No matter what source you draw your inspiration from, don’t allow yourself to slip into caricature. Real specifics will make any character choice seem real and your job easier because you won’t have to struggle to fabricate these specifics. Portraying characters three-dimensionally and with integrity will help you avoid cheap or easy laughs. Don’t make hacky, obvious or cheesy choices in your portrayal. Committing to the reality will increase your odds of being able to find and play a Game. Find the truth in your characters.
—  p. 161 of the UCB Comedy Improvisation Manual

"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


Broad City on Smart Girls at the Party with Amy P!


Tonight was my monthly talk show Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill.

I knew the audience would be light, NYC is in recovery mode, traveling into and within the city is a pain. So on my way into the city I decided to enjoy the lemonade I was going to have, because performing at UCB is always Lemonade.

That lemonade was about 7 paying audience members, a few UCB performers & the Friday night interns.

Generally my show requires 10 audience members to participate in the show, the lack of audience meant a special edition of Strangers Wanted would happen, real special.

More importantly my show is about meeting new people and having a good time.

So that is what we did, and we found a way to raise money for the Red Cross. 

We sat in a circle and all shared things about us, some of us talked about our hurricane experience, the conversation eventually led to sharing stories about shitting and pissing our pants, or as audience member Caesar called his “I had a wet one.”


Get ready to be psyched about PAT “BENDERTHON” REGAN.

Pat has been an avid runner his entire life, but he came to a point a couple of years ago where he wanted to put running into his past and move forward, but he wanted to find a way to do it. So for the past year he trained really hard for the NYC Marathon. He said he has been looking forward to November 5th for the past year. It was going to bring him closure to a part of his life, and he was going to move forward. 

(Pat if I got any of the facts wrong, I apologize, but my words are now truth)

Then today he found out the Marathon was cancelled so he threw his hands up in the air and decided he was going to go on a 48 hour bender. My show was hour one of that bender.

I told Pat he can still run the marathon. He can do 4 Laps and change in Central Park, and he will have run a Marathon in NYC. A New York City Marathon. People can’t tell you that you can’t do it, You can still run it, you don’t need Bloomberg’s permission, you just need your own.


I told Pat, if he did a marathon in Central Park on Sunday I would Donate $200 dollars to the Red Cross.

Then everyone else in the audience said they would throw in money also.

Gethard - $100, Drew - $50, Matty - $20, Oscar $25, Connor $10, Hallie $50, Bjorn $50, Megan $25, Caesar $10, Amy - $50,  Jenny $10, Tobin $100, John $50, Abbi $50, Mimi $25 - plus a few others I forgot to write down (sorry!).


And we are calling it the #BENDERTHON

Pat asked if he had to complete his bender, I told him no, but he can if he wants.

Regardless, Pat is going to run on Sunday in the Park, get closure to his life, and raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

You can support in 3 ways.

1. Tweet encouragement at him @poregan  and include the hashtag #Benderthon

2. Go to Central Park on Sunday and cheer him on, maybe have water for him when he needs it (time details TBA)

3. Donate to the Red Cross in the name of #Benderthon

If you have any questions you can tweet at me @spotastic or message me on tumblr.

Also, don’t forget you are surrounded by lemonade.


Kate’s Craft Corner - “Nose Cozy”

When temperature is low noses get cold, Kate fixed this with her latest craft invention


Sketches From an Italian Restaurant - A Billy Joel Sketch Show

Written by and Starring: Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli
Directed by: Will Hines & Dan Klein
Choreography by: Kate Riley
Captain Jack Videos Shot by Keith Haskel

Filmed LIVE! at the UCB Theatre on April 16th by Lou Gonzales

VERY excited to post the full video of Don and my sketch show entirely about Billy Joel. I’ve written too much about this show already, so I’ll just leave you with this: WATCH IT!


An answer to the age old question!  

#DCM16 Rules
  1. Hydrate.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. See No Posers.
  6. Be cool to other performers. They love improv as much as you do, so don’t be a snob!
  7. Be warm to the volunteers and staff. They are doing literally the most thankless jobs of the Marathon.
  8. Tip.
  9. It is not necessary to use drugs or alcohol to enjoy DCM.
  10. It does not hurt to (responsibly) use drugs or alcohol to enjoy DCM.
  11. Make your life easier: Download the DCM16 app. Follow @DCM_lines on Twitter.
  12. 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.
  13. Shower.
  14. Shower.
  15. Shower.


Don Fanelli and I have written a sketch comedy show about the Pianoman himself called Sketches From An Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show that is currently running at the UCB Theatre in NYC. Let me rephrase that: Two grown adult men have spent months of their lives writing thirty minutes of sketch comedy completely devoted to how great Billy Joel is and how he is the greatest recording artist of all time.

And now we want Billy Joel to come see it.

We’ve tweeted at him. We’ve tweeted at his daughter. We’ve posted in his message boards about it. We screamed it from the stands while his sax player Richie Cannata was playing the national anthem at the Giants/Seahawks game. Our friend Geoff Garlock told his longtime drummer Liberty Devitto about it on his podcast. We’ve even go so far as to try to get in touch with his agent and let HIM know about the show. And as of now we have continuously struck out.

But we KNOW this is a show that he will love. And we KNOW that he’s constantly in town playing at MSG, mere blocks away from the UCB.

So we’re taking it to the internet. Let’s get Billy Joel to come see our Sketch Comedy show about how great he is. We have two shows in March, one on March 6th, one on March 19th… two prime opportunities for him to see it. And hopefully more in the coming months. But THIS IS THE TIME. LET’S GET HIM TO SEE IT! #BILLYJOELSKETCHSHOW: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3686

My dream? Best case scenario? He comes to see the show, we introduce him at the end, he gets a thirty minute standing ovation, then he performs an impromptu concert for the 200 or so people in the UCB that night and it goes down in history as the fucking coolest Billy Joel concert since Leningrad. Worst case scenario? He hears about this show, but he’s too busy being the fucking best ever to make it out to see it. I CONSIDER BOTH OF THESE SCENARIOS WINS.

So we’re going to do everything in our power to make it happen. And we would love any help we can get. Let’s tweet about it until we get #BillyJoelSketchShow trending. Let’s get up on that tumblr radar. Let’s get it written up in the fucking New York Times so he HAS to see it. And rest assured this is not a snarky show making fun of the man. We legitimately love the man and we LOVE his music. Need proof? I’ll show you my iTunes. I’ll show you my most played list. I’ll tell you that at college parties I lead line dances to River of Dreams, or that there was a period in high school when I couldn’t fall asleep unless I listened to Captain Jack. THESE ARE ALL TRUE FACTS.

So Billy Joel, here is my plea… please come see our sketch show about you. Don’t be The Stranger.

The show is $5. I’ll pay for your ticket, Billy.


March 6th. 8PM
March 19th. 8PM
UCB CHELSEA - 307 W. 26th Street. NYC


Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli


For ONE man, setting up security questions is impossible.




Thanks to Matt Gourley, for no particular reason.