Posts from the Podcasts, Blogs & Twitter Category

If you haven’t yet heard Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane, put down that Hot Pocket and get thee to a pair of headphones, toute de suite.

The show’s unique combination of interview-plus-live improv makes it a stand-out in a sea of podcasts, and host Jimmy’s deep knowledge and love of improv has helped it build a large and loyal following.

Past guests include such luminaries as Andy Richter, David Koechner, Rachel Dratch, Tim Meadows, Key and Peele, TJ Jagodowski, David Pasquesi, and Scott Adsit.

Now the podcast has launched a new season, featuring SNL alum Nora Dunn, chef Rick Bayless, and writers from Conan and The Colbert Report, among others.

Showtime is Sundays at 5 p.m. at Stage 773 in Chicago. Tickets are $10; $8 for improv students.

Image © Improv Nerd

Image © Improv Nerd


Every genre has its giants, and in improv, few are bigger than the three pictured below.

The latest A.D.D. Podcast with Dave Razowsky features TJ and Dave, recorded live just days ago at the Detroit Improv Festival.

It’s hilarious, fascinating, and has more “pants” per second than any other podcast out there.

Click here to listen and download.

We’ve been waiting months for this, and what a joy to hear these two giants of improv talk!

David Razowsky and Mick Napier talk about their early days in the Chicago improv scene, mentors, movies, and scenes they never wanna see again.

“Everyone digs in a graveyard [scene]. I always thought it was very funny that the universal association with being in a graveyard is that you’re gonna dig up a body.” – Mick Napier

For more bon mots from the always-passionate Razowsky and the almost preternaturally mellow Napier, check out the latest A.D.D. Podcast.

Jimmy Carrane gets it right in his latest blog post, “There’s No Right Way To Improvise.” (And we’re chuffed to get a mention.)

If you’re still worried about the “right” way to improvise, you need to read this.

Photo © Jimmy Carrane

Photo © Jimmy Carrane

There’s a ton of comedy-related podcasts out there, with more being added every day (or so it seems). So it takes something pretty special to break through the clutter and grab our attention.

Well, get ready to add A.D.D. with Dave Razowsky and Ian Foley to your must-hear playlist.

Few people have as much depth and breadth of experience in improv as David Razowsky. His joyful outlook on life, sense of humour, and famous friends-slash-guests make this podcast a true standout.

The conversations are funny, interesting, and wonderfully honest. Whether you’re an improv student, a seasoned actor, or just a fan of comedy, you’ll find inspiration as well as entertainment.

Guests include Phil LaMarr, Susan Messing, Rick Shapiro, Joel Murray, George Wendt, and most recently, someone by the name of Stephen Colbert.

Stay tuned for the Colbert episode, November 21st on iTunes.

Photo © David Razowsky

WitOut was a blog run by a group of comedians that covered improv, sketch and stand-up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s a post written by very funny contributor Matt Holmes, reproduced with permission.

The overly eager and overly early arrive to find a locked building with no signage. They wait.

The regularly early arrive. Everyone meets everyone else and discusses the situation. They wait.

Somebody arrives to open the door.

The workshop instructor arrives, says hi to everybody and goes to the bathroom.

The instructor tells everybody that they’ll start in five minutes and give people a little more time.

“Well, I guess we’ll get started.”

12:11 – 12:13
Roll call with three people not present.

12:13 – 12:17
Sitting in a circle as the first three people briefly introduce themselves, their complete improv background, an attempt at a joke, and a self-deprecating comment.

12:17 – 12:19
The fourth person in the circle goes into every last detail of her life leading up to this point.

12:19 – 12:20
The rest of the people introduce themselves briefly.

12:20 – 12:25
Instructor explains the plan for the workshop, now for the first time really thinking about it.

12:25 – 12:40
A basic warm-up that’s overly simplistic for all but two participants who can’t grasp the mechanics or have like, absolutely no rhythm or just can’t think of anything or have a really bad memory, so sorry everybody.

A late student arrives, complaining about traffic and parking, while carrying a coffee.

12:41 – 12:53
Instructor explains in complete detail how the first exercise will work and how we’re pressed for time because most real workshops are at least three hours and this one, for some strange reason, is only two and a half, which really is not enough time.

12-53 – 1:10
Three-Line Scenes, alternating between jokey punchlines and confused arguments.

1:10 – 1:17
An open discussion about the previous exercise, trying to remember what happened, while highlighting problems and explaining rules of what never to do and what always to do.

1:18 – 1:30
An exercise focused on loose organic transitions and freeing yourself up to follow wherever it goes and being open.

1:30 – 1:40
An open discussion about the previous exercise, trying to remember what happened while highlighting problems and explaining rules of what never to do and what always to do.

1:40 – 1:45
Instructor asks everyone how they’re feeling about the work, everyone shrugs their shoulders and says they feel okay but wish they were doing better, and one student speaks at length about confusions and specific examples of “just not getting it.”

“Let’s take a ten-minute break to hit the bathroom, feed the meter, take a smoke break, etc.”

One student has to leave early and thanks the instructor.

“Okay, I guess we should get back to it. Let’s circle up and get warmed up again.”

2:00 – 2:04
A children’s game with vague connections to theatricality.

2:04 – 2:07
Two students improvise a patient, engaging scene with an interesting point to it.

2:07 – 2:09
Instructor points out that we didn’t know the characters’ names, if they were sisters or just friends, and that it wasn’t clear if they were in a restaurant or in somebody’s kitchen.

2:09 – 2:17
Four more improvised scenes struggling to be coherent and interesting.

2:17 – 2:22
Instructor shifts gears into a series of scenes where students tag each other out.

2:22 – 2:25
Students discuss the scenes, most citing that they were just about to do something good before they got tagged out.

2:25 – 2:34
Another round of scenes with tag-outs; students now make quicker punchlines.

“Well, we’re a little over the time when we were supposed to end. Does anybody mind if we go a little longer?”

2:34 – 2:41
Another round of scenes with tag-outs; instructor pauses each scene to discuss how truthful the scenes feel and then has them continue.

Instructor thanks everybody for coming and ends the workshop.

2:43 – 2:50
Casual discussion among students and instructor.

An overly eager student arrives for a workshop scheduled to start at 3.

Paul Aihoshi‘s tumblr is one of our favourite improv-related blogs.

Just don’t go there looking for information on shortform games, how to kill your Harold team audition, or the whole Close vs Johnstone thing.

What you will find is something way cooler.

Aihoshi photographs improvisers and writes a sort of stream-of-consciousness summary that’s utterly charming and often hilarious.

So far he’s snapped a cool cross-section of Toronto performers, including Simon Pond and Adam Ward of Pondward Bound, Jan Caruana, Yitzi Gal and James Gangl. We’re looking forward to the next installment.

All Photos © Paul Aihoshi