Hi humons, I am Matt Besser, host of the comedy podcast, improv4humans with Matt Besser, and co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
I’ve done a bit of improv, sketch, standup, and sitcom work so hopefully my experiences can be helpful to your chosen comedy path.
Episode one, I talk about things like…Is there such thing as “having what it takes”? How do you approach your first times on stage performing?
Some of the basics of getting into standup. A good Judd Apatow story. He was the MC the first time I did standup.
Episode two, This episode I talk about decisions I made in choosing which city to start finding my comedy voice. Also how I realized that standup and improv have vastly different paths of education. Difference between hearing a note and actually understanding it. I respond to arguments about “finding the game” getting too much/too little importance in improv. And I had some thoughts on the new history book “Improv Nation”, plus my opinion on honoring the first suggestion.
Episode three, This episode I respond to the piece written in the Chicago Reader “Worst Of” issue by hack standup Peter John Byrnes entitled…
“Why improv is neither funny nor entertaining, according to a stand-up comedian”
I also answer an email question about performing improv from a wheel chair.
Episode four, Using “truth in comedy”. Don’t undervalue it, or OVER-value it. Discussion about ways to do standup and sketch using truth and NOT using it. An Amherst student interviews me with some great questions about how one can use “connections” to get ahead in the arts worlds whether it be comedy or some other art form. Also how to get from inspiration to “writing it all down”. I comment on the some topics I read on the /improv Reddit including how to get unstuck in a scene; short form vs. long form; and some comments about my last Patreon episode concerning the hack standup from Chicago.
Ep. Five – “Floats Your Boat”
- the cult of improv – there are some
- the many paths to doing improv on stage
- are comedy theaters “cliquey”?
- funny leads to fun more than vice versa
- do you need to be clever to be funny?
- reasons for the new UCB Academy
- following the game at the expense of everything else in the scene?
Ep. Six – “Harold Don’t Lie!”
- Harold haters hate second beats “Do you have what it takes to take it to the second beat?”
- “There’s no foolin’ Harold!”
- condensing game to one sentence & sketch title exercises
- respect the initiator
- my first character Ice Cream Martyr born at the Theatre of the Bizzare
- two standup sets: alt & mainstream
- adjust to your audience – story from Gathering of the Vibes
- bad straight man work just looks like arguing
$1 an episode.