Improv comedy doesn’t translate well to video. You watch a recording of a show only to find the intimacy created the night it was recorded is lost; the show seems flat, the energy of the room doesn’t linger on film.
Luckily, improv DOES prevail on podcasts. An input of just audio and then letting our minds create the rest, works beautifully.
With podcasting hitting a new high and popular improv podcasts like ‘Improv 4 Humans’ and ‘Comedy Bang Bang’ charting on iTunes, I thought to share 5 improv podcasts you may not have yet heard but are worth a listen.
With 20 plus years experience, Jorin Garguilo is one of the most well-respected and articulate improvisers in Chicago. His anything goes playfulness, mischevious charm and analytical mind are on display here.
The true prize of the show is that he doesn’t just do a killer scene but afterwards talks listeners through each moment. Delving into his thought process, parsing through why something did or did not work and what inspired each choice, making it equal parts performance and class.
Newer improvisers especially will have a lot to gain by becoming subscribers.
Bonus: Ever the tastemaker, Jorin’s tips at the top of each episode on what to read, watch or listen to, are a to-do list for those looking to find a new obsession.
I have yet to hear Paul F. Tompkins falter. As a frequent collaborator on "Comedy Bang Bang" and "The Thrilling Adventure Hour," he knocks any project he’s attached to out of the park with an enviable wit and vintage delivery all his own.
His improv comes off so polished it seems scripted and he has enough confidince and ease to pull out the best in everyone around him. With such noteworthy improv guests as Janet Varney and Craig Cackowski, I tend to re-listen to each episode to catch anything I missed the first go round.
No actual improv takes place on this show but host Mark Colomb (and for a brief time Matt Owens), sits down with some of the best improvisers in the city of Chicago (many who have gone on to make a career in comedy) to uncover their journey.
Mark coaxes out backstories and opinions on the craft in a manner that’s more in the vein of great conversation over dinner, than agenda driven talk show host.
It’s a fantastic source for anyone new to improv and a must if you enjoy getting to know people’s avenues into the community.
Sadly the show is no longer going but you can find an archive of about 200 episodes online.
‘The Dead Authors Podcast,’ 'UCB Long-Form Conversations,' 'The Hooray Show,' ‘Improv Nerd,’ ‘The Overshare Podcast,’ and ‘One Shot.'
Adal Rifai is on an improvised podcast -"Hello, From the Magic Tavern," you can find it in iTunes or by going http://hellofromthemagictavern.com/.
He has been performing improv in Chicago since 2007.
You can see Adal at iO with the house team "Revolver," in the weekly show "Whirled News Tonight," and around the U.S. with "Pudding-Thank-You," and "BagCat."
Past iO credits include "Swim Buddies," "Our Feature Presentation: The Improvised Movie," "Radical Concept," and "Hunter Family Crest."
He has performed at Second City as a member of "Twisty" and "HouseCo."
Along with performing Adal also coaches and teaches at iO and around Chicago, runs the Incubator and coaching program at The Playground Theater, and has taught and performed improv all over North America.