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  • Doug Kayne

IMPROV COMEDY IS A Y-WING

December 21, 2020


Earlier today, Gail Simone (writer of comic books, like DC’s Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and Marvel’s Deadpool) tweeted–and I’m quoting here–“Y-wings are the improv comedy of small fighters.”


How DARE she attack what I enjoy!


But, then I got to thinking: What if she’s right?


My world was shook. Like Alderaan right before what became VERY briefly known on that world as the “What the Hell is That?”


I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. Then I took my glasses off. Much better.


Is improv really as bad as Gail says? I daresay it’s worse. Much, much worse. Her comparison is right on target. A bulls-eye. Like a womp-rat on a T-16 back home.


I first got into improv when I was but a teenager. I mean, everyone in my drama class was doing it. And they seemed to enjoy it. All that Zip-Zap-Zopping. Maybe I’ll just try it once. I can quit anytime I want. I started experimenting with improv. Then it consumed me. In college, I found others who were hooked, and we started a group. This led to a series of questionable associations (in that world, they’re called “troupes”). And we even began referring to ourselves not by our individual names, but rather by the names of these troupes: On The Spot...Acquitted!...Tickle Me Improv...Kickball Rejects...Split Decision... We were blind as to the dangers involved in continuing our reckless, unplanned behavior. But, we could quit anytime we wanted. Besides, some famous people had been experimenting with improv: Robin Williams, Will Farrell, Mindy Sterling–the list goes on. You may even be surprised to hear of some who have dabbled.


And then...I started dipping into doing...sketch comedy.


I look at my life now, doing sketch comedy (and improv once we get back onstage) with Those Four Misfits and wonder what this is leading us to... I fear for Jane, Ryan, and myself at times. Especially at each and every Bus Stop. And every time I meet someone named Harold.


Thank you, Gail, for helping set me straight.


Or as straight as Y-wings can fly.

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