Being downright hilarious can be taught, unlike the instinctual ability to quickly stack and unstack pyramids of Michael Crichton novels. Today's side deal gives you the training you need to become a certifiable center of attention: for $40, you get your choice of two different comedy courses at The Improv Trick, plus two tickets to a "Wizard of Improv" show by a rotating Improv Trick cast (up to a $145 total value). Choose to take either the four-week Introduction to Improv class, or use your Groupon for five stand-up comedy classes. Check the calendar for current class dates and times; more classes will be added if demand necessitates it.
The Improv Trick is one of the top improv schools in St. Louis—not only because it is the first, but also because of its coveted founding father. Renowned comedian and improv instructor Bill Chott is the main mastermind behind the laughs. Bill is a graduate of the Ivy League of improv schools, The Second City. He put in his time working alongside Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and others before making the leap to screens made of silver and TV particles. You'll recognize his voice from various Saturday Night Live animated shorts, and his unmistakable mug from movies such as The Ringer and Galaxy Quest, and television shows like Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, among many others. He's also lent his writing talents to Saturday Night Live and The Dana Carvey Show. This impressive resume translates into a reliable and wealthy source of comedic knowhow, which Bill gladly imparts upon his students, his staff, and his own reflection.
The four-week, progressive improv course (a $125 value), held Sundays and Wednesdays, is a series of two-hour classes that build off each other, culminating in a fist pound from Bill that signals your true mastery of this fast-thinking art form. You'll learn techniques and tips each week that will help keep your mind clear for feeding off fellow classmates. The four stand-up comedy classes (a $105 value) are taught on Sundays by well-seasoned comedian Doug Golden. Since stand-up classes are not progressive, they can be taken sporadically or in a row.
Students will also get to compare themselves to the masters with two tickets to see live improvisation by a rotating legion of The Improv Trick's cast members at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza (a $20 value). The family-friendly "Wizards of Improv" show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., from June 11 through September 18. Call ahead to reserve your tickets.
Learn how to crack jokes like a pro and retain your composure when the spotlight shines on your funny bones with today's side deal to The Improv Trick.
Founder Bill Chott and the Improv Trick's classes were featured in Riverfront Times, who also named the troupe 2009 Performing Arts MasterMinds. KDHX radio reviewed an Improv Trick show, and KSDK 5 News also ran a feature on Chott.
- Through the classes offered at the Improv Trick, students can learn the finer points of improv, in particular the discipline of working with others onstage. Unlike standup comedy, improv lives and dies on the interactions of the troupe, and that interplay only works if everyone is on the same page. – Christian Schaeffer, Riverfront Times
- As a teacher Chott tries to pass on the tools he learned from years of training with the best, beginning with his first improv instructor, Stephen Colbert. – Kristen Hinman, Riverfront Times