5 Skrimbles Every Serious Improver Should Be Improving

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By Alex Collyard

In the improv world, we can get a lot of flak for not being very good, and I don’t think that’s fair. Just because most of us aren’t good, doesn’t mean that there aren’t roughly 5 or 6 of us in the world at any given time that are actually somewhat okay at this. I think the problem with improv is that just about anybody can hop up on stage and call themselves an improv troupe. Half of the ones that are actually good have at least one or two dead weights somewhere in there. The problem is that, for the most part, people that do improv are very nice. Too nice. We don’t have the heart to tell Frank he either needs to get a lot funnier, put on a hundred and fifty pounds, or find something else to do with his Thursday nights. I don’t want to say that to Frank, do you? I like Frank. He’s not funny, but I like Frank. I just usually make him be a tree or something.

Frank is not hopeless, however. Nobody is. Improv is one of those rare arts that just about anybody could learn. It’s not so much about saying something clever as much as it is saying something quickly that will resonate with people in any way. You see, most people are very dimwitted. They can’t think of yuk ‘em up on the spot quite like we can. Let me give an example; say I hear someone yell out, “Blue vest!” I would say, “Did somebody say blue dress? Monica Lewinsky!” It’s just that easy, people, but I wasn’t this good from the start, it took practice. At first I would just talk to my reflection in the mirror for as long as it took to get whoever I’d slept with the night before to leave, but now? Now I have a complicated series of improv Skrimbles to keep me sharp.

These are games that I myself invented. I will only say this once: Only trained improv professionals are to participate in these Skrimbles.

Taco Bull

Pretend that instead of a small Mexican dog, the Taco Bell mascot had been a large Canadian bull. Think of catch phrases the bull might have had. Perhaps something about how he was going to gore you if you don’t get a chili cheese burrito and so on. I’m not going to do all your work for you, get out there and improv it!

The Cincinnati Shuffle

Bring six mini corn dogs on stage and eat them slowly and without speaking. Look audience members in the eye. If there are other improvisers on stage while you’re doing this, they should be looking at your mini corndogs as if they would like to have a few. Do not offer them any. This is comedy.

Suddenly Susan (B. Anthony)

Everyone pretend to be Susan B. Anthony for 45 minutes. Double points for any reference to the sitcom, “Suddenly Susan.”

The Fancy Gentleman

For this Skrimble you’ll need a tall top hat, like one you would see someone wear to the Opera in olden times.

Put the hat in the center of your improv troupe. Now, everyone start masturbating. If there is a crowd, take suggestions on what you should be thinking about while masturbating. The first person to cum in the hat has to then put the hat on while the rest of the troupe takes turns having sex with them.

The Alex Collyard

Be handsome, funny and nice to everyone. How do I do it? Some say it comes naturally to me, while my parole officer knows that I have a history of “violent outbursts” where I’ll go “ape-shit” on anyone that’s near me at the time. Long story short, I once killed half a dozen woman in line at an ATM. Whoops! Anyway, the Alex Collyard is just a lot of being nice to people, networking, and crying when I’m alone and the only thing that can give me validation is a mirror and this Bud Light Lime.

There you have it! Those are all the improv secrets I’ve got! If you take any one thing away from today, I hope that it’s this:

I’ve hurt people before and I’ll damn sure do it again.