Improv Corner – Improv In The Media – Jimmy Carr, Before & Laughter, Pt 1

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.

I always find it really interesting when improv is mentioned in books that are not about the comedy art form. I recently read Jimmy Carr’s book Before and Laughter and surprisingly came across a few quotes about improv that I thought were really good so, there will be three sections in the up and coming months discussing these quotes that I found in this book as I find that there is some great praise for improv but also at times some great advice. So today we are going to look at the first quote that I found in this book.

Jimmy Carr: Before & Laughter

It is not really relevant what Jimmy is discussing, instead it is the fact of what he describes about improv – the key factor that you learn when you first start doing the comedy art form. When you start learning improv, you are told that Yes is the way that improv works that you have to believe in the world of yes – the truth is in the scene. Whatever is in the scene you have to accept it to keep building on it.

When you first start learning improv, this is such a difficult ideology to understand and it can be really hard to ‘accept’ what is happening in the scene, especially if someone introduces the absurd. The little things like someone saying the sky is pink and you have to agree can be really unusual and weird to agree to.

That is why I thought this was a good quote to highlight in Jimmy’s book, when you are trying to explain what improv is to someone who has no idea, this is the easiest way to explain it. Like I said at the beginning, there are many times that improv is referenced in this book and we will look at them in the up and coming weeks. I just liked the fact that the basic rules of improv are being used in a positive way.

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