Improv, HuffPo and the rise of MST3K

Posted on 21. Aug, 2012 by in Blog, Improv

Happy late August, Loyal Fanz! (That’s a thing, right?) If you’re doing the math, we not only have one show at the ComedySportz theater, but FOUR now: ComedySportz, Much Improv About Nothing, The Midnight Show and the newest, Down In Front, the improvised b-movie experience in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000. That’s right – not only is the live commentary unscripted and improvised, but so is the b-movie. Quite serendipitous to us, the concept of the show is easier to explain these days since when we first saw it in Portland, because of the generous uptick in this style of live comedy popping up all over the country. A recent Huffington Post article pointed out this trend last week following the RiffTrax simulcast of “Manos: The Hands of Fate.” In the interview with Joel Hodgson, the creator of “Mystery Science Theater,” Hodgson noted:

“It’s very peculiar, but something has changed. People have accepted it as its own comedic art form; It’s one of the things on the menu if you want to be funny.”

According to the article, comedy clubs and movie theaters from all over the U.S. are hosting these “sanctioned shout-fests” (the writer’s words, not ours), holding tight to the traditional style of MST3K, where comedians and comedy troupes perform scripted material to a showing of old and/or horrendous films already made. Us? We just wanted to debut more fun shows at the CSz theater and offer more live comedy options in the South Bay  – hence our all-improvised version.

What does this mean for you?  There’s probably no better time than now to come check out our fully-improvised spin on the cancelled cult classic and see what all the buzz is about. Come to find out, we’re not the only ones who are interested in finding more chuckle options in San Jose – check out Gary Singh’s “Silicon Alley” column in the Metro. You can see Down In Front perform every second Saturday of the month, in the 9:30 p.m. spot.

Now, if you diligently read this whole post, you’ll notice I mentioned that we’ve been wanting to debut “more fun shows.” True to our word, we still have more in the pipeline. Next on tap from us: Sketch Comedy.

That’s (almost) all we can say for now, but we’ll leave you with this: Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 22nd.

Until then,

Courtney “Shook Me All Night” Pong


The cast of Down In Front – (Top Row) Sam Bowers, Lilach Levinkron, Drew Simchik and Tara Paulson; (Bottom Row) Courtney Pong, Chris Scharmen, Brianne Kostielney and Kevin O’Shea


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