Natasha Rothwell is a former writer for Saturday Night Live who is now one of the stars of the new comedy sketch show “Characters,” which debuts on Netflix March 11. We talk to her about training at the People’s Improv Theater and UCB in New York, her work ethic, how she got hired by SNL and her new show.
For this special compilation episode we have put together some of our favorite moments from our guests talking about a red hot topic — diversity in comedy. Listen to Key & Peele, Chris Redd, Puntam Patel, Ali Farahnakian, and Edgar Blackmon talk about how they discuss race in comedy, avoiding stereotypes and more.
The Defiant Thomas Brothers (Paul Thomas and Seth Thomas) is a brilliant two-person sketch group out of Chicago. After splitting up 9 years ago, they have gotten back together and now have an open run at The Second City Training Center. Jimmy sat down with The Defiant Thomas Brothers at this year’s Chicago’s Skectchfest and talked to them about getting back together, how audiences have changed, and race in comedy. You are going to love this episode!
Colt Cabana is an internationally known professional wrestler and host of the super popular podcast The Art of Wrestling. Jimmy talks to Colt Cabana about his improv and comedy background, the comparison between wrestling and improv, and the importance of promoting yourself.
Mike Carr has been the Artistic Director at SAK Comedy Lab in Orlando, FL, since 2006. Mike Carr has performed with Mission Improvable, studied at iO Chicago where he was on the Harold team Revolver and has been able to improvise at his job at The Monster Inc. Laugh Floor at Disney World. In this episode, Jimmy talks to Mike Carr at the Tampa Improv Festival about how he got started in theater and what it’s like to be an artistic director at an improv theater.
- Improv Nerd made the cut for Chicago Now’s October Comedy Calendar. (October 5, 2015)
- Time Out Chicago just listed Improv Nerd as one of the “5 Great Chicago-Based Podcasts You Should Be Listening To.” (October 5, 2015)
- As well as the Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Comedians for Fall 2015, alongside Lewis Black, Margaret Cho, John Oliver, Jay Leno, and more. (September 28, 2015)
- Chicago Magazine recently named The Art of Slow Comedy as one of their “5 Great Comedy Classes for Fall 2015.” (September 15, 2015)
- The Chicago Tribune was excited to see our newest season lineup. (September 8, 2015)
- And so was the Evanston Patch. (September 8, 2015)
- The Columbia Chronicle also featured a great piece on Improv Nerd recently. (September 21, 2015)
Here are a few of our favorite throwback mentions in the press:
- This Chicago Tribune story features Jimmy’s Chicago suburban roots. (May 27, 2015)
- Even The Huffington Post loves Improv Nerd in this review. (August 22, 2014)
- The Chicago Reader gave Improv Nerd a nod in their Fall Comedy Preview. (September 15, 2011)
- Jimmy was featured on WBEZ. (September 15, 2011)
- Time Out Chicago broke the news about Improv Nerd’s launch. (September 13, 2011)
Seen any Improv Nerd shoutouts lately? Share the love below!
Dan Telfer is stand-up comedian who has opened for Maria Bamford, Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt. He’s performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in both Montreal and Chicago and his writing has appeared in Paste Magazine, The Onion, and The A.V. Club. Jimmy talks to Dan about starting out in theater, how quickly he made the transition from improv to stand-up, and how he’s always been a nerd.
Paul Vaillancourt is the author of the new book Triangle of the Scene, as well as a teacher at iO West, a member of Beer Shark Mice and one of the most respected improvisers around. Jimmy sat down with Paul Vaillancourt to talk about his specific approach to long form scene work, playing with Beer Shark Mice and all the great opportunities he’s had along the way.
Zach Bartz and Kevin Gerrity are the masterminds behind ShitHole, one of Chicago’s most popular underground comedy shows. Jimmy talks to them about why they have such a big following with their anti-marketing approach, the expectations they have for their audiences and performers, and why building community has been so important to their success.
Dianah Dulany is an improv institution. She is the owner and producer of ComedySportz in Houston, where she is a wonderful teacher-director-actor-improviser. She’s also the President of ComedySportz Worldwide, and a 28-year veteran of the improv comedy scene. Jimmy Carrane talked to Dianah Dulany at the Houston Improv Festival about what makes the culture of ComedySportz special, why short form gets a bad rap, and how to tell one of your performers they need to take a shower. Special Introduction was provided by John Thompson’s Renaissance Academy Charter School of The Arts Kindergarten class from Rochester, NY!
Photo credit: Michael Paulsen
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