Top 220 Improv Quotes

In this post, you will find great Improv Quotes from famous people, such as Fred Willard, Redfoo, Naomi Klein, Aisha Tyler, Mo Collins. You can learn and implement many lessons from these quotes.

After working with Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Jona

After working with Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Jonathan Mangum, I said, ‘I am never going to talk about improv again.’
I graduated from Improv Olympic. I used to do standup comedy.
If there is one thing BP’s ‘watery improv act’ made clear, it is that, as a culture, we have become far too willing to gamble with things that are precious and irreplaceable, and to do so without a back-up plan, without an exit strategy.
I acted out a lot. I was very nerdy. I was very isolated, which I made up for by kind of talking and trying to entertain people and get them to like me, so I did theatre and improv in high school and college, but always as a hobby.
I was a very shy kid. In 8th grade, I had a teacher who got me into improv.
Mo Collins
I’m gonna be pretty honest; there wasn’t a lot of improv allowed on ‘Eclipse.’
Comedy chose me. I always had this urge to be silly that I couldn’t control. I remember my father having me read ‘The Three Little Pigs‘ to him, and I would improv all around the story, like when one pig‘s house got blown over, he put on his gym shoes and took off.
I love goofing off and being awkward. I have always enjoyed improv.
I don’t like improv at all. It terrifies me. I like to know exactly what I’m going to say. Being surprised does make me a better actor. Anytime I’m afraid of something that makes me rise to the occasion, it scares me, but it’s what makes great actors – being in the moment.
River City Improv set the stage for my career.
Marc Evan Jackson
I’m definitely not frowning on improv; I mean, I’ve been doing it for years. I just think that there’s some styles of comedy that warrant a tighter pace.
I do an improv show on Sunday where we have a class, and then afterwards we go and do a live performance in front of an audience.
Nolan Gould
‘The State‘ had never done improv. We used to go over scripts for weeks and argue about every joke. But I don’t know how we would have scripted ‘Reno.’
‘New Girl’ was a wonderful experience, but for seven years, we were shooting single-cam that is not handheld, that is traditionally shot, and they’re asking you to improv, and you’re on location. It’s a real grind.
I’ve done lots of improv things but not a whole movie.
We did sketch comedy, performed live improv, and then we made the transition to TV with ‘Impractical Jokers.’
I fell into acting because I was really shy, and so at night after work, I took public speaking and improv classes, and I started going to auditions sort of as a dare. That was my version of ‘Fear Factor.’
You’re always starting with a nugget of truth, whether it’s a song or an improv scene.
All my dance moves are improv. I just make them up on the spot.
I have always been doing sketch comedy since I was a kid because one of my mom’s boyfriends was an improv comedy guy so were doing skits all the time growing up.
When I graduated from college, I moved to New York and started doing improv because I read all about the early ‘Saturday Night Live‘ guys having come through Second City and learning how to improvise, so I wanted to get immediately into that.
Andy Daly
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time writing, acting, and making films. Because I’m doing all this extra writing, acting, and creating short comedy skits with my friends in improv shows, I feel like that’s really filled out my confidence on the mic.
I always say, my set is like building a brick wall that all the jokes are the bricks but the improv is the mortar. You piece it all together and have a certain flow to it.
Looking back, when my cousins and I were kids, we’d put together these little skits – these 10-minute improv scenes. I didn’t really understand what I was doing – that I was writing these mini-sketches and acting – but we were all totally into it.
I can legitimately say without being arrogant that there’s probably a stretch where I was one of the better teachers of improv in the country.
I think there’s something really freeing about improv, that it’s a collective, creative, in-the-moment piece. That’s really exciting and really frustrating, because it’s there and gone.
There’s a lot of improv in ‘Girls’.
I’ve always loved improv. It’s my thing.
Oscar Nunez
The thing I love about YouTube is it’s almost like having an instant audience for improv.
The way I was brought up in improv was that any idea you have is not as good as your partner‘s idea, so if I see someone else initiating at the same time I am, I just defer to them because I assume their idea is going be better. And hopefully, they’re doing the same with me.
The thing about the performance part… starting with improv and standup, you’re starting with yourself as the character, and I don’t feel as much like, ‘Oh, I’m a vessel for -‘ I feel like someone who calls themselves an actor is a vessel.
Ilana Glazer
I studied structured improv, where you start from one p

I studied structured improv, where you start from one position and see where it takes you. I like spontaneity. If you set yourself up to do the same thing every night, you may not connect as well to a different audience.
The first laugh is always key. I’ve done some improv stuff. Once you get your first laugh, you’re good. Up until that point, it’s a little nerve-racking.
In orthodox film-making, you never shoot sequentially – but with improv, obviously every move you make has a knock-on effect; it is a cumulative process. I have improvised, on the non-scripted ‘Timecode.’ It can become entirely indulgent: actors smashing crockery and competing verbally.
We have over an hour of footage with Ken Marino. Same with Kevin Smith. Because you never know, when you let people who are so talented at improv go, what you’re going to get. You don’t want to strangle them with your own words, because probably what they’re going to say is way better.
Lauren Miller
I come from a background where I like collaboration and improv. I think that it is important.
Stylistically, in improv, I don’t think you can have as many camera tricks; I think you’re kind of shooting more like a documentary: you don’t know where it’s going, so you have to hang back a little more.
When I got out of high school, I was working in restaurants in New York City, when I heard Bill Anderson from The Neighborhood Playhouse was doing private lessons. I started taking classes, and it was a lot of improv and Meisner and repetition.
Ian Gomez
I do believe if we opened up a comedy theater in a city, that we’re going to be able to teach improv better than whoever‘s there already. In general, I think I could say that.
Improv Olympics, Second City are some of the most tolerant, accepting people. They’re like circus folk. They’re freaks themselves.
In improv, the whole thing is that it is a relationship between the two people, as a back and forth. In standup, you don’t really want to be listening to what somebody is saying; you want to project your jokes into their face.
I’ve always felt that improv looks and feels more clever when you’re there to experience it live than when you have the degree of separation that television creates. Television raises expectations.
I’ve been doing improv since high school, and I’ve been getting paid for it since I was 20.
Taking improv has helped every other aspect of my field.
Ben Schwartz
I think the key to improv is always listening. It’s embracing. It’s positivity. It’s hearing things and not shutting them down.
The kind of improv that I’m particularly addicted to is the kind that… aims at creating a momentary, fragmentary experience that has a totality to it. It’s kind of like fireworks. It’s the more ephemeral of art formsonce it’s gone, it’s gone, baby.
Del Close
With improv, it’s a combination of listening and not trying to be funny.
But, yes, I learned everything working in theater. I learned the importance of community – I was constantly going to play readings, stand-up nights, improv. nights.
Improv training allows you to get out of your head a little bit and take more risks, which is something I would like to continue to improve upon.
I did an improv that was one of the most exhilarating ten minutes of my entire life. I mean, when you’re doing it, you forget yourself.
Fiona Dourif
In wrestling, I don’t consider it acting because it’s improv.
My rule of thumb is to always do what’s on the page first. Then you can talk to your director about playing with it. Improv frees me up in a character, but I would be mortified if the writers who agonized over their words assumed I thought my improv was more valuable.
I love comedy and did a lot of comedy in college. I was in an improv comedy group with my friends.
Kevin Rahm
Scorsese is a fan of improv and is always pushing actors to think up something that would make the scene more fun. He loves any idea that helps the scene be alive.
Sometimes improv doesn’t work on TV because the audience had heard the thing that was shouted and they’re very much alive, the audience in the room – they’re alive in that moment. Whereas the audience sat at home on the sofa, it feels like it’s part of a party that they haven‘t been invited to.
I guess I’m sort of spoiled because, most of the things that I get to do, people know that you’re a good improviser, so they allow you at least one improv take, and for comedy, that’s great.
You have to be able to fail with the improv. You have to not care.
I started doing improv in college, and I met Mike Birbiglia and John Mulaney and a bunch of other very funny, talented people who I’m still friends with and work with.
If you pay attention, stand-up can be great improv training ground. But one of the things that helped me the most was doing warm-up for the ‘Mr. Show’ tapings way back when.
You can’t improv off of bad writing. Then you have to actually create your objective, which is really hard to do in an element without the skeleton to go off of.
Once we got the scene down, we were told to improv.
When I moved to New York, I didn’t know how much improv and comedy would play into my life. I thought I was going to do theater and Broadway and stuff.
Sasheer Zamata
To a crowd that loves improv, Robin Williams is like Ch

To a crowd that loves improv, Robin Williams is like Chuck Berry.
I feel confident writing on my feet with improv, but it’s different when you’re sitting down and writing it out.
I think people are always really surprised when they realise I’m not a very serious person and that I’m not tremendously serious about acting. I don’t like to rehearse; I hate improv. Directors that don’t like to talk, they’re my favourite ones.
I’ve been a comedian, hosted travel shows, explored world religions, started improv troupes, given keynote speeches at conferences around the country, and had a milk shake named after me called the Handicappuccino.
I like the adrenaline of playing improv – it makes me feel really calm.
I took classes and performed and did improv and sketch and wrote sketches and did lights and sound for other people’s shows just so I could be around the theater. That was about seven nights a week for seven years.
I had a teacher who recommended I take improv classes in Chicago – I’m from Evanston, Illinois – so I did improv classes at Improv Olympic, and that kind of opened me up.
Well, actually, the Second City thing came about because I was taking a few improv classes there. I thought that the improv classes would help with my wrestling career, which it has.
Trish Stratus
With ‘The Crazy Ones,’ we were really encouraged to improv and go off script.
Improv is so freeing because there are no bounds; there’s no safety net. You just say something and get an instant response.
I love and enjoy vocal performance, but I also have a huge passion for comedy and improv.
A lot of times when you’re trying to do improv, everybody‘s doing a different style.
I saturated myself with the improv community.
Generally, I’ve found that a heckler in an improv audience is just enjoying the show so much that they want to be in it.
As a writer, I use improv to write. Exploring characters and stories through improv and sitting at the computer and thinking about what this character would say or do helps me creatively.
Improv plays such a huge role in finding great lines – you’ll be surprised at what comes out of your mind inadvertently. A lot of times it’s better than a script you’ve worked out ahead of time.
Nick Swardson
It was improv that really helped me start coming up with recipes and just believe in my instincts. That’s why the first recipe I made up was ‘I Ain’t Chicken Chicken’ because I finally felt bold and fearless in the kitchen, which was an entirely new feeling for me.
Aarti Sequeira
In high school, we would do improv. Me and my boy were, like, the stars of the class.
I didn’t have any terrible survival jobs. The main job I had before I was able to transition over to acting full-time was working at an after-school program at a middle school teaching improv and standup. So even when I had a regular job, I was still lucky enough to be doing the stuff I loved in some way.
So many people can see my content and see that I dance and maybe it’ll draw them to my Instagram where I have longer clips of me and dance classes or improv.
Charli D’Amelio
My improv definitely shows a different side of myself, which is more true to what my real humor is and what my real personality is, and I think – I guess ‘wild‘ is a good word for it. I’m still sweet! But I won’t let anyone walk all over me.
Improv kind of goes hand in hand with what I do. I was on ‘Reno 911!’ for six years, and that was a completely improvised show.
Nick Swardson
To me, it’s weird when people review improv at all.
I’ve been working straight since 2003, so I might just want to take an improv or theater class. That excites me. I can’t wait to do different characters – not necessarily the leading chick who gets the guy, but the weird, freaky cousin.
Chicago was where I realized that improv is its own thing, its own art form. And through that, you kind of develop a work ethic of not selling it short.
Improv is mostly what I’ve studied.
Wrestling is like improv. You have to feel and sense what the other person is going to do next and respond faster than they do.
I’d always liked having a laugh with my friends, and I’d done comedy in plays; but then my friends asked me to join this improv troupe and it went well and I started performing with them.
What brought me to L.A. was work! I moved to Chicago after college – I went to Kalamazoo – did my nerd thing, graduated, and moved to Chicago to pursue improv.
Steven Yeun
If you work in Chicago in the improv scene, anyone is happy for you if you get a job.
Steven Yeun
I started in improv and went into different kinds of things.
Improv is a very big thing for me. The thing with actor

Improv is a very big thing for me. The thing with actors is I do not understand at all how they do what they do. I’m fascinated by it, and I have such a respect for it.
We are going to do ‘Hot Tub‘ until we die. Every Monday. Then we’ll come back and do it as zombies. ‘Hot Tub’ is very important. What we do is based on our live skills. It’s stand-up and sketch and improv; everything we do in ‘Hot Tub’ is important to our jobs. And every Monday I’m excited to do it.
Black people who want to do comedy go into standup, where our heroes opened a lot of doors. Improv doesn’t have a ton of heroes that you can look to.
The hardest part about improv is getting the audience to relax and enjoy themselves, because most improv is not very good, and the audience is nervous for the performers the whole time. Not that they don’t even like the show, but they feel bad for the performers.
We have a full writers’ room, and with something like ‘MyMusic,’ we’ve scripted it out with professional writers. There is some very basic improv from the actors, but everything is very to the letter, so it’s easy to edit down to an episode. There are fun little things an actor might throw in there.
I’ve always said my whole career that I wanted to write by the improv credo, ‘don’t negate,’ which means, even if you didn’t care for something, you try to make it work. You don’t say, ‘Oh, that particular story didn’t happen.’
I’m an actor first and foremost, who happens to do improv. I’ve also done sitcoms, I’ve done stage.
Wayne Brady
We’re improv comedians, we’re not necessarily actors, we don’t come across that way.
I did improv for about 10 years professionally, and before that, I had done it in high school as part of an improv team. It was definitely a big part of my upbringing.
I come from standup and improv.
After college, I knew I wanted to work in comedy, so the first thing I did was go to where the comedy was. I moved from Charlottesville to Chicago, because that’s where The Second City and Improv Olympics are. You have to go wherever you need to go to study what interests you.
I’m really thankful for my improv background.
Some people think success is overnight. I suppose, considering I came from Australia, it has been pretty quick. But I have a background in stand-up and improv, so I’ve really had to prove myself.
And I’ve always loved commercials. I like working out how to organically weave a brand‘s message into the writing process. It’s like an improv show, where comics ask the audience to throw out a word and a skit is built around it.
‘Eastbound & Down’ is giving you a rhythm. It’s just a whole different vibe with improv. As an actor I just kind of exercise within my environment and adjust depending on where I’m at.
I always loved acting and improv and sketch comedy and theater, which I did at a local youth theater.
I love sketch; it’s my favorite form. But if it’s all improv, they’re either very good, and it’s annoying how good they are, and it makes you feel bad, or they’re not too good; then you’re sweating for them.
In cartoons and in improv, anything can happen. You can be any character you want. The rules of real life don’t always apply.
Sometimes you read a script, and it’s like, ‘You’ll improv, and this is just a blueprint of what the scene could be,’ and that’s never a good sign. And it’s never encouraging as an actor to take that on, really.
A lot of times, good improv is when both people, or however many people are in the scene, really have no idea what the next thing you’re going to say is.
I’d like to be an actress when I’m older. I sometimes do improv. I used to do it with my dad.
Honestly, my biggest education regarding improv comedy actually came on the job working for ‘My Boys.’
Acting is just about the script and the director giving you notes. In improv, it’s more about trusting that the group will carry you.
There’s sketch, improv, writing, acting, music, and badminton. Those are the seven forms of comedy.
My first improv was Second City in Chicago. Before that, I worked at – with a partner, doing comedy sketches.
The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but when it does, it’s like open-field running.
It scared me to death to think about improv, but I got hired for a year at Second City in Chicago, which made me nervous, but I found I could improvise. Then I was in a group called the Ace Trucking Company, which we’d do, like, a half hour set of material, then open up for improvisation.
I never went to acting school, so improv was my training. Just being quick on your feet helps in everyday life.
Ben Schwartz
The current Babe Ruth of improv? Sacha Baron Cohen. He’s pretty amazing.
I love doing improv. I love comedy. I have always felt this way, even when I was really young.
You can do a whole scene in acting without ever checking in to what the other guy is saying – it’s not going to come off great, but you can get through the scene – whereas in improv, that’s gonna be impossible.
I remember being upset because I was finally legal to d

I remember being upset because I was finally legal to drink in Canada, and I decided to throw that all away and move to America, where I had to wait another two years. I came here to do improv and to try to join the Groundlings.
So much of improv can be really long, and that’s kind of what makes it funny.
Ben Falcone
Sometimes I think your intellect can get in your way as an actor or an artist. When you come from a world of improv and comedy, you’re able to let it flicker and fall out.
I think with a lot of comics, their gift is improv. They don’t have a script. They’ll have a couple of good ideas they start with, and go from there. And it’s the same in wrestling.
I’m a very anxious person, and it’s hard for me to be in the moment. Improv demands that you be in the moment.
I always feel in improv that nothing is ever as good once it’s repeated.
My main goal is to connect with the crowd. I leave room for improv. Whatever happens, happens. When I bring my band with me, it turns into the Craig Robinson comedy dance party.
Almost every college playwright or sketch or improv comedian was sort of aware of Christopher Durang – even kids in high school. His short plays were so accessible to younger people and I think that was inspirational to me.
When I came into improv, it was almost like an outsider art form.
After going to theater school, and then subsequently dropping out, I would say that when I first went to Chicago and learned long-form improv, that was a far better acting workshop than any acting school I’ve been to.
I met Kevin when I was 19, at a Second City workshop. We were paired up together in the first class I went to. By the end of the class we formed our improv group, and over the next three years we performed leading up to the formation of The Kids in the Hall.
Dave Foley
Improv seemed to replace stand-up, which was very big before that. Stand-up comedy was real hot in the late ’80s and through the ’90s.
Joe Flaherty
I think doing The Improv is a little more ominous than doing a college campus because it was so different than anything I’d done.
When I was in college, I started an improv group, and I did a bunch of plays and some musicals. I have a theater degree. I’m a school person: I like getting homework and having deadlines. When I graduated, I worked right away as an actor.
That’s really what ‘Jokers’ is – an improv show.
The good thing about having chemistry is, when you get to the improv section of a scene, you’ve got somebody to feed off. It can go on and on and on, and the sky‘s the limit.
I belong to an improv group, I play cello, I have these phasesfencing, tae kwon do, baseball, ice hockey, boogie boarding in the summer, snowboarding in the winter.
Ty Simpkins
I was a funny kid growing up, and I did improv in college and went to Pratt Institute, but I did it very informally. It was just me and some of my friends goofing around on campus.
I’m not an improv guy.
Curtis Armstrong
Improv is always seen as something that’s funny, but worth a $5 ticket, $10 at most. I think ISC is one of those shows that is worth a real ticket price. It’s hard-hitting and great and different every time.
I always wanted to be a stand-up comedian, even as a kid. Me and my dad would watchEvening at the Improv’ on A&E.
I was the cocktail waitress, and Sandra Bullock was the host, and this guy came in and persuaded me to try improv with Gotham City Improv.
I’m a comedy geek so anything comedy related, whether that’s standup shows, improv shows, I’m all over that. That’s my favorite way to be entertained always.
I think it’s pretty stupid to write off an entire genre of anything. It’s one thing to say ‘I don’t like country music.’ But it’s pretty narrow minded to say ‘All country music sucks.’ Of course, that being said, all short-form improv sucks.
I’d been involved with stand-up before improv, so I already thought highly of myself as being a funny person. I never thought I wasn’t funny.
I can rap. Not openly in the world, but it’s important that people know! I can rap for a very specific reason, which is that in college I was in an improv comedy group, and we did musical improv.
I think the good ones, the interviews and the promos people remember, those are improv.
When I moved from Boston to L.A., I floundered. I definitely did time at the Improv and the Comedy Store, making 20 bucks a night. I learned how to be a starving comic. I was an in-debt comic: I ate well on loan.
My background is in improv and writing.
Paul Scheer
Improv is really fun but it’s a lot harder to show people your work if they don’t come to your show. Something about the energy doesn’t transfer on tape.
I don’t really do scales… I mean, I play parts of them, but then I bail and start playing parts of other things. The term ‘scale’ feels very scripted to me because I’m an improv player.
I think that I can improv.

I think that I can improv.
In 2002, I was taking an improv class because, as a white male with glasses who was born between 1978 and 1994, it’s legally required that I take at least one improv class in my life.
My brother was an improviser. He’s now a lobbyist, but he used to perform improv in the city when he was in high school, and one of the funniest guys I know to this day.
Improv as an actor makes you present in the moment. You listen, you’re attentive. You’re not acting so much as reacting, which is what you’re doing in life all the time.
My prayer is improvised – though like some standard jazz performance, the improv happens within pretty strict parameters – and asks for nothing.
I feel like most standup comedians do it the way I did it, where you just go to open mics and cut your teeth. Sketch and improv – they take a lot of classes. It’s not unusual, the way I did it. It’s just that, with standup, no one knows how to start because there’s no book for it; there’s no place you can really go.
That was a huge part of my training, doing improv in Chicago.
I do standup every week in L.A. at the Laugh Factory and the Improv.
Brian Dunkleman
I was once doing an improv show and it was my turn to jump on stage and I fell on my face. It’s a really terrible way to start a show.
Brea Grant
I felt that a cappella was the improv world with music, where it’s very serious, and there are groups and competition, and some people become famous, and there’s a language we speak from one improviser to another.
The thing that’s frustrating about improv is that even if you have the best show in the world, it’s over when it’s over. You get to build stand-up – I really like that aspect of it. I like writing jokes, and you don’t get to do that in improv.
Sometimes with films you have a freedom to be able to, Okay, we got that take so let’s try another one where suddenly I’ll say this, or you’ll get to improv. You can’t do that with stage. We have to make it new every time, and also within the structured settings.
If there are kids in the crowd, I try to be more animated for them. It does change a little bit each show. There’s a lot of improv.
Improv relies just as much on listening as it does you delivering dialogue. That’s the hard for some people. Some people just concentrate on what they’re going to say, and they’re not listening. You have to listen in order to see where the other person is going to.
In bluegrass, there’s a lot of joke-telling and a lot of banter between bandmates. It’s like improv or watching the ‘Carol Burnett Show.’
I came to New York and started doing stand-up and improv, and started auditioning for commercials and voiceovers and stuff. My first job was on a pilot of that prank show called ‘Boiling Points‘ on MTV.
I went to a French immersion school, and French-Canadian improv is a big thing, and we had an improv team at school, and 12 of us would get up and make things up against other elementary schools. I’d always wanted to perform, and that was just another extension of it.
I was having a really-early-onset midlife crisis, and then something clicked in an improv class, and I knew.
There was an improv class in our high school, and we all ended up taking it and loving it. Then we just started our own thing.
Improv classes were too expensive, so I just started going to open mics. And the day I did it, I did, like, three because I just loved it so much. It was so much fun. And it wasn’t good, it was just fun to do. It felt like a release.
It’s always hard to watch bad actors improv on your skit.
I have the improv background, but stand-up is different.
The word ‘improv’ always makes me feel a little anxious because I always feel like we’ll have to pull props out of a bag and find 800 different ways to talk about a stick, the way you do in theater school.
Because I started my career in improv, performing with Second City and the Ace Trucking Company, I always enjoy being in situations where – as an actor – you have to think fast & be light on your feet.
I used to do improv in New York, and it was sort of embarrassing to tell people that I was the Web video girl and having to explain that was a viable form of entertainment.
I think, in a way, the stand-up prepped me for the improv, because I do a lot of riffing in my stand-up.
Steve Buscemi is hilarious. He’s really, really good with improv.
Some of the people I’ve met in those first few weeks of even trying improv classes are still my friends now – 15, 17 years later.
When I’m performing music, it’s like I’m doing a big improv.
Doing improv regularly forces you to be better almost without trying.
Bad improv happens with people who are inexperienced with each other and don’t know the craft that well. But bad stand-up is something that could happen to someone at any level in their career.
I love improv. I do it with my co-star John Michael Hig

I love improv. I do it with my co-star John Michael Higgins in both ‘Pitch Perfect‘ films.
I know the benefits of having a really great improv show are amazing because it was this one rare and fleeting thing that was incredible, but the risk just didn’t appeal to me. I liked the control of sitting down and writing things.
We agree that there is a problem in the sketch and improv community where, in general, there should be more interest from a more diverse sampling of our society. That is precisely why we do have diversity scholarships and why we’ve put together a diversity program to try to figure this problem out.
Improv acting is not just saying the lines but connecting with the other actor.
I did improv in junior high school. Figuring out my comedic timing helped my confidence in talking to the bullies and talking to people in class. If I could make them laugh, then I was in; I was OK.
When I was in improv workshops or doing stand-up or writing comedy with others, or just doing comedy, I just laughed. Funny was funny; I loved to laugh. I always liked people I found generally funny.
Our high school had a really good improv group.
Coming out of Dallas and doing commercial work in Dallas – if you had improv background in Dallas, then you were instantly shot to the top of the list of commercial bookings because they loved improvisers because you could elevate the material.
Theatre sports is the best improv training period.
Wayne Brady
Maybe it’s just my improv and sketch background, but I’m a lot more comfortable in a group. I like sharing focus and populating an ensemble.
Jason Mantzoukas
I was always drawn to performing. I took improv and acting classes during the summers and was involved in middle and high school plays. But when I discovered indie and punk music in high school, those things sort of took over.
With improv or a full length play – you know how you go to a theater, and after 10 minutes you say, ‘Oh, I don’t like this thing,’ but you don’t want to get up and leave? At a sketch show, it’s always something new every few minutes.
I like to do as much improv as I can do.
Jordan Klepper
I never did improv professionally, but that was certainly in my training as an actor. I like it.
I joined an improv comedy group. Ours was named ‘Quick Fire!’ with an exclamation point. It was when I auditioned for that team and got on it and felt like… I’ll just say I felt like I was good at it.
I feel like there are a lot of bands or musicians that probably think improv is corny, because I think that’s a sentiment out there.
Improv is a disposable art form, but it’s kind of freeing in that way, too, because things can fail, and the audience is a little more forgiving.
I haven’t done improv since I was in middle school.
I think for anyone – male or female – in improv, the biggest thing to get over is the fear. I think every improviser has that.
I did, like, one or two plays in high school, but I don’t think I realized I wanted to do comedy until I got to college, and I started doing improv and saw the Upright Citizens Brigade perform and did workshops with them.
When I finished grad school, I moved to Chicago proper, and I was at all the different improv schools, taking classes or interning.
I’m convinced to do improv. All you have to do is listen to what people are saying to you, and then just add more information to what they’ve just said. That’s all there is to improv, but it’s the hardest thing to do.
Ryan Stiles
Improv is such a huge part of my background, and a huge part of character discovery is really being inside the character and trying to think through them without the limitations of the script.
In Chicago, anything that you’re doing, the community gives it value. Every little improv show, every scrappy reading, and every lead on a Goodman mainstage. It’s all a promising opportunity for a young actor.
Alex Weisman
I got involved in improv comedy. It settled me down when I was getting wild. I was sort of an evil teenager smashing up my cars and drinking and driving, let’s just say, a lot.
Bruce McCulloch
Working on a sitcom and improv improves your comedic chops. If you do it long enough, the one thing you learn to do is listen to the other characters.
Diedrich Bader
I think when a lot of actors hear improv, they think of throwing a line in or doing a slightly different take.
When I’m working with improv people, I give them the green light to just bring it and try things.
I’m never going to be an improv comedian.
I wasn’t picked for the improv group in college – not because I wasn’t good, but because I was told I didn’t fit the group, didn’t gel with their dynamic.
Sasheer Zamata
Improv requires one thing I lack that I think most mothers need – the basic instinct to put someone else first.
Certain movies like 'Wag The Dog,' we used improv on ev

Certain movies like ‘Wag The Dog,’ we used improv on every scene that we did. Pretty much, we would shoot from the script and then some stuff that we came up with in rehearsal, and then we’d have at least one or two takes where we completely went off the script and just flew by the seat of our pants.
I graduated from Second City Los Angeles. It helped me tremendously, not only in my roles in films but in helping shape me into a writer as well. In improv, you will fail sometimes, so it teaches you to be brave and try anything. The worst that can happen is nobody laughs.
Carly Craig
I took an improv class, and after my first class, I was like, ‘Oh, I just want to do something like this. This is super fun.’