If there is one show on television that is a great to watch for improv inspiration then that would be Taskmaster. A television series where 5 comedians or television personalities take on a number of silly challenges that are set by Alex Horne and Greg Davies there is so much to love about this show and also it can be very funny to watch. Personally, I feel that the older series are the best and they also are home to some of the best games and there are a few that are really great to watch for inspiration.
Impractical Jokers Part 2
I didn’t expect to write another article about Impractical Jokers but I was catching up on the latest episode the other day and something happened that I think is really important to raise as improvisers as it is a situation we don’t usually find ourselves in and it lead to some really interesting outcomes that I could not just ignore it.
In the latest season, Sal and Q played a trick on Murr – in one of the games where they have to read notes out to the members of the public written by other players, they give Murr his own apology letter to read that he had written for somebody else. He then has to try and do an improvised task with something that he know is coming and then makes the other Impractical jokers do the same and they all end up discovering that it is actually pretty hard to improvise when you know what is coming.
I thought that this was very interesting to watch as I wanted to see how professional comedians / improvisers could actually deal with it and a few of them were good at it but a couple of them were not great at it. The one thing that you notice from it is that they find it difficult to do and actually their improv is actually effected by this trick.
When you think of improvising, especially when you start, it can be really easy to wish or plan what you are going to do on stage but by watching this particular scene you realise that actually it is not that easy and actually makes it harder to improvise. I want to do a scene one day where you know what the lines are coming up so that you can see how it effects the way you play improv, I think it would be really fun experiment and trying to make it look made up and be surprised by what is happening and if it can actually be done effectively. From watching this episode I am convinced that even the most experienced improvisers couldn’t even do it well.