While live comedy in all its forms road-tests new methods to reach real-life audiences, improvised comedy is enjoying a resilient resurgence online.
In a world of uncertainty, perhaps its joy lies in the imaginative escapism that improv comedy provides where neither the performers nor the audience know what’s going to happen next (so, sort of like 2020 but funnier).
A highlight to date includes Sara Pascoe and Steen Raskopoulos at Shedinburgh Fringe Festival, where they took titles from old Edinburgh shows and improvised them.
If the possibility of a second lockdown has you thinking that zoom means doom, there are a host of twitch streamers and podcasters who can deliver moments of surprise and delight as we navigate living in a real-life Netflix series.
Let’s start with all round hero, writer and comedian Stevie Martin, who hosts an improvised Book Club at 8pm every Thursday at twitch.tv/5tevieM – next week’s guest is Richard Osman (my favourite is this episode with comedian Gabby Best, below).
Comedian and actor Bilal Zafar has been providing excellent improve streams during the pandemic including this police interrogation scene with Richard Herring. Discover his many talents at twitch.tv/zafarcakes.
It’s also worth checking out Limmy’s twitch channel for improv stories that are funny and a form of guided meditation in equal measure. More here: twitch.tv/limmy
If you need some time away from your screen (I see you, WFH crew), ICYMI, The Avocado Tapes is a new improv comedy album that dropped during lockdown. Real-life improv comedy duo Jacob Migicovsky and Hamza Mohsin make up both parts of Avocado and have a gift for making each other shine. Listen to the Avocado Tapes below on Spotify.