Emma Allen reports from deep inside improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade. (SLNewYorker) The UCB improv empire takes in millions a year. "Pyramid-scheme theories have been floated: if U.C.B. is charging so much for classes, does not compensate performers, and makes them pay for practice space and coaches, where's all the money going?"
Bernie Sanders (comedian James Adomian) joins Dr. Ben Carson (Jerry Minor), Lincoln Chafee (Seth Morris, previously), Hillary Clinton (Heather Campbell), and others for Decision Election 2016 All-Star Clusterfuck, a bi-partisan debate, live at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. [SLYT, NSFW]
You may know him as simply Paul F. Tompkins from Mr. Show with Bob and David or Best Week Ever but fans of now-defunct Comedy Death Ray Radio, Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast, and the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV series know that there is more to him than meets the eye. Much, much more. [more inside]
It’s entirely possible the whole thing is some sort of comedy-lover’s fever dream. Tina Fey and Paul Rudd apparently met for the first time on the set of a live reenactment of Sixteen Candles, part of an unaired VH1 special based on the UCB Theatre show called Soundtracks Live. Oh yes -- and they also took on Pretty in Pink and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Favorites from Stella/The State, Upright Citizens Brigade, Saturday Night Live and more took part. [more inside]
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]
"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.
Perfectly Aligned [yes, youtube] A short film with comics from NYC's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Matt Besser of the Upright Citizens Brigade has a home phone number one digit away from tech support for a major ISP. Rather than fight it or change the number he's decided have some fun with his clueless callers. If you've spent as much time doing tech support work as I have this is some good cathartic fun.This one is my favorite. (A few dirty words, so probably NOT work safe. Requires RealPlayer.