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13 years ago @ Sketch War - I don't like improv. · 1 reply · +1 points

I'm gonna play some conditional devil's advocate here (instead of finishing up my skecth, which is what I should REALLY be doing) .

When improv is bad (or even mediocre) it's painful to watch. When it's good, it's exhilarating.

The problem: most of the improv out there is bad-to-mediocre at best.

The bad stuff comes from people trying to be clever, trying to show off how much quicker and funnier they are than the other cast members, or are just trying to show off this goofy character they do that cracks everyone up at parties.

The good stuff comes from people who are spontaneous, authentic, playful, and can have a good time failing in front of a paying audience. When that happens, improv is more like a sport than scripted theatre - unpredictable and thrilling when a good play is pulled off from the edge of disaster. A brilliant mind performing brilliantly is dull...a brilliant mind making a one-handed catch before something hits the floor and breaks is exhilarating.

The problem is that improv requires no preparation or practice. It's also very addictive and thrilling (it's not for giggles that that the aboutthe creation of "TheatreSports" - the format that inspired "Whose Line" and a chain of Comedy Sportz clubs - is titled "Something Like a Drug"). So people with very little skill and no preparation can jump on stage and get a high from just making stuff up in front of an audience.

I do a lot of improv myself - 6 shows over 3 weekends in March alone,including improvised Tarantino, Improvised Hitchcock, and Improvised Courtroom Drama. The Hitchcock and Courtroom shows were particularly good and very well received. But I'm pretty lucky - the group I play with (BATS Improv) has been around for over 20 years, and many of the founders are still playing, and were honing their chops many years before the group was founded. Two of the consistently-best improv groups I've ever seen (3 For All and True Fiction Magazine) came out of BATS.

I've also done bad shows...REALLY bad shows...shows that I've apologize to my friends for afterward. I rarely invited people to shows when I was learning improv as a performance discipline.

But I have students who inivte everyone they know (Facebook spam a-plenty) every time they get on stage, and bristle when someone gives them a note about something they need to work on. I know groups of ambitious students who produce shows and then get their friends to give them 5 star reviews on Yelp. This helps no one, and gives all improv shows a black eye.

(side note - the 3 For All guys, who have been doing this for decades, still review the tape of every show they did right AFTER the show, and jot down notes...all before their next performance. It's not a coincidence they're THAT good).

So....when it's good, there's nothing like it. When it's bad, it's awful. Scripted theatre varies less from show to show (it's generally either good or bad throughout the run), but improv can change night to night. It's the risk that makes it come alive, and when that happens it can create an electricity that scripted theatre can only approximate.

But it probably won't happen when the guy who just took his first class puts a show together.

13 years ago @ Sketch War - CSI: Alaska (part II) · 0 replies · +1 points

This one kind of snuck up on me - the dinosaur thing just started rolling out when I was writing, and it just kept unfolding.

It's my first attempt at a runner, so I'm happy it's getting some chuckles.

13 years ago @ Sketch War - CSI: Alaska (part II) · 0 replies · +1 points

A good runner in a show can just rock. I saw a Second City show a couple of years ago where they had a 2-part runner - "What if Shakespeare's heroines had sassy gay friends" - that just killed me.

Glad you like it so far!

13 years ago @ Sketch War - CSI: Alaska (part III) · 0 replies · +1 points

Always happy to give HR departments a momentary pause :)

I debated between this method of killing someone off, and having the guy run over by Todd Palin's snowmobile racing team....looks like I chose the right option LOL

13 years ago @ Sketch War - CSI: Old Mill, North C... · 0 replies · +1 points

I read something in the news last week very similar to this. A guy stole a a television about a month before, but didn't get the remote. After a month he broke back in to the same place he stole the television to get the remote, and got caught.

About time the police force got proactive! LOL

13 years ago @ Sketch War - Fight for the future · 0 replies · +1 points

Merciless insect overlords don't shoot their buddies in the I guess they're not closely related to Cheney :)

13 years ago @ Sketch War - Clusterfuck: An Existe... · 0 replies · +1 points

No Time Rider? ;) Nice stuff...I love the pro con Terminators!

13 years ago @ Sketch War - The Adventures of Prof... · 1 reply · +1 points

I was imagining Jesus Twittering at the Last Supper:
"It's Judas...he doesn't think I know. Putz."

And Henry Ford probably would have preferred a car that ran on anti-semitism :)

13 years ago @ Sketch War - The Day Before Yesterd... · 1 reply · +1 points

Groundhog Day....with D-Bag#1 and D-Bag#2. And I'm hearing the "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" opening music too. Nice!

13 years ago @ Sketch War - An Old Fashioned · 0 replies · +1 points

Love it! Vive le literal interpretation! Short, sweet, and out of the park!

And I'm just a sucker for rim shots and Klingon walk-ins. Add some Benny Hill chase music, and I personally will nominate you for an Oscar.