What is contest4improv4humans?
Improv comedy teams across the country are eligible to compete in the second annual “contest4improv4humans,” hosted by UCB’s Matt Besser. Starting in 2018, participating comedy theaters will hold qualifying rounds for teams to do their best set in the style of Matt Besser’s podcast improv4humans. The best teams in each city will post their sets online for a chance to compete in a final, nationwide round – and one winning team will fly to New York City to perform with Matt Besser at the Del Close Marathon.
Each team will consist of three or four members, all of whom must be over 18 years old and residents of the United States. Team members may not be under any music, acting, or other contract that would limit their ability to freely appear in an online video (see official rules for details.) Employees of the E.W. Scripps Corporation and their immediate family members are ineligible.
The first round is a live performance taking place at 10-15 theaters across the country. Each competing team will have roughly 20 minutes to do a set in the style of improv4humans:
- All performers sit at a table throughout.
- They perform three scenes.
- Each scene is prompted by a one word suggestion from the audience, followed by a group discussion of that suggestion.
Each set will be taped. A panel of judges at each theater will determine one winning team; then, each Regional winner will release the tape of their set online. Matt Besser and Earwolf will select three teams from these video submissions to move on to the final round.
The four finalist teams will return to their theaters to perform a one-hour show. These shows will continue to follow the improv4humans format, and consist of at least three scenes. They will also be taped; Matt Besser will review each show to determine a final winner.
Each member of the winning team will receive a three day, two night trip to New York City during the 2018 Del Close Marathon (dates to be determined), including airfare and hotel. They will also earn two slots at the DCM, one featuring just the team, one where they will be joined by Matt Besser. The finalist teams will also receive a box of Earwolf merchandise.
Download the official rules here.
- Rumpus Room
- Of Doggerel
- Welcome to the Regular Valley
- Pro Play
Saladin (Sal) Thomas | Band member of To Be Astronauts
Sal has been doing improv for three years, much of which has been right here at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. He’s performed in Denver’s acclaimed hip-hop improv show “Rap$callions,” and is currently a member of Denver’s premiere P.O.C. (person of color) only team Full Spectrum. Occasionally, he can be found pretending to be an authority figure with The Dinner Detective, an interactive murder mystery show that boasts franchises across the country. This will be his second hosting job with the Voodoo, after emceeing the Playhouse’s 6th anniversary.
Steve has been improvising and performing for 25 years, and he is the most experienced musical improv performer and instructor in Colorado. He has performed with and studied under Michael Pollock, the musical director of Second City Los Angeles and the premier improv accompanist in the country, and Shulie Cowen, the founder and director of Opening Night: The Improvised Musical in Hollywood. Stephen has had the pleasure of performing and teaching at the Los Angeles Improv Festival; the New York Musical Improv Festival; the New York Improv Festival; the Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas; the Montreal Improv Festival; the Duke City Improv Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the Denver Improv Festival and Colorado Improv Festival.
Jon Jon Lannen | Owner of Jon Jon & Co.
Jon Jon Lannen is a writer, actor & director living in Denver, Colorado. Jon Jon has been performing improv comedy for over ten years and wants everyone to fall in love with the art of improvisation. Jon Jon writes and performs regularly. He curates and writes a successful blog on the Jon Jon & Co. website. He formerly co-founded and ran FORK Productions, along with executive produced the Denver Improv Festival in 2008. Lannen has performed and taught in improv festivals across the country, including Chicago, Colorado Springs, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City and Oklahoma City. In 2012, Lannen competed and won the improv reality show, Denver’s Next Improv Star at the Bovine Metropolis Theater. Jon Jon Lannen currently owns and operates Jon Jon & Co. and is the author of the award-winning & best-selling Giraffe arts book series; The Giraffe That Taught Me How To Laugh, The Giraffe and Cheetah Taught Me Theater and The Giraffe and Bunny Taught Me How To Be Funny. Lannen is also adjunct faculty, teaching improvisation, at numerous schools throughout the state. He recently launched the School of Comedy through Jon Jon & Co. and is focused on his fifth publication. Jon Jon Lannen is a certified life coach, graduating from the Life Coach Institute of Orange County in 2016. In 2017, Jon Jon & Co. opened its first space in Denver, Colorado.