An inside look at the DU improvisation comedy act that left all in stiches


Members of the improv team partaking in one of their interactive games that involves being stranded on a rowboat in the Atlantic Ocean. [Photo By: Lily Binder]

DENVER—The University of Denver Improvisation Comedy Club put on a hilarious show 9pm Wednesday night, May 4th, in the Lindsey Auditorium that left all attendees in hysterics. The show lasted about forty five minutes and was a made up of about four games where the audience was encouraged to get involved by picking out professions, locations, and a multitude of ridiculous situations for the improvisation group to build their acts upon.

The crowd, which was made up of about thirty-five University of Denver students all ranging from freshmen to seniors years were laughing throughout the entire show. Junior, Danny Brown is a weekly attendee to the shows saying: “They’re good every week so I know I’ll always be entertained, the timing always works out really well too since it starts at nine, ends before ten, and I can walk to the library and study in a much better mood… I’m also friends with most of the performers and I like to support my friends in everything they do”.

Fellow Junior at DU Sophia Cook also enjoyed the show saying: “I like several forms of comedy, but what I enjoy in particular about improv is the spontaneity of it, as well as the opportunity for audience participation… I also really liked how the actors were in tune with one another and worked with each other to create a good experience- nobody tried to overshadow anyone, and everyone acted as a team”.

Improv shows are hard to get right, performer, Bohdi Cooper, Junior, had this to say on what makes a good improv show: “to have a good show you have to let yourself have fun. I was first thinking you have to come in with a good attitude but thinking back I’ve come in not feeling very great and ended up feeling so much better by the end of a show.” Fellow performer Preston Evans, Senior, went on, “Yeah I agree with that, but we also feed off the audience so if the audience is into it and gets invested in the show as well as have players who are genuine and smart, that’s what sets good and bad shows apart… haha that rhymes you’re welcome!”

Improvisation shows are so unique as compared to other styles due to the necessary quick wittedness of the performers. This aspect may make people interested in comedy shy away from this comedic style. But it is arguably the most creative because of this. Bohdi had this to say on the appeal of Improv: “I like improv because I don’t have to plan anything, I practice obviously but I get the chance to show up and be how I am that day. When I have a line written that I have to say it’s hard to make it look genuine as apposed to making something up on the spot.”

This co-insides with what audience member Danny Brown had to say on why Improv is his favorite form of comedy: “it’s the one I’ve seen the most, I think its very raw and they can sometimes fuck up and say something really outlandish but its cool because they’re making themselves vulnerable.. as apposed to stand up, I mean they makes themselves vulnerable but its like they know what they’re going to say so its not as vulnerable as when you don’t know what you’re going to be saying on stage in front of a bunch of people. You’re constantly under pressure in the moment.”

It is clear that improvisation comedy is one of the most difficult forms, however it is also one of the best due to the fact that no one show will ever be the same. And as many performers do, the DU improv club also has a special pre-show ritual according to Preston Evans that he feels gives the show luck to ensure a good show, “we sacrifice a lamb”.

(661 words)


One thought on “An inside look at the DU improvisation comedy act that left all in stiches

  1. I love your piece on the improv show! I think improv is such a unique and special form of comedy that when preformed well is hilarious and memorable! I had no idea DU had an improv group, and after reading your piece I definitely want to go watch them preform as it sounds like they are pretty talented! I liked how you incorporated so many quotes into your story as it made it more obvious to me that the group was genuinely funny given all the different accounts supporting them.


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