Unlike the premium-cable version of Curious George, ComedySportz shows eschew racy material, going so far as to place a brown paper bag over the head of any performer who crosses the boundaries of good taste. The game-based comedy format pits two refereed teams of improvisers against each other, drawing from a repertoire of more than 100 improv scenes for their battleground. Over the course of 7 to 12 games, the red- and blue-clad teams may perform in Shakespearean verse or rapidly fast-forward and reverse a scene at the referee's whim. The audience, meanwhile, is tasked with generating suggestions, choosing the winners at evening's end, and gently consoling the losing team with made-up aspirational quotes.
This formula has proved successful since 1984, when the first ComedySportz flung open its curtains. Now, the franchise has expanded to major comedy hubs including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. The latest addition to the fold, ComedySportz Boston, lassos the same spirit and off-the-cuff hilarity as its predecessors, dazzling onlookers with its teamwork, clean but uproarious humor, and ability to turn an audience suggestion into a fully fleshed out scene.
In business for 30 years, Nick's Comedy Stop has served as an essential venue for up-and-coming comedians, having hosted Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and other notable jesters before their big breaks. The venue hosts shows twice a week, featuring hilarious headliners, emerging comics, and moments of silence for misunderstood punch lines.
Not all live comedy is contained to Boston’s Theater District. Just ask the folks at Improv Asylum, located in an underground spot in the North End, where local actors perform different sketch and improvisational comedy shows nightly. The subterranean space on Hanover Street hosts 90-minute shows with up to six different actors in each show, performing skits that touch upon family humor, current events and even some adult topics (suggested minimum age for shows is 17 years due to the content). There are nine different shows held here each week, with a cast that interacts with the audience to ensure the authenticity of each show. Best of all, military and student discounts keep the already-low prices at rock-bottom levels.
Jamie Kennedy is a veteran of comedy, known for a razor sharp wit that is best showcased in front of a live audience. If you’re not familiar with his stand-up, you probably know him from his appearances in numerous movies, like the Scream franchise, or his hilarious prank show, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. He's depicted above looking tough in front of a fence and with some gloves on, and I think he might have been the killer in Scream, so you might want to be careful when your in close proximity to his aforementioned razor wit. Here's a clip of his standup.
With more than 25 years in the laugh racket and more than six decades of collective experience in the legislative branch, The Capitol Steps continue to tickle ribs with its potent brand of political lampoonery. The irreverent troupe, which has made appearances across national television and radio and created dozens of comedic albums, tackles the foibles of elected officials through skit and song, transmuting scandals and shortcomings into pure laughter, the commodity on which America's monetary system was originally based. Many of the performers are former Capitol Hill staffers, bringing to bear an intimate knowledge of political intrigue that can normally only be obtained by slaying a filibuster in single combat.