Innate improv skills, one of a kind show
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 10:10
Improv is a talent that most people who can perform it well were probably born with. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood were definitely born with it.
Because of its unpredictability, improv is one of the trickiest art forms. No one knows how a scene will evolve begin since everything is thought up on the spot. It is terrifyingly easy for a joke, scene or an entire performance to go wrong, but somehow Mochrie and Sherwood never had an off beat this Saturday when they performed for UConn before a packed theater at Jorgensen. Those who attended will remember the constant stream of laughter from the rest of the audience and those that didn’t come will never be able to experience the same performance.
Audience participation is such a large part of Mochrie’s and Sherwood’s routine that even with the exact same audience they could never replicate it. The audience decides the settings, genres, sound effects, and even some of the words that Mochrie and Sherwood have to use. Everything gets decided for the duo and it is up to them to turn the bizarre, non-sequiturs into something the audience will find funny. With so much room for mistakes, somehow Mochrie and Sherwood can take every silly choice the audience makes and turn it into something the audience will find hysterical. Even the games that didn’t require any audience participation were loaded with jokes that had been conceived from previous parts of the performance.
If you’ve ever seen “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” you would recognize several of the improv games they played. There was the classic sound effect game, where audience members would make sound effects for the scenes. “Kick It” involved one of the performers rapping anytime the other said ‘kick it’ during a conversation. There was even a game where Sherwood had to guess the ‘crime’ the audience decided he committed from clues Mochrie gave. “Donkey wrangling, while hijacking the Black Pearl in ‘Nakagosha’ during an armadillo painting festival with a q-tip” was the ‘crime’ Sherwood inconceivably figured out.
Their finale was the perfect closure for a night of unpredictable humor. Blindfolded, shoeless and with 100 real and primed mousetraps spread across the stage Mochrie and Sherwood played the Alphabet Game. They began a statement with one letter and then the next statement started with the preceding letter in the alphabet. The danger was obvious to the audience but they laughed despite the painful events that occurred on stage.
Mochrie and Sherwood are professionals. They can take nothing and transform it into one of the funniest jokes the audience will ever hear. It is unfortunate to think that no other audience will ever hear the same jokes, but at the same time that is what makes the experience so special. There is a different relationship forged between the born-improv comedians and each audience they have, yet each relationship is equally hysterical.