Does 7 out of 10 Del Close Marathons make me a comic genius?

8 08 2008

Does 7 out of 10 Del Close Marathons make me a comic genius? Or Does it make me closer to Del? 

I have one true memory of Del Close.  In 1998, my roomie, Tim Mason, brought Del to our apartment after class at IO.  We lived on Buckingham and Clark in Chicago back then.  Del was smoking on our front porch talking about science fiction and improv.  I remember thinking that is one really long beard.

In my attempt to get closer to the man, I am trying to get closer to my Del Close Marathon memories.

My first marathon was 2001 with a group called The Placebo Effect directed by Noah Gregoropoulos seen here playing Del. 

Our show had been running for awhile and we were all super enthused to be a part of this amazing experience.  I tried to remember all the amazing people who went that year:  Jenny Hagel, Joe Brady, Tom Flanigan, Dave Gilley, Shad Kunkle, Erin Davidson, Katherine Gotsick, Scott Recchia, Michael Bertrando, and Pat Gallen.    I think that was the year Horatio Sans gave me elbow titty and Sarah Silverman did the Assssssscat monologues.

From 2002 on,  I’ve had the pleasure of performing at the marathon with an all female group, Cheetarah, who is Erin Davidson, Katherine Gotsick, Amber Tillet, (these three ladies may be familiar to you with their stint on World Series of Pop Culture), and Colleen Murray.  If you are an extreme Del fan, you may remember Katherine from her gripping portrayal of Charna in the night the Harold was concieved.

If you have ever talked to Charna, that is really what happened except Andy Dick watched.

I don’t remember much from those years of Del Marathoning, but here are a few: 

  • Calling Eric Hunnicutt  asking him why he wasn’t at the marathon (this happened every year) 
  • Having the feeling that Matt Besser could look right through me and my improv
  • Drinking at McManus
  • Being trapped in the phone booth at McManus
  • Being asked to leave McManus
  • Watching Ian Roberts  perform improv with this spouse and wondering if I would ever perform improv with my spouse
  • Having Noah Gregoropoulos tell me that the years had been kind to me, except for me eyes 

I am sure Del would have been proud by those memories.  And now in 2008, I get to make some new ones with Cheetarah, and Mr. Diplomat.  I can’t hardly wait.

                                   Mister Paula Pazderka

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The Del Close Marathon: Can You Survive the 49 and 1/2 Hour Improv Gauntlet?

25 06 2008

taken from www.delclosemarathon.comThe Del Close Marathon this year runs for 49 and 1/2 hours, including time taken to clean the theater at oh say 5 in the morning. That is a redonkulous amount of comedy over a single weekend. The common man will not stay for all 49 and 1/2 hours, rather he will flit in and out and see the comedy that interests him on the schedule. But the truly redonkulous man will stay for the entire 49 and 1/2 hours, reveling in such an act’s redonkulousity. Before you go the Del Close Marathon, you must ask yourself: am I such a man? Am I truly that redonkulous? Before the answer to that question sails across your lips, read this time-line for an idea of what to expect during this 49 and 1/2 hour improv comedy gauntlet.

Friday, 5:32 pm:

You get really into the march from Union Square to the theater, probably because you know that this will be the only physical activity that you will have for three days. How badly will your muscles atrophy? You do not want to be that guy who could not walk out of the space shuttle.

Friday, 6:32 pm:

You really start to pity that poor fool who volunteered for MySpace. Him and his OkCupid account.

Friday, 11:13 pm:

After watching improv for about five hours, you stop laughing out loud. Feeling self conscious about this, you rationalize that you are now appreciating the improv for the art of it, and though you realize it’s funny, not laughing is a-ok.

Saturday 2:23 am:

After watching Wicked Fuckin’ Queeyah for 23 minutes, you say, “Oh, we’re making fun of Boston!” You are immediately hushed by the librarian-looking dame beside you.

Saturday 4:06 am:

You look down at your watch, whose alarm has gone off. That beep means it’s that time of night when people with a cocaine addiction crash/fall asleep.

Saturday 4:48 am:

You finally snag a front-row seat. From this vantage point, you find it much easier to smell whether or not a performer is drunk or high.

Saturday 4:53 am:

Man, that guy that smells like barbiturates is hilarious!

Saturday 9:32 am:

Someone makes a reference to Dryel bags. You laugh because you have one.

Saturday 11:51 am:

Your face aches, and you think fondly of that specialized ice-pack you used in high school when you had your wisdom teeth taken out.

Saturday 2:13 pm:

Trail mix. Trail mix. All you can think about is trail mix.

Saturday 4:57 pm:

Dryel bag again! Snap!

Saturday 6:01 pm:

You are being mildly deprecated along with the other three people who have stayed for the entire marathon so far by Matt Besser. Or is it Ian Roberts? Or is it Matt Walsh? You realize your brain has devolved its sense of personal recognition into a crude gender-based binary dichotomy. Because it is definitely not Amy Poehler asking you whether or not you’ve had to rub one out in the bathroom at some point during the last twenty-four hours.

Saturday 9:03 pm:

Is that the sound of angels? Is that the blinding light of God’s holy visage? No, that’s just Mister Diplomat!

Saturday 11:11 pm:

Your face is broken. Can faces break? Maybe it’s lockjaw! Did you get the tetanus booster like your mom asked? Your face is totally broken. And you can taste blood on the back of your throat.

Sunday 1:32 am:

Dryel bag = comedy gold.

Sunday 3:34 am:

As you flit in and out of consciousness, you have twenty-three of those dream-within-a-dream dreams. One of those involved the head of your prized racing horse. Argh!

Sunday 6:03 am:

You are woken up during the theater cleaning and asked to go outside. You feel the need to profusely apologize to everyone, especially the girl who was selling beer for the last three hours.

Sunday 11:23 am:

You can totally see the bones in your hands. And the floor is lava.

Sunday 3:12 pm:

You can see the improv through your eyelids.

Sunday 5:09 pm:

You remember the sun. Oh, precious life-giving orb!

Sunday 7:32 pm:

You’ve survived! But then you realize that, yes, you are the astronaut who cannot leave the ship. The paramedic that responds to the call mumbles something about that scene in Se7en with all those car air-fresheners hanging from the ceiling.

– Mister Andy Lavender








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