November 4th teams!


Nov 4th

1. Future Wives

Sophie Yalkezian, Kelsey Bailey, Kelsey McLaughlin

2. Clitterati

Janie Stolar, Chris Burns, Maggie Widdoes

3. We Dem Boyz

Sean Casey, Brady O'Callahan, Nick Guercio

4. Bogart

Rachel Taenzler, Hannah Katz, Cory Snearowski

5. Breaking Curfew

Charlie Todd, Kevin Hines, Chelsea Clarke

6. Surf City

Matt Nelsen, James Folta, Wes Haney

7. Josh and The Girls

James Dwyer, Jackie Jennings, Casey Jost

8. Wildcard #1

Who is Chelsea Clarke?

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williebhines: China, Day 2 Big Booty in Mandarin. Class is…


China, Day 2

Big Booty in Mandarin.

Class is great. We’ve done four sessions and everyone is starting to gel and relax.

A funny thing: they really belabor their choices in 3-line scenes, but they attack Mind Meld like nobody’s business. They tore Mind Meld right the fuck up.

Still at a point where total free form scenes are too scary. They don’t yet see how to make things pay off without a structure. But that’s okay! That feels normal. We’ve had a few killer scenes that we can use for examples. And even in scenes that don’t work fully, their performance is so confident that they are fun.

This is fun.

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Have you ever quit a duo team? I feel like it’s much harder to give the soft and vague answers you can fall back on for leaving a larger team. Any advice?

i don’t know of any formula. You probably know the right way to do this for this particular person. My instinct tells me to keep it in person, direct and honest.

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thebaxterbuilding: A beautiful tribute to Jack Kirby from Mark…


A beautiful tribute to Jack Kirby from Mark Evanier (and more on the incredible photo above):

I hope Will Hines read this great story about Jack posing like a super hero and vein confident in the billion dollar movie future of his creations.

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The Best Thing You’ll See Today


Supergirl carrying a puppy while walking with Daisy Scouts.

I am looking forward to this show.

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You Could Be Watching This Show Right Now if Network Execs Weren’t Stupid


Lauren Faust just posted the concept work for a Superbest Friends Forever Series from 2012. 

I would have watched this.

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richardsala: The Doll Maker’s Daughter


The Doll Maker’s Daughter

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Talking about Improv Teams

On Facebook - which I plan to link to from here - I asked people to tell me about NY indie teams they liked. And their was a huge, wonderful reaction. Dave Murray printed it out for Nicole “hates facebook” Drespel. And Pat Regan said “congrats on the thread to me” which I don’t fully understand.

So I pored over the thread today, and here are some general thoughts.
First, I was not prepared for that level of enthusiasm. I assumed it would get about 50 comments, but instead it got over 200 comments. And that was in one day. It got 100 of those comments in the first hour. That is a fast, visceral reaction. I immediately stop reading it and just waited until that night when it settled down.

Yes, I counted all the teams. I did it fast, so these numbers are possibly wrong. And meaningless. Because some people didn’t mention teams that had already been mentioned a lot. And some teams only got mentioned because someone else mentioned it just before they posted. But counting stuff is fun and cool, right?

Bear Golf got mentioned the most (24). But Gulf Oil (20) and Schoolmarm (21) were right up there too. This non-competition was anyone’s game.
Fascinating to me was that Tops didn’t get mentioned until about 100 comments into the thread, but then got mentioned almost as much as any of the three teams I mentioned. (19 times) So once the Tops fans came out they came out in force.
17 different teams got mentioned at least 10 times.

Even more astonishing is that 135 teams in total were mentioned. Sad stats: I had only heard of 30 of these teams. I hadn’t heard of over 100 teams, and that’s sad. Even sadder I’ve only see about 20 of those teams perform.

Team Names I assumed were bits until they got multiple mentions: St Louis Rams, JFK Rowling, Fart Police and Bush Administration.

Team names I didn’t count: Magic Suzie (mentioned by Shannon, this was my first indie team and one of the first performing indie teams in the UCB Community), Toast (mentioned by Sam Riegel, this was a team Sam and Shannon were on that I was added to right before the team retired. I performed twice with them. Their final show and a reunion show.), and all the fake names Patrick Noth mentioned. The only fake teams mentioned (that I could detect). Way to go Patrick!

Two team’s had apostrophes in their names: Matt’s Aunt Kim and NBC’s Whitney

There are teams named Scareface Danza and Scott Baio Wolf

My favorite team name: Together We Chill.

Also I am thankful that exists so I can look up teams on there and see who is on those rosters. What a great resource! Thanks Ben Apple! Thanks Facebook! Thanks improv community!

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A Quick Thing About My Sister Jeannie


I was 6 years old and I came into my parents house crying. My big sister Jeannie asked me what was wrong. My friends and I had been fighting bees and I’d been stung. She told me to show her where the hive was. It was in the alley — the bees were flying in and out of a hole in a rock fence. Jeannie jammed dried leaves in the hole, pulled out a plastic squirt bottle of lighter fluid and torched the hive with a zippo. After that, bees no longer messed with my family. That might have been the same summer she dressed me up as Danny Zuko and had me perform Summer Nights at the block party. She always had me performing something.
When I was 14 I was very good at getting high but also had a unique talent for getting drunk. Jeannie would drag me out of bed and drive me to a summer theatre program she helped run. She’d push me and the other teenage kids to write songs, raps, and scenes. Then they’d help us form a narrative and write a cohesive show. We would perform the show around Milwaukee. It was great. I learned a lot about performing those summers — the other kids did too. It was cool of her to care enough to drag me there. I am pretty sure I was hung over and complained every morning.
I was 19 and had just moved to New York. Jeannie had been here a few years and helped me find work. In the summer I volunteered for a not for profit she started called, Shakespeare On The Playground. We would put up a play with the kids in Jeannie’s neighborhood. My big sister told me which verses to take and set to music so the kids could sing songs and rap. They loved it. Jeannie was always great at stuff like this.
At that time Jeannie was going on auditions, acting in plays, doing sketch, improv and stand-up but she took the time — basically her whole summer—to direct and produce a show for these kids for free. Of course she did.
It was during Shakespeare On The Playground when Jim started coming around flirting with my damn sister. They quickly fell in love and became inseparable. I remember this despite being very high.
They have been incredibly inspiring to watch as partners. Just unbelievable. They are both straight up geniuses. I’ve been lucky enough to see them write/produce/direct/grow together for well over a decade and it’s been consistently amazing.
Two months ago I was standing outside Eastville Comedy Club around midnight. Between the cast, crew, extras onlookers there were a few hundred people in the street. If you’ve never been to a outdoor night shoot like this, there is this kind of perpetual twilight that feels surreal because of the big-ass lights. I had been on set hanging out with Steve Buscemi and watching as Jim shot scenes with him, Alec Baldwin, Mathew Broderick, Nathan Lane, etc… it was nuts. My big sister Jeannie was on set running shit. She is the writer and executive producer for this show. I was so incredibly proud watching her that night.
Jeannie and Jim are two of the hardest working people I know period. They are two of the most talented people I know period. They are literally almost as talented as me. They have written/produced amazing comedy albums (the platinum ones and the albums Jeannie edited on her laptop back in the day), New York Times best selling books (plural), and 5 of the cutest kids on the planet earth.
Their show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, premieres on TV Land tonight at 10/9C. Set your DVRs and buy the season on iTunes.
Note: I have 5 other sisters and they’re all equally amazing.

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  • Random Quote

    “A purpose!”