ComedySportz was started in 1984 in Milwaukee, WI, by Dick Chudnow, who based it on the competitive Theatresports improvisational techniques of Keith Johnstone from Calgary, Alberta. Expansion began with the addition of Madison, WI, in 1985. The continued growth of ComedySportz culminated in the birth of The World Comedy League, which licenses the ComedySportz show and promotes the business and artistic side of CSz. The WCL now has grown to over 20 teams, including teams in Manchester, U.K and Berlin, Germany. For a full list of cities, click here.
ComedySportz San Jose was founded by Jeff Kramer, who was an original member of the Madison Team.
The first CSz-San Jose match was played on September 16, 1987, at The Bold Knight Restaurant in Sunnyvale. The opening night lineups were as follows:
Both Tom Gough and Jeff Ringgold continue to perform with the San Jose Team as does Jeff Kramer, who also serves as Chief Entertainment Officer and Artistic Director.
Michelle Spencer was traded to CSz Sacramento for cash and a player to be named later.
Patrick Short was lost to free agency and is currently player/manager of CSz Portland.
ComedySportz San Jose is the longest-running show in the South Bay. Over 5,000 shows and counting…
Jeff Kramer is the Founder and Artistic Director of ComedySportz San Jose. He holds a BFA degree from Penn State University in 1983 and received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. As an actor, he has performed at theatres around the country, including the New Jersey, Idaho and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. As an improviser, he has performed across the United States, at colleges, festivals and corporate events. He has also been contracted to teach and perform at various Club Med locations in Mexico, The Dominican Republic and The British West Indies and for the troops in Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey. In addition, he has developed and led improv training programs for such clients as Hewlett-Packard, Kaiser-Permanente, PG&E, The US Postal Service, AAA, Chevron, Tivo, and eBay, as well as numerous schools, churches and synagogues. Jeff has also worked extensively in the voiceover industry, creating hundreds of voices for Playstation, XBox, and Nintendo video games, including the voice of Superman and the cult classic Seaman. Jeff is an adjunct faculty member at Ohlone College, where he serves as improv instructor.