For 14 years, improv comedians nationwide have flocked to New York City for one weekend to celebrate the best of their craft and the founding father of long form improv, Del Close. The Del Close Marathon was started by the original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade and the 24-hour a day event continues to grow each year with an ever increasing number of talented teams from around the world and more attendees trying to get a seat in one of five theaters at all hours of the day. And for a mere $15 this year, 700 lucky attendants were treated to a closing show July 1 of the UCB four performing their original long form show, Asssscat 3000.
Held in Haft Auditorium at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Amy Poehler took the stage returning to the show that started it all for them as well as many others in the improv and comedy world. It is not completely unheard of for these four to make appearances at the UCB theaters in New York or LA, but it’s a rare treat to get to see them all together due to their busy schedules. Three days in the grueling city heat proved to be well worth it for those in attendance.
If you have never seen nor heard of the show Asssscat 3000 here’s the basic breakdown; the performers select a volunteer from the audience to come up onstage and tell a story about something that has happened to them. The story doesn’t have to necessarily be funny, just interesting with a good bit of detail. From that story, the performers take details and information to develop around three pieces of long form improv. This show continues to be performed every Sunday at both UCB theaters and is always sold out.
Walsh, Besser, Roberts and Poehler proved to still be at the top of their game during the closing performance. For two hours, they created excellent characters and scenes that had the entire audience laughing hysterically. It’s hard to really review or give a play-by-play to an improv show for many reasons. It is unfortunately one of those things where “you had to be there” to truly appreciate and enjoy what just developed in front of your eyes. It all happens so fast and because of the nature of improv being created with such immediacy, you know you are always seeing something special that will never happen again. And when watching the UCB four perform, you know that it doesn’t get much better than that.
If you have Netflix, be sure to check out the Assscat 3000 show which is on Instant Streaming. If you are in New York or LA try to check out Asssscat or any one of the great shows hosted by UCB on a nightly basis. And be sure to start planning for next year’s Del Close Marathon to ensure you get to see all that the UCB has to offer, including the possibility of seeing the original members.