BY VIRGINIA STILL
There is something about an improvised comedy sketch that brings amusement and laughter to the masses that is much different than a standup comedy show. With a ton of audience interaction, unknown topics and a variety of games, the Two Man Group of Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood take the stage in a live performance at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. The two have been seen on the television comedy series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” along with Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady and have been touring together for 15 years.
The improv veterans are returning to the Gallo with their show to entertain audiences in the Central Valley, bringing their quick wit and laughter to all ages.
Sherwood noted that there is really no way to prepare for an improv show because they have no idea what topics the audience will suggest. So in an analogy he stated that it was a lot like martial arts.
“If you are really good at karate you trust your instincts to protect you when you are doing karate but you don’t know what the other person that is coming at you is going to do,” said Sherwood. “Hopefully you will be able to deal with it. So that is kind of the comedy version of what improv is.”
“There is nothing really you can prepare for except to be ready to listen to whatever your partner is offering and what the audience is giving you,” added Mochrie. “So I try to spend most of my energy relaxed enough to walk on the stage with absolutely nothing and try to hope that this whole thing will work out somehow.”
With strong audience interaction at each show it is destined to be different, which could cause the improvisers to be put in awkward and strange situations that will keep the chuckles going throughout the show.
“Our act is based on getting suggestions from the audience and bringing audience members up on stage,” said Sherwood. “We can kind of make stuff funny out of just about anything.
“There is an element to an improv show, if it is a good improv show, that is almost like you are seeing a comedy show and a bit of a magic act at the same time.”
“Basically our show is just goofy fun,” Mochrie noted. “We have a group of different games we play depending on what the auditorium is like and what we like playing.
“We try to crack the way we ask for suggestions so we can get the audience to use their imagination more and come up with something like a lactation expert rather than a proctologist.”
Both Mochrie and Sherwood have a background in improv comedy and cannot really see themselves doing anything else but making people laugh. Watching comedy icons like Monty Python and being able to perform with comedy legends like Robin Williams, this comedy duo are skilled in their craft.
“You can come see us every year and it is always 95 percent different. So the newness never wears off,” expressed Sherwood. “We don’t foresee stopping until we have to because we both love making people laugh, we both love performing live and we get to continue to do it as long as audiences will come see us.”