Kevin T. Burrows ’10
RR: Tell me about the Immediate Gratification Players.
KB: IGP is a long-form improv comedy troupe. Usually what we’ll do is take a one-word suggestion and then we’ll kind of riff on that for about 45 minutes, just branching between scenes. It’s usually pretty fun.
RR: Isn’t this supposed to be instant? I don’t feel gratified yet.
KB: Alright, what about if I did a scene about me and my friend who is a banana. Starting to feel more gratified? Maybe? A little bit?
RR: You’re getting there.
KB: Alright. What if during the next show, we broke into an improvised song with a piano player?
RR: That would be great.
KB: Well, that’s what’s coming up next. We have this new piano player, Ben Cosgrove. Great guy, amazing piano player. Last night one of the keys was broken, and he turned it into a high hat. So he was playing a drum kit and a piano at the same time.
RR: So, what’s this I hear about some show coming up?
KB: The big show is called “IGP Laugh Riot Festival X: The Enchanted Forest.” We have a bunch of troupes coming, troupes from Wesleyan, Emerson, Dartmouth, and we’re just gonna do a ton of improv.
RR: Alright. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever said?
KB: In a scene? I was doing a scene where I was kind of this suave skier, and so, I’d taken my skis off to put them down in the snow. I went, “Douche!” [Motions as if placing skis in snow while making the sound effect.] And so then the scene continued and I was just completely hitting on the other character. For the rest of the scene people were adding sound effects of “Douche! Douche! Douche!” as I was being a douche. You kind of had to be there.
Alasdair R. Wilkins ’10
RR: How did you get involved in IGP?
AW: Well, I’ve been doing improv since freshman year of high school, and when I saw their first show, I was like, “This is a million times better that what I was doing in high school. I want a piece of this.” So, after some well-placed bribes, I got in. I don’t have the talent to get in, but I do have the bankroll.
RR: Why did your high school improv suck so much?
AW: It didn’t suck. I don’t want you putting words in my mouth, but IGP is certainly a big step up. Comedy doesn’t come from a bunch of one-liners; it comes from having funny relationships, real relationships. It comes from building a scene that people really care about, and then, when something crazy or absurd happens, that’s when it really gets funny.
RR: Well, then shouldn’t the group be named something like the Long-Term Gratification Players?
AW: Well, when you’re doing it as often as we do, and you’re building as many relationships, you do it really quickly, and you get so many quick payoffs. It is immediate, but it’s immediate in a long-term sense. It sustains immediacy.
RR: Why is your upcoming show subtitled “The Enchanted Forest?”
AW: It’s called “The Enchanted Forest” because The Enchanted Forest is a troupe that goes back to Cro-Magnon times—you can check the cave walls for this—and it is about enchantment, and also arboreality, and if you look at Arbor Day, that’s the funniest holiday there is.
RR: I did not understand quite a few of the words you just said.
AW: Is that an issue?
Brian T. Fithian ’10
RR: Tell me about IGP.
BF: So IGP is an improv comedy group on campus. We try to entertain the Harvard community as best we can.
RR: What is the hardest thing you have to do when you practice improv?
BF: The hardest thing you have to do in practice is run laps, but that’s just because I’m dictatorial as the IGP Czar. I like to make them run, but that really has nothing to do with improv. The hardest part of improv practice is this drill we do where you have to do a scene with no break in between talking. The scenes usually get really crazy and really dark and a lot of people die, but it’s also a lot of fun.
RR: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever said? Ever.
BC: The funniest thing I ever said was probably in a show freshman year when I started a scene where I was a World War I soldier inside somebody’s intestinal tract. It got a big laugh, but I guess you kind of had to be there.
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