It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Upright Citizens Brigade to comedy in New York. In their performances, at their theaters, and in their classes, they’ve influenced a generation of performers, particularly in improv and sketch comedy. These days, Matt Besser lives in Los Angeles and hosts the podcast Improv for Humans. Matt Walsh co-stars on the HBO series Veep. After a ton of writing and performing, Ian Roberts may well be remembered as the captain of the blimp in a series of commercials that launched the Conan O’Brien show. These days he’s the showrunner for Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. I’ve wildly understated their credits, but I’m in their debt, as are we all.
- PERSON: Del Close, Chicago improv guru
- PLACE: The first UCB theater, at 161 W. 22nd St.
- THING: Improv