Author Archives: jimbo

Learn Some Improv!

Another session of our popular Long Form improv workshop returns to The UC downtown! Learn skills like increasing your confidence, overcoming stage-fright, and of course have lot’s of fun meeting new people!

The Long-Form Improv Workshop will be offered for improvisational students of all levels and starts Monday, April 8th. The 6-week workshop will focus on saying “Yes” rather than “No,” playing to the top of your intelligence, making and trusting your choices, supporting your fellow players and most importantly having fun on stage! Students will have the opportunity to use these tools in front of their friends and family with a final performance. The workshop and performance will take place in The Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin. Ave., Lower Level.

Milwaukee Comedy’s Long-Form Improv Class introduces the basics of performing long-form improvisation as well as skills for intermediate players. Classes will take place over six weeks beginning Monday, April 8th at 7pm and run approximately 2 hours one night a week. The class is only $75 per student, a real bargain!

Sign up right here!





And if you just want to brush up on your improv skills, Open Improv is offered every Wednesday from 7-9pm! It’s only $3 to participate, or FREE to watch!

Welcome to 33rd and State

By Brynne Ramella 

According to my parents, I bounded down the stairs one Sunday morning at age 11 and asked them, “Have you ever heard of this show ‘Saturday Night Live’?” I remember being entranced with the show the night before. As I watched it, I thought to myself, “I wish I could write like that.” And that is the moment I fell in love with comedy.

Over the years, I never did much to pursue that love, but I have always remained a fan. Last year, I discovered a new way to keep up my love of comedy. You know how they say, “Those who can’t do, teach?” Well, I don’t do comedy, but nothing is stopping me from writing about it.

For a journalism class assignment last year, I profiled one of the presidents of Marquette’s improv comedy group, the Studio 013 Refugees. I sat in on hours worth of practices and shows to complete my project. I got the opportunity to watch hours of improv comedy and learned how the process works. I was completely immersed in comedy. I loved it – so much so that I came back the next semester to do another project on the group. Over the past year, I was around the Refugees so much that people were asking me if I was a member of the group.

A few days after I finished my most recent project with the group, I was sitting in a coffee shop, feeling bummed that I was done with all my work with comedy. A member of the improv group walked into the coffee shop and told me that some of the Studio 013 Refugees had taken the initiative to form Marquette’s first sketch comedy group – 33rd and State.

This brings me to my main point. Naturally, I completely forgot about whatever I was doing at that time and brainstormed potential journalism stories profiling the beginning of this group. I settled on a blog series.

The group officially launched in January, so I am going to be along for the ride. I’m writing for people like me – those who love comedy but aren’t directly involved in the creation of it.

Between now and 33rd and State’s first show in April, I will be writing about specific topics pertaining to the creation of a sketch comedy show. From scouting filming locations, to the process of acquiring props and costumes, to the finals days before the show – I’m going to cover everything I can.

I have been watching hours on end of “30 Rock” to prep for my official immersion into sketch comedy next week. Yes, that is the excuse I’ve been telling myself. But really, as I officially start these blogs next week, please send kind thoughts to this group because some of its members have been dealing with me for a year now.

Brynne Ramella, a journalism student at Marquette University, is a guest blogger for MilwaukeeComedy.com, documenting the start-up of Marquette’s sketch comedy troupe, 33rd and State. This is the first in her series of reports.

Witty Workshop!

An all new improv workshop is coming to the Milwaukee Comedy headquarters downtown!

Sign up extended to Feb. 11th!

The all new Long-Form Improv Workshop will be offered for improvisational students of all levels and starts Monday, Feb. 4th. The 6-week workshop will focus on saying “Yes” rather than “No,” playing to the top of your intelligence, making and trusting your choices, supporting your fellow players and most importantly having fun on stage! Students will have the opportunity to use these tools in front of their friends and family with a final performance. The workshop and performance will take place in The Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin. Ave., Lower Level.

Milwaukee Comedy’s Long-Form Improv Class introduces the basics of performing long-form improvisation as well as skills for intermediate players. Classes will take place over six weeks beginning Monday, Feb. 4th Extended to Feb. 11th! at 7pm and run approximately 2 hours one night a week. $75 per student.

Sign up right here!
Long-form Improv Workshop




Questions? Email us at info@milwaukeecomedy.com

Now Open: Improv!

Dating back almost 10 years, Open Improv has taken on many different forms over the ages, but one thing has stayed true: it’s a way for comedians to flex their improv muscles and work with different levels of talent. 

This round will offer a little something different: participants are asked to donate $3 to the cause for each session attended, but will receive ticket discounts and possible FREE TICKETS to local comedy shows at The UC in return. Think of it like paying it forward and supporting local comedy at the same time! 

All are invited to attend the newest secession of Open Improv, which starts Wednesday, February 6th at The Underground Collaborative and will be offered weekly.

Flex your improv muscles, grow your talent, play with new people, have fun!  Every Wednesday starting at 7pm, only $3!

New Comedy, Old Ideas

Do you smell that?  No, not your dirty underwear. It’s some fresh nostalgia! The Retro Comedy Show returns for another jam-packed night of laughs.
This Friday at The UC will feature stand up from Liza Marie, improv from “Funny, Son of Story” and the retro players: some of Milwaukee’s most talented funny people! And on top of that, there will be FREE BEER for a select few, and that’s no joke! A limited number of VIP tables are up for sale, with each ticket getting a Lakefront beer, as long as you are of legal drinking age, of course!
From the web…

What do you get when you combine stand-up, improv and sketch comedy, centered around ideas from the 70′s and 80′s? It’s Retro Comedy Night: A night of new comedy based on old ideas!

Tickets are available online for $10.00 or $15 at the door. They will also have Limited VIP tables $20.00 – VIP table seating and one free Lakefront beer* with ticket purchase!

Retro Comedy NightFriday, January 18th at 8pm
at The Underground Collaborative

161 W. Wisconsin Ave. 
Lower Level of the Plankinton Building of the Grand Ave. Mall!

*Must be 21+, Limit one free beer per ticket holder.

Lineage of Laughs

It’s a new year, and what better way to ring in the laughs than with an all new comedy team? 

‘Funny, Son of Story’
is an all new original two man improv team featuring former Homegrown Electric Circus member Jazmin Marie Vollmar and current HEC member Mike Walker. Although Funny, Son of Story has roots with the five man team, Mike and Jazmin wanted to branch out and see what they could create together. 
“Our name comes from our deep, inner nerd-ness interceded with our improv style. We recognize that if the comma is verbally misplaced, the name doesn’t make sense.” joked Vollmar. “This is our fourth year improvising together, but the first time where it’s just the two of us. “
Check out Funny, Son of Story Friday, January 11, at 8pm, at The Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Lower Level.
Tickets are only $5 at the door and it’s BYOB! 

Joe Bill Improv Workshop!

Widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today, Joe Bill teaches, performs and does corporate training at iO Chicago, is an Artistic Associate for The Chicago Improv Festival, and acts as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation and Comedy Theaters all over the world. 

Mr. Joe Bill himself will be teaching an advanced improv class: Your Power Improv Toolkit on Saturday, Dec. 8th from Noon – 3pm at The UC. The class is open to intermediate and advanced improv students for $50. Cash or check at the door.

Joe had this to say about the workshop:
“The focus of this workshop will be bringing the power of emotional depth and point of view to your improvised Characters and Scenes. We’ll work with understanding the vital differences in playing for Truth and playing for Funny, Short Form/Games & Long Form, and I’ll include personal feedback with things to work on going forward. I’ll also spend some time troubleshooting issues that YOU the improvisers bring to workshop, in order to get to clarity or just recognize patterns to be broken. This workshop will perfectly augment ongoing study of Characters and Scene, Long Form Improvisation and Harold, as well as benefit the Improviser that is currently performing or aspiring to perform with a team or group.”

Joe and a number of his very talented friends, under the Artistic Direction of Mick Napier, co-founded The Annoyance Theater in Chicago in 1990. His passion for teaching Improvisation soon kicked into high gear as a unique approach to Improvised Scene and Character began to be articulated by a number of teachers at Annoyance, including Mick Napier, Mark Sutton, Joe, David Razowsky, Bob Fisher and Susan Messing that focused on Improvisers “Taking care of themselves, in order to take care of others in a scene”.

Joe and Mark Sutton, his partner in the Nationally Touring Improvised Production BASSPROV, have evolved the Annoyance approach into POWER IMPROV, which they both have been teaching all over the world at Festivals, Theaters and Universities since 2000.

JED Loves Laughs and Learning

Having over 50 years of experience on a stage is impressive for any comedy team. When it’s that much funny experience – and only 2 people – you take notice. 


Do yourself a favor and catch two of the regions top professional improvisers Friday, Dec. 7 at 8pm in the Underground Collaborative in the 2-person improv show JED. 

Improv guru Joe Bill and Chicago comedy icon Ed Furman have been improvising together for 25 years. Their show JED offers a chance to see two improv veterans explore, ravage, and mutilate a single suggestion in real time. JED creates a one-act play before your very eyes; no edits, no safety nets, no foolin’.

Ed Furman, who recently taught an improv class at The UC say’s the show is “Sometimes edgy, sometimes poignant, sometimes almost uncomfortably too intense, JED always delivers on the laughs as it takes you on a journey.”
Speaking of workshops, Mr. Joe Bill himself will be teaching an advanced improv class: Your Power Improv Toolkit on Saturday, Dec. 8th from Noon – 3pm also at The UC. The class is open to intermediate and advanced improv students for $50.

Need some more convincing? Check out these credentials: 
Joe Bill is one of the co-founders of Annoyance Theater and currently performs with the improv supergroup Weasilicious and co-stars with fellow Annoyance co-founder Mark Sutton, in the nationally touring production “Bassprov”, which has toured the United States since 2002, and also was named one of the top 10 comedy shows in Toronto in that same year. Bill teaches improvisation for iO, the Second City Conservatory and Training Center, the Annoyance, the Playground and around the U.S., Canada, UK and Netherlands. He started doing improv in 1977.

Ed Furman has performed and taught at the Second City, The Annoyance, and IO. He has improvised with Horatio Sans’ Original Kings of Improv, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Martin Short, and Colin Mochrie among many others. Ed’s classes and workshops are designed to strengthen the core fundamentals of good improv and arm the performer with a greater sense of freedom while doing scene work.

Furman Teaches Funny

A one-day comedy workshop is coming to the Underground Collaborative, and the qualifications of the instructor, Ed Furman could stretch from his former home in Chicago all the way to Milwaukee where he now resides.  

Ed has performed and taught at the Second City, The Annoyance, and IO. He has improvised with Horatio Sans’ Original Kings of Improv, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Martin Short, and Colin Mochrie among many others. 
On Saturday, November 10th from 1-4pm, Ed will teach a one-day only improv intensive workshop. It’s only $10, and all the money goes directly to supporting comedy in Milwaukee! The workshop will take place at The UC (161 W. Wisconsin Ave.  LL of the Grand Ave Mall). Here are some directions.  It’s helpful if students have previous improv experience, but not required.
So what can a student in his class expect to learn? “My classes and workshops are designed to strengthen the core fundamentals of good improv” said Mr. Furman. “And arm the performer with a greater sense of freedom while doing scene work” 

It’s a 3 hour workshop, and that’s just a taste of the action. Ed will return to teach a multi-week advanced improv class after the holidays. And stay tuned for info on an upcoming improv show with Ed Furman and the incredibly funny Joe Bill from Chicago coming to The UC this December!

To sign up for the workshop, click the “Buy Now” button and follow the directions! The workshop is $10 per student.



The Art Of Comedy

Gallery Night this Friday features the funny! The Covart Gallery presents The Metal Mask Exhibition & Ball at The Underground Collaborative, its first annual juried exhibition of paintings, drawings, and mixed media collage this Friday, October 19th.

The evening will feature art, music, dance and COMEDY! Milwaukee funny folks Damon Millard and Shawn Shelnutt will be performing Stand Up comedy, so come on out and get cultured!

THIS FRIDAY Oct. 19th starting at 8pm
$10

at the COVART GALLERY, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., 
Grand Avenue, LL 414.313.3166 or visit ucmke.org/covart.
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