Joe Bill is an international improv teacher and performer. He is a co-founder of the Annoyance Theater and tours with Mark Sutton in Bassprov. He has taught at Second City, The Annoyance and iO Chicago and continues to teach around the world. Jimmy sat down with him in this live episode to talk about The Annoyance, the day he quit stand-up, and his unique psychological approach to improv.
Mike Birbiglia is the writer, director and star of his latest independent film, “Don’t Think Twice,” about a popular New York improv group where one of the members gets his big break. Jimmy talks to Mike about some of the themes in his film, like jealousy, self-sabotage and fame. Mike discusses falling in love with improv and why it’s so important for him to create his own projects.
Peter Grosz is best known as one of the two guys in the Sonic commercials, but he has also written for The Colbert Report and Late Night with Seth Meyers. He has performed at The Second City etc., the UCB, Boom Chicago, and iO Chicago. Jimmy talks to him about why he still loves improvising, getting hired to write for Colbert and why he likes to play the unlikable Sidney Purcell in HBO’s VEEP.
Kelsie Huff is one of Chicago’s hottest comedians. She has studied at iO Chicago and Second City and she teaches the popular Feminine Comique, which is a stand-up class geared towards woman. Jimmy talked to her at this year’s Chicago Women’s Funny Festival about how she uses improv in her stand-up, how to make the transition from storytelling to stand-up, and how she has been able to transform pain into comedy.
Jason Winer is a director, an Emmy-award wining producer, and writer. He has directed and produced such hit sitcoms as Modern Family, Life in Pieces and The Crazy Ones. Jason studied at iO Chicago back in the late ’90s and was part of the team The Tribe. Jimmy talked to him about learning to improvise at young age thanks to his supportive parents, his initial reaction to Modern Family, and he how he works with actors.
Miles Stroth is the founder of the Pack Theater in Los Angeles. He is also an incredible improviser, teacher and director who was part of the legendary improv group The Family at iO Chicago in the ’90s. Jimmy talked to him at his theater in Los Angeles about being a hit by car, what he’s learned from other improvisers that makes him so good, and how the UCB Cagematch changed how he improvises.
Mike O’Brien has been a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live. He is an alumni of The Second City Main Stage in Chicago and was a member of the legendary Harold team The Reckoning at iO Chicago. Jimmy sat down and talked to Mike about his love for uncomfortable comedy, his journey from writer to performer on SNL, and his new comedy album, Tasty Radio.
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.
TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are true improv legends. Their show, TJ and Dave, is an international award-winning show that has inspired improvisers all over the world. Jimmy sat down and talked to them about the history of TJ and Dave, their new book, Improvising at the Speed of Life, and why they decided to give up running The Mission Theater.
Irene Marquette is a performer, teacher, writer and director. Best known for the host of the popular “Curio Show” she teaches at iO-Chicago, The Annoyance and Comedy Studies at Columbia College. Irene also regularly improvises with Tone and Super Human at iO-Chicago. Jimmy talked to Irene about starting out doing murder mystery dinner theater with her parents, finding improv at 19 in a coffee shop in Las Vegas and how important it is do the improv you love doing.