Humor can be studied in earnest, especially when analyzed in such terms as incongruity, surprise, revelation, repetition, inversion, superiority, or exaggeration. Jason Lambert’s Summer Academy enrichment course “Comedy Workshop” examines the art and science of comedy, both in live performance and across broadcast media.
Today’s lesson was devoted to improv comedy, in which all of what is performed is created spontaneously by the performers, sometimes based on suggestions by the audience or in response to props. In its purest form, the dialogue, action, story, and characters in improv comedy are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time.
For inspiration, students studied short samples taken from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, an improv-based television show with Drew Carey, Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Laura Hall.