By: John ThomasStaff Writer
If you know anything about improvisational comedy, you’ve heard of the two giants of the industry: Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). The latter came to campus last Friday night. Though I’ve been a fan of improv and UCB for years, I probably wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t felt obligated. I was tired and less than eager to watch anyone do anything that would require my eyes to be open. Yet, despite all the whiny thoughts that danced around in my mind as I waited for the performers to come out on stage, I’m glad that I went. The UCB touring group made me laugh so hard that I almost threw up. Their whole show was based on lampooning a single interview from a random member of the audience - a member, which I will add, who needs to learn how to participate in a way that is more complimentary to the show, especially if he is going to continue volunteering at every campus comedy show that I attend. The target’s obvious attempts to steal the spotlight with unfunny jokes, which were outdone only by his rigid unwillingness to go with the flow of the interview, added to the intelligent humor of the UCB crew. It’s hard to label one bit as a standout, because the group did exactly what long form improve should: interweave the jokes throughout the various sequences for a greater payoff in the end. I will say, though, that John Frusciante delivered some of the best one-liners of the night, like “I’m sorry to say, there’s going to be a third party candidate” as a doctor during a segment juxtaposing voting for the first time and a couple’s first time. Fran Gillespie delivered a delightfully goofy impression of Mitt Romney throughout the show, and her cohort Frank Hejl gave a dead-on impression of Rush Limbaugh. The last member of the troupe, Brandon Scott Jones, came up with increasingly delightful original characters such as a gender-ambiguous stripper arsonist. I truly have nothing bad to say about the members of UCB who graced Hofstra with their presence last weekend. Well, I guess they made an incest joke that I thought was a little weak, but other than that, they gave a strong show that brought a great nuance to political comedy.