Improv Corner – Improv In The Media – The Simpsons

credit: The Simpsons

Welcome to a brand new year of Improv Corner – there is one thing that fascinates me about improv and that is how it is portrayed in Television and Film. This is becoming more and more apparent in recent years because the comedy art form is sort of in fashion. There are some interesting topics that we can gai frim these ways they are displayed so every so often we are going to look at different scenes from different shows and films.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons did an episode that ended up being Live at the end but before that section (season 27, episode 21, Simprovised) Homer takes an interest in improv and joins a troupe to help him gain confidence in public speaking. There are some interesting ideologies in other episodes of The Simpsons that we have discussed before (click here to read) However today we are looking at this specific scene below. The thing that we are going to discuss is the bullet points on the left side of the board which they claim are the ‘Rules of Improv’ so that is what we are analysing today and how true they actually are.

The first point on the board in the Rules of improv is to ‘Never Deny’. The fact that the core rule of improv is to ‘Yes And’ I can see why that is there even though it is a weird way to word it. I think it is worded like this for a few reasons:
The first is because it is short and easy to understand to those who do not do the comedy art form. It is a lot easier to understand because with Yes And you have to explain what it is. Also in some ways, as an improviser, it is quite witty as you can deny and it is a fundamental part of creating good scenes. However, it is comical to see how the world perceives improv.

The next bullet point on the board is ‘Believe in the Premise’ which is actually a very good point about improv. The way that the audience really believe in the scenes coming alive in front of them is when the players on stage can really create a world that they believe in. If this happens, the audience can buy into it as well.

Finally, the last point on the board is one that is where the comedy comes in – ‘When in doubt make a salad’. I would love to know if this is a regular theme in America improv because I have have seen a lot of improv shows and I have never see this in the UK as a thing. However, whether it is a comedy line or not, it is one that I may look to do in the future.

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