potty mouth

ComedySportz

ComedySportz is an improvisational comedy organization started in 1984 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Dick Chudnow.

Format

The traditional format of a ComedySportz (CSz) show features two teams of improvisational performers (Actletes), competing in various improv games and performing scenes with audience members judging the results and awarding points. In every show, a CSz referee monitors the action, awarding points and administering fouls as necessary. The flavor is very much like the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, though the ComedySportz organization precedes that show's debut by 4 years. The CSz format is derived from Theatresports but is not affiliated with that organisation.

ComedySportz penalties (put in place for the audience's benefit) include:

  • the Brown Bag Foul, called when an Actlete uses explicit language or refers to something crass or off-color. The Brown Bag Foul is infamously punished by making the offender wear a brown paper bag over their head for the remainder of the scene, even if the offender is an audience member. (In some ComedySportz venues, this has been replaced with the "Potty Mouth" foul, and the brown paper bag has been replaced with a toilet seat.) This foul is the "bagged" mentioned in the ComedySportz theme song.
  • the Groaner Foul, whereby an Actlete who speaks a pun bad enough to make the audience groan loses at least one point for their team, unless their apology to the audience is heartfelt enough.
  • the Delay-of-Game Foul, called when action on the field becomes dull and uninteresting. The team has 15 seconds to make things interesting again or they may be ejected from the field and/or lose points. Is also called the "Waffling Foul".
  • the Taste Like Chicken Fowl, a simple pun found in the official ComedySportz program.

Although the image of competition is maintained, the teams are often dynamic, with rosters depending on which Actletes (many of whom have "day jobs" or are attending school) are available for a match at any given time.

ComedySportz is licensed by the World Comedy League Incorporated. There are over 20 cities with licensed ComedySportz organizations, most in the United States. In recent years, ComedySportz has been licensed in Manchester, England, although this the team originated in Chorley,Lancashire and Dublin, Ireland, although Dublin's organization has since ceased operations. Teams meet annually at the ComedySportz World Championship for a competitive tournament, training and exchange of artistic, marketing and organizational ideas. The location of the tournament rotates among the member cities. The very first World Championship, August 4-7 2004, also served as the Grand Opening for Milwaukee's all-new ComedySportz Arena at 420 South 1st Street in Milwaukee, and was won by CSz-Twin Cities. The 2005 tournament was held in Los Angeles, California. The 2006 tournament was hosted and won by the San Jose, California team. The 2007 CSz World Championship was decided in Quad Cities, being won by the host team once again. In 2008 the CSz World Championship tournament returned to Portland, Oregon, the site of the 1999 tournament, and featured Portland defeating Provo, Utah in the Championship. In 2009, the World Championship will return to Milwaukee for the 25th anniversary celebration.

Most ComedySportz cities operate their own "arenas", some with theatre type settings, others as nightclubs. The clean content and audience focused nature of the ComedySportz show allows the most successful CSz groups to perform thousands of road shows for corporate, college, church, school and association clients each year; most CSz groups also lead corporate teambuilding workshops. In addition, Playerz from some groups coach ComedySportz High School League teams, in which high school students perform in a show very similar to that seen at the "professional" level.

Alumni of ComedySportz include Frank Caeti (MADtv), Liz Cackowski (writer, Saturday Night Live), Jason Sudeikis (cast, Saturday Night Live), and Jeff Davis (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Chris Tallman, a performer on NBC's "Thank God You're Here", Mark Mohelnitzky, a Los Angeles radio personality on KMVN-FM, and Jon Colby, a current Second City performer.

Locations

See also

References

Fein, G. "Sporting Shots", Pasadena Weekly, September 15, 1989
Winn, S. "These Games Are Strictly For Laughs", Sports Illustrated, November 26, 1990.
Loesing, J. "Out on the Town", The Acorn, March 25, 1999.
Patterson, D. "With honors in humor", Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2004.
Berkowitz, L. "Improv is their game", Houston Cronicle, January 25, 2005.
Parmet, S. "Class Clowning", The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 6 2005.
Radcliffe, J. "Laugh and Learn", Los Angeles Daily News, February 17, 2005.

School Field Trips

ComedySportz also provide a program for children for use as a field trip. They first teach the kids various improvisational skills, then put on a show. Rather than being a competition between two teams, one team plays various games together. The audience also helps them.

External links

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