Interview by David Gavri
Among most stand up comics there is general ignorance about improv. Some like Robert Klein and Joan Rivers embrace it and incorporate it into their act. Others sneer at it and see no value in it at all. Then there are those who just don’t understand it. Like it or not, turn on a television and flip it onto any channel improv is on. Go to the movies improv is on. Way before late funny man Johnathan Winters became the voice of Papa Smurf, he was known for his comedy improvisations. Homer Simpson was a Second City player. So was Academy Award winner Mike Nichols. So were Emmy Award winners Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey. So was John Belushi, Bill Murray and most of the original cast of Saturday Night Live were too. Jon Lovitz, Elvira, Will Ferrell, Pee Wee Herman and Phil Hartman were in the Groundlings. Amy Poehler was a founding member of Upright Citizens Brigade. Former stand up comic Larry David employs improvisation into every episode ‘Curb Your Enthusiam’. Recently Station Theater has acquired a studio space. We sit down with Station Theater artistic director Lisa Friedrich and Station Theater manager Antoine Culbreath and try to bridge that gap of misunderstanding.