alumni: Some early Second City performances by Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, some reminiscences by Tina Fey, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, and Fred Willard. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 12, 2009 - 37 comments

Q: Wenn ist das Nunstuck git und Slotermeyer? A: Sid Caesar

Sid Caesar demonstrates the art of doubletalk.
posted by not_on_display on Aug 6, 2009 - 32 comments

ImprovArt

ImprovEverywhere has a gallery opening in the New York Subway. "In the course of making the art labels, the mundane stuff of the platform really did become weirdly compelling and beautiful. I wasn’t sure if everyone else would have that experience, or if we would be busy consciously pretending that these random objects were art. In the course of the event, some other friends who came made brilliant observations about the pieces that helped bring my mindset firmly back into of-course-this-is-art, rather than viewing the subway as a collection of quick fixes over time. It’s wonderful how we can decide to create a collective reality, and how it can sometimes catch us up within itself. I’m glad other folks also got caught up in "Wow.. This might really be art!", and that some non-agents got such a kick out of it!"
posted by Kattullus on Mar 18, 2009 - 50 comments

High Five Escalator.

"For [Improv Everywhere's] latest mission, Agent Lathan gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos."
posted by sarabeth on Feb 9, 2009 - 67 comments

ObitFilter: Paul Sills

Paul Sills, son of Viola Spolin and one of the fathers of Chicago style improv comedy through his work with The Compass Players (who sort of morphed into Second City) and through his Story Theatre work has passed away at age 80. Chicago has lost two of its legends in one day.
posted by Joey Michaels on Jun 2, 2008 - 4 comments

The Major Little League

Improv Everywhere turned a little league baseball game into a major league event. Jumbotron & all. [more inside]
posted by prefpara on Apr 7, 2008 - 92 comments

YouTube War

"I am a master impressionest and I will not dignify that with a response..." Continuing in the vein of posting links to UCB Performers videos. YouTube War is produced and stars Chris Gethard along with Zach Woods. Also created a whole bunch of other shorts, "The Worlds Most Akward Boy": Rides an Elevator, Goes to the Deli, Enjoys a Hot Tub, and many more.
posted by Del Far on Mar 4, 2008 - 11 comments

Everybody Freeze

Frozen Grand Central. A little bit of Saturday fun. The folks at Improv Everywhere are at it again. This time they freeze over two hundred people in Grand Central station. (via GoodSh** NSFW) [more inside]
posted by caddis on Feb 16, 2008 - 22 comments

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He plays the banjo, but he isn't just some hick. He enjoys Chicks, jamming with friends, wide open spaces and fights.
posted by stavrogin on Jan 18, 2008 - 74 comments

Should we have a meet up?

When is the 7th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride? This Saturday, January 12th, New York City. They seem to have done it in 2006 as well. Village Voice article on 2006's shenanigans.
posted by shothotbot on Jan 9, 2008 - 42 comments

Musical improv

Jazz dispute is billed as a heated exchange between Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Jazz not your thing? Classical music can provoke a range of emotions too. (YouTube alert)
posted by madamjujujive on May 12, 2007 - 43 comments

Eddie! Don't!

Eddie destroys the ship. Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica podcasts have been discussed before, but the most recent one contains a gem. At the end of the episode Maelstrom, Edward James Olmos ("Eddie" to his friends on the set) lashes out in an unscripted, improvised, emotional moment, destroying a sailing ship model that had been a frequent prop on the set. Turns out the ship ... ahem ... wasn't a prop, but an extremely valuable museum piece.
posted by frogan on Mar 6, 2007 - 79 comments

When Improv Comedians Attack!

The Night Andy Kaufman Sabotaged After Michael Richards flipped out at the Laugh Factory, some speculated that Kramer had an "Andy Kaufman moment" gone horribly wrong, but did you know that Richards was once a target of Kaufman's humor himself? On February 20, 1981, Andy Kaufman hosted ABC's late night comedy show, Fridays , but refused to stay on script during the live Broadcast. After deliberately blowing lines in several sketches, Kaufman instigated a fight during one sketch, by pouring water on Fridays cast member, Michael Richards. The next year, ratings for Fridays were so low that they asked Kaufman to host a second time to boost ratings. (More inside.)
posted by jonp72 on Nov 23, 2006 - 59 comments

Slo-Mo Home Depot

Slo-Mo Home Depot. Improv Everywhere got 250 people to wander around a Home Depot in slow motion. [via]
posted by chunking express on Aug 24, 2006 - 77 comments

bombs, air, trumpets, bursting

Starry Night a minimalist improvisation by:
mazen kerbaj / trumpet
the israeli air force / bombs
posted by hototogisu on Jul 20, 2006 - 12 comments

I'm waiting for my girlfriend/boyfriend who is shopping elsewhere in the store.

80 improv artists invade Best Buy disguised as employees. Predictably the real Best Buy employees freak out. (via /.)
posted by grouse on May 6, 2006 - 120 comments

All such matters will be taken seriously.

Making any jokes or statements during the screening process may be grounds for both criminal and civil penalties.
posted by quonsar on Apr 24, 2006 - 73 comments

' (nonidiomatic ".")

Derek Bailey has died. Here's an interview with him from 2001, and another about playing in Japan. Bailey was considered by many to be the father of free improvisation, beginning with his band Joseph Holbrooke, with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars, and, in addition to his voluminous discography, is the author of a book on the nature of improvisation.
posted by kenko on Dec 26, 2005 - 26 comments

I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children

The Game? University of Central Florida instructor Jeff Wirth - an Interactive Theatre pioneer, author, and one time editor of the long defunct ITN resource - brings something like David Fincher's The Game to life. Interactive Theatre describes forms of theatre that directly involve audience members in the action, from plays like Tony and Tina's Wedding to kitschy dinner theatre like the Murder Mystery Players to the one actor/one audience member pieces of Cruel Theatre.
posted by Joey Michaels on Aug 4, 2005 - 16 comments

MeFi On The Radio?

We've talked about these folks before. However I don't think any of us realized exactly how much influence we had on the story by helping it spread so fast. This American Life covers the group, and our part in help spreading the news about the Best.Gig.Ever. Real Audio link to the TAL show.
posted by pwb503 on Apr 13, 2005 - 32 comments

Look up more

Look up more - Improv Everywhere has been mentioned before but this latest mission is the largest yet. After reading about it here, I wonder how many people signed up for the NYC list? Were there any other MeFites there? I was window 39...
posted by xmod2 on Mar 23, 2005 - 11 comments

"We’re lovin’ it today and we hope you are too."

McDonald's Bathroom Attendant. From the folks who brought you The MP3 Experiment, but this is funnier.
posted by DrJohnEvans on Feb 18, 2005 - 24 comments

ImprovEverywhere

Best.Gig.Ever.
posted by srboisvert on Nov 5, 2004 - 17 comments

I understand it, but I'm not explaining it to anyone.

Talking trash to Dig Dug (4.5 MB .mov file), and other oddities. Short films promoting Out of Our Heads, a Columbus area improv group.
posted by CrunchyFrog on Jan 7, 2004 - 9 comments

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