Elsa S. Customer suggests The Upright Citizens Brigade: Asssscat (in Comedy). It’s simple: an
audience member provides a topic; a guest monologist tells a real-life anecdote about the topic; the scary-funny Upright Citizens Brigade (Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, and Amy Poehler) and a few guest performers pluck the richest ideas from the stories and improvise skits that will make you fall off your couch laughing. (Keep an eye on guest performer Andrew Daly, a blandly pleasant blond fellow. You may remember him as the Ben Franklin re-enactor from an episode of “The Office” [U.S.] Every time I found myself dangerously choking with uncontrollable laughter, it was this affable bastard’s fault.) Don’t neglect the commentary track, where the three non-Poehler UCBs eschew any attempt at humor and instead break down the improv process, giving great hints and guidelines for how to find the funny. In the words of your editor, “it’s like a Masters Class on improv.” Features guest monologists Thomas Lennon (“Reno 911”), Kate Walsh (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Ed Helms (“The Daily Show”, “The Office” [U.S.]), and Jen Kirkman (“Home Movies”).
>>>Dennis also suggests this one. If I had to rank the best sketch comedy troupes/shows (and clearly I’m about to) then it’d go like this:
1.Monty Python (duh.)
2. The Upright Citizens Brigade
3. Mr. Show
4. The State
5. Everybody else.
And it’s a lot closer than you might think between #s 1 and 2. The UCB is exalted to sketch heaven by virtue of the holy triumvirate ‘original thought’, ‘audacity’, and ‘improvisational chops’. And this (ongoing) live show reveals that they (and their coterie of game guests) retain their nimble, ballsy, and utterly bug-nuts crazy improvisational abilities. Improv is a harsh mistress and in lesser (meaning the vast majority of) hands, it frequently manifests itself in sweaty, shrill desperation. But the UCB…they, more often than should be possible, transform nothing more than an audience suggestion into rollicking, madness-tinged fried gold. The funniest thing you can rent today.