Saturday, September 17, 2005

Making fun of Improv

Improv from Hell
A theatre or stage. Both Improvisers are on stage. One of them will become the audience member later.

IMPROVISER I
Welcome to Improvalicious.

IMPROVISER II
The Improv show that’s alacious.

IMPROVISER I
Our show is similar to the show “Who’s line is it anyway.”

IMPROVISER II
Like them we play cheesy gimmicky games that don’t require much ability to be witty.

IMPROVISER I
But we don’t have Drew Carey or that pasty, British guy from the original show. But it’ll be good anyway.

IMPROVISER II
Ya.

IMPROVISER I
The Game we’re going to play today is three things. The way this game is played is one of us will step out of the room.

IMPROVISER II
Oh I wonder who that’ll be.

IMPROVISER I
And then I will get three household or outdoor activities from you all. Then we’ll mix it up a bit—you’ll see how that works shortly. Then we’ll call the outside player in and he’ll try to guess what the activities are. Only catch is we can only speak in gibberish and use mime. Quick game of rock paper scissors to see who goes out.

IMPROVISER II
Sure.

IMPROVISERS I &II
123 shoot

(Improviser I throws out scissors. Improviser II throws out the middle finger.)

IMPROVISER I
(Cheery) Scissors always beats fuck you.

IMPROVISER II
See I was improvising. Professional performer.

IMPROVISER I
Good for you. OK (intimating leave)

IMPROVISER II
Ya ya. Like we didn’t know I was going out once again into the freezing bleakness.

IMPROVISER I
Chin up buddy. Take my coat.

Improviser II leaves. Really he sits in the audience and becomes an audience member.
Improviser I gets out a dry erase board or lined paper something to write on

IMPROVISER I
You’ll have to forgive him he’s going through the “change.” OK can I get some outdoor activities: like water skiing or cycling.

AUDIENCE
(in several different voices perhaps)
Running from the cops, cutting off the jerk doing 40 in the left lane. Burning books.
IMPROVISER I
Great great thanks. Burning books was the first thing I heard clearly. OK how about a household chore, like doing dishes?

AUDIENCE
Cursing my computer, kicking strange men out of bed, running the car with the garage door closed.

IMPROVISER I
Kicking strange men out of bed first thing I heard. We need one more suggestion. Oh writing love letters. Great suggestion.

AUDIENCE
No one said that.

IMPROVISER I
That’s what I heard clearly.

AUDIENCE
(kind of mumbling) From the voices in your head.

IMPROVISER I
OK now to make this more challenging we’re going to replace the things with which you’d normally do these activities with things you’d never do them with. Let’s start with burning books. Now usually you’d burn Huckleberry Finn but we’re going to replace that with what inflammable thing you’d never find at a book burning?

AUDIENCE
Self Doubt, Ignorance, betrayal, Self Loathing, mystery, mixed emotions, agony.

IMPROVISER I
OK Huckleberry Finn is replaced by Self Doubt. Now usually you have a fire to burn the Tropic of Cancer, but instead of fire we’ll have?

AUDIENCE
Mixed emotions.

IMPROVISER
That’s pretty close to self doubt?

AUDIENCE
Ignorance.

IMPROVISER
You’d pretty much find that a book burning.

AUDIENCE
Pennance.

IMPROVISER
Penguins. Great.

AUDIENCE
I said penance you ass.

IMPROVISER
I heard penguins. OK and usually at a book burning you’re going to have bible thumping townies, so we’re going to replace them with what thing that isn’t people?

AUDIENCE
Hinduism.

IMPROVISER
Hinduism great.
(looks at watch)
Shit. We have a briss (said under his breath). All right let’s bring back Malcolm for our game of one thing.

AUDIENCE
I paid good money to see three things.

IMPROVISER
Shh. Let’s call Malcolm back in on the count of three. 1 2 3. Hey Malcolm!
(Audience member walks up on stage)
Could you at least try to pretend you were outside?

IMPROVISER II
It’s cold out there. OK? The last show we did I caught pneumonia. You’re the one who cut the game short.

IMPROVISER I
We have to be at the Bunnersteins for their son’s folk Briss in 20 minutes.

IMPROVISER II
Folk Briss?

IMPROVISER I
Yeah, it’s Peter Paul and Mary influenced…Theirs is a mixed marriage.

IMPROVISER II
Will there be food?
IMPROVISER I
Of course.

IMPROVISER II
And that’s the game of one thing. Thanks for coming.

(black out)

5 comments:

Nina Paley said...

That was much better than most improv I've suffered through.

Anonymous said...

Is improv supposed to be scripted? This looks more like a sketch.

rachael said...

I thought sketches were drawings.

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Anonymous said...

yes, the games can be tired and contrived, but there is other types of improvised theater besides
"whose line" stuff. blogging is the improv of writing - no revision, write whatever comes out and if its boring uninspired crap than who is to criticize bc its only a blog made up on the spot. But a good blog can be interesting just like a good improvised theater show.