Last Saturday, North Dakota State’s comedy improv team brought out the big guns in their homecoming show, showcasing one of their famous half and half shows. The hour and 15 minute show was non-stop laughs, half of them being from short games and the other half being a long form routine.
The short games started right away and were easy crowd pleasers. Each game had a handful of the twelve cast members participating with audience involvement being encouraged. Short form improv is always easier to do and more fun to watch — the quick gags keep the audience’s attention and there aren’t storylines or characters to remember. These short games were pulled off excellently. The audience was consistently laughing but the scenes didn’t go on too long or drag.
A common theme for the short half of the show was lots of physical comedy. While all the best improv shows have copious amounts of jumping, hitting and more, this was a lot more hands on than the average show. This worked to the cast’s benefit: the audience rolled with laughter through every push, leap and awkward touch. The show also became a musical for a few minutes, subjectively causing one of the funniest scenes of the entire night.
Once the short form was over, the hard part began.
The long form game the cast played involved two actors at a time. If a new actor was substituted in, they would be transported to a new location. Throughout this endeavor, characters, locations and storylines had to remain more or less consistent.
Unsurprisingly, mistakes were made (much to the enjoyment of the audience) and ridiculous characters hashed out a pretty solid set of events. There did appear to be less laughter, but that’s understandable, due to the amount of work that goes into setting up a hilarious joke in long form improv.
Overall, the show was incredibly funny and upheld the high expectations most audience members had going into the performance.
TBD Comedy’s next show is Oct. 15 in Askanase Auditorium.