Hey if you’re ever up at 5AM looking for shit to read, then here is a big list of things I’ve posted here before and various improv/UCB things I’ve found online. This is the greatest hits and everything here is a treat. Enjoy.
Newly added items are in bold.
Improv Articles, Improv Videos, etc.
- History of the UCB - history as told by the people who performed there.
- Solving Problem in Improv - Great message board discussion.
- [video] Project Improvisor - Did you know UCB did an internet reality show, with improvisors competing to get on a Harold team? Pretty cool.
- Making and Accepting Offers - One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in improv, from Will Hines. This series of posts changed the way I play.
- Is Improv Inherently Meta? / Commitment at all Levels - My most popular article on the site
- List of First (30) Teams People Heather & Miles played
- [video] The Subculture of Improv - Cool, brief documentary on improv in Los Angeles.
- The Secret of Improv
- Class notes!
- [video] SAG Foundation: Improv & Sketch Comedy Training Part One - Hour-long video featuring an introduction to all of LA’s major improv schools, including the UCB, Groundllings, the Miles Stroth Workshop, iO West, and Second City.
- You Will Never Figure This Out by Will Hines - on the continual learning procss of improvisers
- The Legacy of Heather & Miles by Sabrina London - A look back at the 49-win, record-setting run
- Let’s All Go to Camp by Stephen Perlstein - Great write-up on my favorite indie improv/variety show at The Clubhouse. Read this and GO.
- A Thing I Like About Improv by Hal Phillips - On the ephemeral fleeting nature of improv
- Groundlings and (but not vs.) UCB by Tim Stafford
- Team Name Generator - Use the “Talk like Warren Ellis” web app to generate wonderful new team names like “Doomed Fuckbags” and “Attention Scum.”
- Improvteams.com - Create an individual profile and one for your team(s). A great way to represent yourself to the improv community outside the confines of your Facebook friends. (I linked to the LA site, but there’s subpages for NY, Chicago, Philly, and more. Sorry, no Austin)
- The Best of Heather & Miles - a YouTube playlist collecting every “Best of” video from their 49-win UCB Cagematch run
- [video] Derrick Comedy performs improv at UCB LA Cagematch
- [video] Convoy at the Comedy Central Stage
- [video] 3 Step at the Improv Prize Fight Tournament (round 4, they’d eventually go on to win the tournament)
- [video] Best of Convoy vs. Heather & Miles at UCB LA Cagematch
Improv Podcasts (people doing improv)
- Improv4Humans - Matt Besser’s podcast. They do an Armando off of 1-word Twitter suggestions.
- Improv Movie Party - Will Reese’s now defunct podcast, which I was on. We did an Armando based on discussion of movies. I really like the Kary Perry 3D episode, Hunger Games/Battle Royale, Face/Off.
- UCBTLA Podcast - It’s dead now, but there’s still 18 episodes of cool stuff. Recommended: Ben Schwartz (ep 13), Convoy (ep 15) and Mike Leffingwell (ep 5). Also: you gotta listen to episode 12. It’s all about Harold auditions.
- Improv Obsession Podcast - Stephen Perlstein’s LA improv podcast has just about all the major LA peeps. Favorite episodes: Jonny Svarzbein (ep 20), Alex Berg (ep 2), DC Pierson (ep 10), and Dickie Copeland (ep 41).
- Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane - Based out of Chicago you get to hear some different views if you’re an LA guy. Check out Mick Napier (ep 10), Susan Messing (ep 1), and Matt Walsh (ep 16).
- The Peter Fluet Fluet Podcast - Great iO-centric podcast. Can sometimes take a little fast fwd-ing to get to the nerdy improv stuff. 59:50 of episode 7, Brian O Connell talks about working with Miles Stroth, and all that stuff is super fascinating for a nerd like me.
- Indie Improv on PrePop Culture Podcast - Nick Mandernach (Room 101) and Casey Feigh (Crashbar) talk about the LA indie improv scene.
- UCB Long-form Conversation - Super nerdy new UCB NY podcast, hosted by John Frusciante and Will Hines. I recommend the interview with Achilles. It’s greeeeaaaaaat.
Blogs About Improv
- Improv Nonsense- Will Hines’ “unapologetically insidery” blog.
- Billy Merritt’s Improv Dance Party - Billy Merritt gets nerdy with the ‘prov too.
- Improv Resource Center - Not a blog, but a great message board, from which the above “Solving Problems” thing came from.
- Improv Is Easy! - Kirk Damato answers your improv questions. Love this blog!
- Improv, Fashion, and Puppies - Sabrina London writes about Improv, Fashion, and Puppies. She has a great voice and a fresh perspective on improv… highly recommended!
- Jimmycarrane.com - Improv Nerd Podcast host also has a written blog and it’s pretty great.
- Me, Sean London - Yep, I blog sometimes.
- Charlie Sanders - Shitty Jobs, Police Chief Rumble, Key & Peele
- Jason Mantzoukas - Skinny Business Will Not Apologize, Soundtrack, The Mantzoukas Brothers, Mother, FX’s The League
- Matt Besser - Just some guy
- Ian Roberts - Just some guy’s friend
- Miles Stroth - The Family, Heather and Miles
- [podcast] Greg Tuculescu - The Racquet, Only in LA, Fwand
- Matt Besser - my interview with Besser
- [podcast] Heather Campbell on Comedy Girl Crush - Episode 3. She talks about doing Boom Chicago and Cagematch and being a “woman in improv” and why she does it (answer will surprise you)
- [podcast] Dickie Copeland - Practical advice for navigating your improv comedy career
- [podcast] Matt Besser on Improv Nerd - Really there are few people with Besser’s experience who have done as many in-depth interviews. They’re all worth checking out.
Not a lot and two are by Charna Halpern and none are on Kindle. Oh well.
- Art By Committee by Charna Halpern
- Truth in Comedy by Charna Halpern
- Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out by Mick Napier
- Jill Bernard’s Small Cute Book of Improv by Jill Bernard. Hands down the best book on improv as far as I’m concerned. Brief, efficient, and every word immediately helpful.
- Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life - From the Onion.
- Aziz Ansari went through 101 just like you and me
- Matt Little Blogs about Harold Auditions
- Amy Pohler imparts wisdom at Harvard
- Jason Mantzoukas is a god - Show description of Mantzoukas’ one man cagematch
- Patton Oswalt’s 2012 Just For Laughs Keynote Address - Brilliant.
- UCB LA Podcast on Harold Auditions - Great listen for that time of the year
- Like-Minded People by Will Hines - THE blog on what it feels like to come up in improv. Beautiful and true.
- [quote] Lucille Ball on doing comedy that also applies to doing improv - This is wonderful.
- Lessons Learned from People I Admire - This person really gets to the core of a bunch of great improvisers and what we can learn from each of them and aspire to.
- Improv Art-vice - David Kantrowitz takes cool improv advice and turns it into art. He even sells this art.
- [video] That time Snoop Dogg gave a shout out to UCB NY Harold auditions.
- What Goes Into a Comedy Writing Packet - Get on this… now! The comments section features working comedy writers, so check that out too.
- Being a Performer on a UCB Maude Team - Jackie Johnson gives you the full scoop on auditioning for and being on a UCB LA Maude team. AMAZING and thorough resource if that’s something you’re interested in.
- Submitting to Late Night Shows - Sara Schaefer who recently hired for her own original tv show for MTV, talks about breaking into late night tv
- Getting invited to submit to Late Night Shows - Part 2 of that same topic