Shows and Scenes I Like Remembering

Remembering old scenes and shows I loved, all from circa 2000-2002. All memories subject to nostalgic revision and fogginess of time:


Corndog, Allright! (circa 2000). Harold Night, first scene. Owen Burke walks out as some kind of scientist with a test tube and says something to Victor Varnado like “Ok, this potion should…” but as he approaches Victor, Victor weirdly leans towards him and kinda bumps into him, and then after they contact Victor slumps into Owen. Owen adjusts his sentence and says “okay, well, hold on…” and tries to prop Victor back up, who is now fully learning into Owen. Owen keeps stammering “yes, well, okay, wait, let’s see… hold on… this potion, yes, wait” while Victor increasingly flops around. Owen grabs Victor’s shoulders and they are full-on wrestling, with Victor in a kinda dead-armed Harpo Marx slump and Owen’s voice remaining totally calm as he tries to right Victor’s body. Finally gets Victor in a chair. Owen exhales. “There.” Edit.

The Swarm, circa 2000. First group game. Andy Daly initiates “Okay, thank you for coming, everyone. As you all know, I’ve murdered a member of each of your families, in sometimes brutal ways. So please think of this as an ‘I’m sorry’ wine and cheese.” The rest of the Swarm angrily noshes on the food. “You’ve got a lot to apologize for, mister! Hey, this is terrific hummus.”


Respecto Montalbon, 2003. Cagematch, when they were doing the Evente. Rob Huebel endows himself as a cashier at a fast food restaurant who “has a very private rape fantasy.” Audience groans. Other things happen. Then the restaurant is robbed. Huebel mimes grabbing a gun from under the register and points it at Jackie Clarke’s character, who is a male cashier. “Now you rape me! Now you rape me!” Huebel screams. Jackie shakes her head “No! I’m not going to!” “YOU HAVE TO! WE’RE GOING TO DIE! YOU RAPE ME NOW!” Jackie looks at the audience and shakes her head and says “fine.” And mounts Rob “I DON’T AGREE WITH THIS!” she shouts. “YOU RAPE ME NOW!” says Huebel. “I AM! JESUS, STOP WHINING!”


Dillinger, 2003. First beat is Zach Woods and Risa  Sang-Urai as a couple in a bar trying to pick each other up. Zach admits to having sold his soul to the devil, but it was only so that there would be no more keyboards in pop songs. Risa wants to know why he didn’t get more out of the deal, like maybe they could be together or Zach could be wealthy? Second beat: Zach and Risa have a prolonged and real discussion about the promise of love and how sad it is and they get frustrated and the scene seems to stall and then Erik Tanouye enters as the Devil and says “And now you know what it’s like to live in a world without keyboards.”


Joe Wengert, in class, 2002. Suggestion “pendulum.” His initiation, directed to Matt Pack. “Captain Lightning, I’ve escaped! I was trapped on a platform, and the knife was swinging back and forth over me, and it got closer and closer, but then at the last minute I broke free and I ran to the headquarters of Dr. Darkness and when I got in there he was fucking your mom.”

Matt Pack (breaks, recovers): “Again?”

Joe: “Yeah! I don’t know, I think you have to get out of the superhero business. All these villains keep having sex with your mom. Oh, you know who gets out of prison tomorrow? Rhino man.”


ASSSSCAT, 2000. 

Matt Walsh (maybe, or was it Adam McKay? Ian?): “Okay, class, today is dissection day. But because of budget cuts you are going to have to kill the frogs yourself before you dissect them.”

Andy Richter: “Mine’s a kitten!”

Walsh: “Yes, some of you have kittens. We couldn’t afford to get everyone frogs.”


Monkeydick, 2002 (as I witnessed from the back line)

First beat: Rob Lathan gets caught in a series of bear traps.

Second beat: Rob Lathan gets caught in another series of bear traps.

Third beat: Rob: “Hope there’s no bear traps.” There’s not. Blackout.


Weirdass, Del Close Marathon, 2002?

Bob Dassie and Stephanie Weir play two dudes and also two girls in a club and then they all dance with each other, with Bob and Stephanie quickly shifting characters mid dance to each play both their parts. 


Filth, (yes, Filth), 2003

Neil Casey initiation “Railroad’s cancelled.”

Sean Taylor “The whole thing?”

Neil: “Yep! They decided it wasn’t working.”


Another Filth one! Also 2003

After a whole Harold in which Adam Koppel is a guy who comes in and reveals that the current scene was just a test and not for real, he enters in the third beats and says that the entire Harold has been fake. Amey Goerlich “So when do we do the real Harold?” Kevin Hines: “Right now! Can we get a suggestion?” Then Filth does a new Harold in 5 minutes and beats Respecto in Cagematch.


Cagematch, Optimist International vs. Stomping Ground, 2003

Third Beat, Jack McBrayer steps out and says “The female characters in this Harold have really had it rough. Let’s see what it’s like if the shoe was on the other foot.” Then Shannon O’Neill, Chris Gethard, Terry Jinn, Seth Morris, Jack, Rhea Dates and maybe Dave McKeel re-do their Harold in 5 minutes, switching the gender of every main character.


Joe Ross Tribe, 2001. Debut Harold for Gethard and O’Neill.

First beat: O’Neill is giving Gethard a blow job, implying that his dick is as long as the stage.

Second beat: Gethard is eating out O’Neill, also from across the stage. Their kid enters and leaps over the clitoris like it’s a jumprope.

(I left out this one the first time I typed this out because it was so crude but it was so insane and ridiculous, done to a screaming audience, that I have to include it. God, it was funny.)

  1. carolineeand reblogged this from improvnonsense and added:
    Excerpt: Joe Wengert, in class, 2002. Suggestion “pendulum.” His initiation, directed to Matt Pack. “Captain Lightning,...
  2. halphillips reblogged this from improvnonsense and added:
    Will wrote this before I wrote my last post, but I did not see it until just now. Can today be a weird, sad holiday...
  3. doctorcolossalman reblogged this from improvnonsense and added:
    These are all brilliant. Also, “Respecto Montalban” is the greatest name for an improv group ever.
  4. almostshameless reblogged this from twobitandrew and added:
    Love this. Retelling improv scenes can be an exercise in inviting torment, but this was done really well. Share more.
  5. alanstarzinski reblogged this from improvnonsense and added:
    This made me miss seeing Wengert play.
  6. twobitandrew reblogged this from improvnonsense
  7. jessedontthink reblogged this from improvnonsense
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