If 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 gain from these ways they are displayed so every so often we are going to look at different scenes from different shows and films.
Mock The Week
Panel shows are not really the first place you think of when it comes to improv, especially since a lot of the jokes and reactions are written by scriptwriters. However, there is one particular game on Mock The Week that is a great one to watch for improv as it is sort of based on one of the short form games.
Scene’s We’d Like To See, is a game that is played every episode where the comedian panelists have to think of things that could happen in really random situations. There is an improv game called The Worlds Worst where each improviser has to stand at the front of the stage and come up with an improvised situation to do with topics such as the ‘worst things to say at the wedding’ ‘ worst things to say on a date’ etc. When you see this game on Mock the Week you can see the similarities between the two games and even if it is or could be ‘scripted’ it is still a great game to watch as an improviser.
Sometimes it is really important to watch shows like this to gain inspiration as an improviser, it doesn’t matter if it is made up on the spot or not, it allows you to see how the game can be played and the angles that a scenario can be approached. Watching these can really be helpful and also funny as you can find new ways to approach the game on stage. It is not always about the way you say something it is also about the timing, the pace and the facial expressions which comedians such as Hugh Dennis is very good at.