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Bears & Balls: A Book Colbert’s Character Might Actually Read

Brie:

My friend wrote a book about The Colbert Report! You should DEFINITELY pick this up if you’re a fan. Even if you’re not, really. Just buy it!

Originally posted on People and Chairs:

Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Zis the definitive guide to the Peabody-winning satire that rewrote the rules of comedy. We asked co-author and superfan Sharilyn Johnson for the truthiness, the whole truthiness, and nothing but the truthiness.

Cover Design © Kurt Firla

Cover Design © Kurt Firla

P&C: You’ve been covering comedy for 16 years, in print, radio, and with your blog, third-beat.com. When did you first become aware of Stephen Colbert, and were you a fan from the start?

SJ: I was a loyal Daily Show viewer when Colbert was still there, but I wasn’t a fan of the correspondents. At the time, the field pieces still had a bit of the “weird news” angle, and I often didn’t feel good about their choice of targets. It felt like they were making fun of well-meaning people. I didn’t pay close attention to Colbert until I saw him on a

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Zonk

Tonight I saw an improv scene that was just so delightful.

It was kindof dark, and gritty. It didn’t rush. Slowly, the characters were discovered and developed. The scene was set so well, so you could see the space in your mind. It was leading to something, but felt OK that we never had to get there… And for a scene referencing anal bleaching, it turned out to be a pretty heartfelt (and hilarious) story about sacrifice for the people you care about.

I fucking love improv.

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(The scene featured Jess Grant and Isaac Kessler if you must know; and the performance took place at Zonk Improv, a duo night produced by Monquea Marion and Constantine Pavlou — you should check that show out! Exit, Pursued by a Bear performed as well!)

Naomi Snieckus & Alastair Forbes To Perform at next GWCI?

I’m so stoked to announce that this Saturday’s show features none other than Second City Main Stage alumni: Naomi Snieckus and Alastair Forbes. And if YOU attend, YOU might get to play with them!

Get to know more about these two phenomenal improvisers/people and read on:

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Naomi Snieckus is an actor, writer, improviser, voice over artist, and director. She studied at University of Waterloo and then Ryerson Theatre School before moving to Vancouver for five years. An alumnus of the world renowned Second City in Toronto she wrote and performed in 5 shows and met her funny man Matt Baram. She is a founding member (along with Matt Baram) of five time Canadian Comedy Award winning The National Theatre of the World and performs and produces: Impromptu Splendor, The Carnegie Hall Show and The Script Tease Project. The National Theatre of The World is a company in residence at The Young Centre For The Performing Arts in Toronto. They have traveled internationally to Berlin, Israel, Amsterdam, England, New York, South Carolina, Chicago, Los Angeles as well as throughout Canada. Naomi won the Canadian Comedy Award for best female improviser in 2010, as well as best female in a TV Series (Mr.D) and was nominated for an Actra Award in 2013 for her work in Mr.D.

STAGELA_STAGEComedypx468Alastair Forbes is a Second City Mainstage Alumni, Dora Award nominee and two-time nominee for the Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Improvisor. You may have seen him on your TV (Insecurity and The Ron James Show, CBC; The Bridge, CTV;Breakout Kings, A&E; That’s so Weird, YTV) on your big screen (My Ex Ex) on your stage near you (Theatre by the Bay, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Centaur) or have seen his voice on your radio (Go!, CBC Radio One). He has written for YTV’s That’s So Weird and is a story editor on a CTV development project Matt and Jeff. Oh, and yes, he’s probably that guy from that commercial you saw. You can catch him almost every week performing at the Comedy Bar or with his critically acclaimed improv troupe Bonspiel!

For more information, check out:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1510937449152943/?fref=ts

In Praise Of The Worst

Brie:

I love this. Especially for people who are used to having to be right all the time in the workplace or at school. It’s so freeing to do the worst!

Originally posted on People and Chairs:

There’s so much pressure in life to “do our best,” it’s only natural that some of that spills over into the world of make-’em-ups we call improv. But striving for perfection is a surefire way to suck the fun out of a scene. As Joe Bill says:

“Any consideration of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ will fuck you over and put you in your head. Onstage is not real life.”

Think about that: onstage is not real life. That gives us incredible licence to do whatever the hell we want.

One time in rehearsal my teammate, Justin Kosi, was pimped into being John Travolta. He looked at our coach, Tom Vest, and said “I don’t know him.” “That’s great!” Tom told him. “Just do your John Travolta.”

Of course, Justin’s Travolta was nothing like the “real” one – and a million times funnier as a result.

If you want to take pressure…

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The Future of Canadian Comedy

At work today, as I was trying to get some people jazzed about their impending participation in a daytime television studio audience, I saw four female comedy writers/improvisors walk through the halls of the CBC. They stopped briefly to chat, one having recognized me from an earlier improv event we had both attended.  (eee!)

She proceeded to inform me they were headed to a meeting upstairs.

…And for a second, I felt really great about the future of Canadian comedy on CBC.

0505beaver

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(Sidenote: I hope they remember this encounter if/when they get green-lit)