Photo from likeme
Comedy improvisation is a foreign subject to me, so when I read an article in a recent L.A. Magazine about the study of it, I was blown away by how complicated and difficult it really is.
I went with some friends to the Upright Citizens Brigade show a while back on a Friday evening. The UCB is founded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. They had their own show on Comedy Central which ran for three seasons. The location in Hollywood (there's also on in New York) offers classes as well as nightly shows.
The show that night was free although they asked for donations at the end. Because there are no reserved seats in the 92 person theater, it's first come first seated and there was a loooong line already 30 minutes before the show. I don't think there's a bad seat in the house though since it's so small.
The show started with the comedians asking audience members about themselves and riffing on that. Then the real show began... The invited guest was a crime writer, and they asked her questions about herself and then performed scenes using that information. The show was great and I guess there was even some guy from Reno 911 in the audience, although I didn't recognize him.
I also want to check out their Wednesday show "Facebook" and their Friday show "Soundtrack"--comedians improvise by looking at audience member's facebook pages or listening to ipods that audience members bring. Both shows are $5.
Note that for their paid shows, it's cash only.