Risk Analysis for the Common Comedian

This past Friday night I got into a fun and rather spirited conversation with fellow improviser and resident blogger Kristen Schier. We were debating over the relative success of a couple sets played by some of our guests the other weekend at the Philadelphia Improv Festival.

Now you should keep in mind that these were headlining acts and we’re really only debating the severity of ass-kicking awesomeness these performances left us with.

Anyhow, after telling her how much fun I had watching a particular set, Kristen commented that she didn’t feel like the group could fail. I completely agreed. However, this is where our opinions parted. She’s of the sentiment that as an improviser, she wants to feel the risk in the room. Where as I like having complete confidence within the first couple of minutes that a group is going to hit it out of the park.

Both of these are valid convictions. So what are yours? If you don’t feel a group is at risk, are they playing hard enough? Is there a level of group mind where they can do no wrong? Discuss.


By the way (and ridiculously off topic), this little guy came up on a Google Picture search for “debate.” But I have to ask… When the hell did I miss the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and Mr. Kool-Aid having a love child together?

Other possible paternity suits for Maury Povich fodder:

– The “I’m Just a Bill” fellow from School House Rock.
– Poochie, Homer Simpson’s failed Itchy & Scratchy voice-over character.
– Beebop, drummer for the California Raisins
– A Nacho Cheese Dorito


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