“When I was in high school I was a really huge ‘SNL’ fan. I remember the cast around the time I started watching it - Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Cheri O'Teri, Tracy Morgan. I did research to find out how people got on the show. Their bios always said they came from an improv team, so I started taking classes.” - Aubrey Plaza
Here’s me as Mark Twain and Matt Gourley as Carl Sagan. Before the Dead Authors Podcast concludes its monthly run in September, I wanted to see what it was like to be the guest. Having hosted this show for years, I knew that as challenging as my job can be, I suspected it was a much bigger challenge to sit in that other chair. And I was RIGHT. My hat is off to all the brilliant improvisers I’ve had on this show over the years, who always always always made it look effortless. Turns out it isn’t! And thanks to my pal Matt Gourley for playing Carl Sagan for the second time on the DAP– it had to be him; no one else would have made sense to me. And no one could have taken better care of me. And biggest thanks of all to our audience– if they were at all disappointed by this non-advertised switcheroo, they very politely and skillfully hid it from me. I have never ever not enjoyed myself at a Dead Authors show, and I can’t say that about everything. HG Wells will be back on Monday for round two with L. Ron Hubbard! AND DONATE YOUR TIME AND/OR MONEY TO YOUR LOCAL 826 CHAPTER!
If such a thing could be tallied, I’d wager the people in this photo with me, both individually and in various combinations, have made me laugh for literal hours. If not days.
Tonight I was asked to do monologues for the ASSSCAT show on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles. I was honored to do so. The UCB Theatre has brought so much joy and friendship into my life. I am grateful for its existence!
Thanks to everyone on the UCB staff and in the community for always making me feel simultaneously like a superstar and just part of the family. LONG MAY YOU REIGN.
(front, l-r) Horatio Sanz, Joe Wengert, Lauren Lapkus, WHO CARES, Matt Besser (back ) Zach Woods, Ian Roberts, Andy Daly
It’s based on a rune, it’s a useless substitute for the “th” sound, and it’s why you don’t understand the medieval era.
THIS WEEK: To get a grasp at the enormity of the English language and its bizarreness, host Jack O'Brien is joined on the phone by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, to talk about her time recording every sound in the English language and how programmers put it all together.
Later, Jack is joined onstage at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles by Dan O'Brien, Carmen Angelica and Alex Schmidt. They talk about the history of English, how it combines the best of French and the worst of German, the grammar’s endless nonsensical rules, and some simple things other languages do that we wish we had.
You MUST find time to shower, change clothes, and sleep. If you’re smart, you’ll find a way to do all three at the same time.
It’s impossible to see everything. Pick out a few shows you don’t want to miss and then keep an open mind about the rest.
Speaking of: See out-of-town groups and don’t judge an entire city of improvisers based on one group’s show. Rarely does the “Best Show of All Time” happen at DCM. (Except for Baby Wants Candy in 2005. HOLY SHIT.)
See No Posers.
Be cool to other performers. They love improv as much as you do, so don’t be a snob!
Be warm to the volunteers and staff. They are doing literally the most thankless jobs of the Marathon.
It is not necessary to use drugs or alcohol to enjoy DCM.
It does not hurt to (responsibly) use drugs or alcohol to enjoy DCM.
Make your life easier: Download the DCM16 app. Follow @DCM_lines on Twitter.
If you are a performer, don’t put any pressure on yourself to have the “Best Show of All Time.” Improv isn’t about dwelling — it’s about being in the moment and enjoying what other people do. Do your shows, have fun, be nice. Repeat.