Rich Talarico

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Comedy Central Launches Improv Sketch Show Based on Viewer Tweets

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Six-episode digital series hosted by comedian Paul Scheer

NY Digital Editor@xpangler site-logo_2x_v1Comedy Central is looping fans into a virtual nightclub with short-form digital series “CC: Social Scene,” in which comics perform skits based on suggestions submitted via Twitter.

The six-episode weekly series, hosted by comedian Paul Scheer and directed by Rich Talarico, debuted last week on the Viacom-owned cabler’s YouTube channel and also is distributed via the CC.com website, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter.

The “CC: Social Scene” ensemble cast includes Lee Newton, H. Michael Croner, Lilan Bowden, Jacob Womack, Jeff Sloniker and Barak Hardley. The first show revolved around the theme “worst breakup lines,” with others slated to include “what washes up on the beach,” “oddest combos at the BBQ” and “beach hogs,” inspired by beach horror stories.

The “CC: Social Scene” series is sponsored by Redd’s Apple Ale. Users must be 21 and older to participate in the show via Twitter, using the hashtag #CCSocialScene.

The sketch-comedy show is produced by the network’s CC:Studios group, created in January 2013 to develop original comedy content for digital distribution.

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RT TO JOIN WRITING STAFF OF COMEDY CENTRAL’S “REVIEW”

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★  ★  ★  ★  ★  Good news for a Friday.  Next week I’ll join the writing staff of Comedy Central’s amazing and brilliant “Review.”   I’m really looking forward to working with Andy Daly again.  Also, working with Leo Allen again, H. Michael again, the Blitz Brothers for the first time, all the talented folks there and getting a chance to work with my long time improv and sketch buddy Kevin Dorff!   Kevin and I haven’t worked together since Second City back in 1999…

Psychopath SC

TJ Jagodowski, Stephnie Weir, Rich Talarico, Susan Messing, Kevin Dorff, Tami Sagher.

(1999 The Psychopath Not Taken, The Second City Chicago)

RYAN FROM CHICAGO WANTS TO “ASK RICH”

Ask RichHey, it’s another installment of “Ask Rich.”  This time I got a message from Ryan, a recent Columbia College Chicago graduate who just moved to LA looking to get into television.

On Jul 22, 2014, at 2:28 PM, Ryan **** <********@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Rich,
 
I recently graduated from Columbia College, Chicago and moved out to LA to work in television. I was wondering if I could ask you just a few questions about your career path and what being a television writer and producer entails. 
 
First off, I saw Dasariski perform at IO West earlier this summer. You guys were hilarious!

Thanks!

I have quite a few questions, mostly about writing sketches.
OK, let’s do this.
         
          How did you become interested in writing sketch comedy?
 
Probably watching SNL as a kid and especially after learning about Second City in Chicago.
Any specific influences? 
I was always interested in comedy.  Growing up in Central New York State we got WPIX from NY and I would watch Abbot & Costello on Sunday mornings.  And, every night during the week we’d watch Honeymooners and The Odd Couple.   Watched a lot of TV growing up, though I don’t watch as much as an adult.  Film influences are Coen Brothers, Woody Allen, John Hughes.
Do a lot of your ideas come from improvising on stage?
No.  Most of the improv we do with Dasariski for example, the shows are completely made up on the spot and are just for the people in that room on that night.  Craig and Bob and I have written a few things as a group, based on our older improvs.  We wrote a sketch piece that we shot a few years ago called JAKARTA BOOM BOOM  we shot this with our friend Chicago director, Leroy Koetz.  The short was based on one of our improvs.
Improv CAN figure into the writing process however.  Like in the Key & Peele writer’s room, we have meetings where we pitch to each other and since most of the writing staff of that show are improvisers, sometimes improv breaks out of pitches.   But, usually to explore a sketch idea.  Improv on stage is an entirely different thing.
How many ideas do you come in with usually to the writer’s room–
I usually have a master list of ideas for the season (couple pages of ideas) and I keep that with me at every meeting. So, if I throw something out that is not sparking, I can just move down the list.  And, I have recommended this to my writing students in the past, to keep a list of ideas so that every time you return to the list to add a new idea, you can sweep through and punch up any of your older ideas and make them more pitch ready.
–and how much time do they give you to fully develop and write the sketch? 

Usually after you pitch something the producers will tell you to move forward.  At Key & Peele I wrote a minimum of one sketch a day and sometimes more.  We often wrote more sometimes 3 or 4 or more in a day.  The point was to push out as much material as we could.  Volume is part of the idea at KP.  We wrote over 500 sketches for Season 4 and only shot a fraction.

And finally, what advice do you have for baby comedy writers just starting out?
Babies shouldn’t write comedy.  Haha.  Okay, so my big 2 cents is…

Do the work on whatever level you can, as best you can.

You can make your own stuff (which is what I do all the time)
and from time to time you get a chance to work for money.
But, most of what you’ll be doing is on spec when you’re starting.
I kind of talk about all this stuff in much more depth in my IMPROV NERD
interview with Jimmy Carrane.
IMPROV_NERD
ADD
and also in the– ADD PODCAST with Dave Razowsky

 

           Lastly, what should we be pursuing, avoiding, and studying?
           Thanks again,
 
                   -Ryan ****
 
Thank you, Ryan.
  • Pursue:  Your bliss. 
  • Avoid:  Crowds. 
  • Study:   Everything.  Specifically people.
RT

 

DASARISKI INTERVIEW (IISAMAGAZINE.COM)

Dasariskiby Rachael Drummond Photos Kevin McShane

Dasariski is a 3 man improv comedy team. Bob Dassie is the “D-A-S” of the three-names-in-one team. He can be seen most recently in the webseries, “Eleven Year Itch” with Stephanie Weir and in the movie “The Spoils of Babylon” with Tobey MacGuire. Rich Talarico represents the “A-R-I” of the group. Rich is a writer and co-producer on Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele” which won the 20143 Peabody Award. Craig Cackowski is our “S-K-I” and can currently be seen playing many people throughout history on the Comedy Central show, “Drunk History.”
(READ MORE) 

Austin, TX – Key & Peele Writers to Headline Out Of Bounds Improv Festival

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AUSTIN, TX –  The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is proud to announce that they will be presenting an improv showcase featuring the Peabody Award winning and Emmy-nominated writing staff of this landmark show as well as a Q&A panel. The Key & Peele writers all have improv chops. They use their improv skill in the writer’s room which is what helps give Key & Peele its unique voice. Many of the KP Writers got their starts at UCB, IO, SECOND CITY, BOOM CHICAGO in Amsterdam to name a few.

The K&P WRITERS are Rich Talarico (MADtv, SNL, Second City, Dasariski), Colton Dunn (UCB, Boom Chicago, Burning Love, Parks & Rec), Becky Drysdale (Second City, Boom Chicago, Big Gay Sketch Show), Phil Jackson (UCB, Chris Gethard Show) and Charlie Sanders (UCB, Death Valley, Late Night with Conan O’Brien)

The Key & Peele writers all have improv chops. They use their improv skill in the writer’s room which is what helps give Key & Peele its unique voice.

PERFORMANCES:

Friday, August 29th – 8:00 PM – Stateside at the Paramount
Saturday, August 30th – 8:00 PM – The Long Center

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Alex Rubens, Jay Martel, Writer’s Assistant James Livingston, Ian Roberts, Rich Talarico, Charlie Sanders, Rebecca Drysdale, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key.  (photo by Peter Atencio)
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is a seven-day live performance festival that showcases some of the best in improv, sketch, stand-up, and a variety of comedy performances from all over the country and across the globe. Now in its 13th year, the festival averages over 500 performers in 120 shows over the 7 days leading up to Labor Day.

 

Chicago Tribune – The Numerous Chicago Ties of 2014′s Emmy Nominees

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE –Nina Metz Chicago Closeup11:22 a.m. CDT, July 10, 2014

If you attend enough theater and live comedy in town over the years, watching TV can sometimes feel like a game of spot-the-onetime-Chicagoan. That’s never more true than when Emmy nominations roll around.

This year’s nominees include a hefty number of men and women who are from the Chicago area or trained here for a substantial period of time.  (READ MORE)

LAist Recommends – The Escapades @ Comedy Central Stage

LAist.logoLAist recommends “The Escapades”

COMEDY: Rich Talarico (Key and Peele writer), Jacob Womack and Wayland McQueen present The Escapades, a show for Comedy Central, at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood on Wednesday at 8 pm. The show focuses on three guys who are stuck in high school “facing the prospect of growing up.” Free, but RSVP at 323.960.5519

The Escapades – WED JULY 9th @ Comedy Central Stage – Los Angeles

EscapadesDirected by Key & Peele’s Rich Talarico and written by Talarico along with UCB’s Jacob Womack and Wayland McQueen,  “The Escapades” tells the story of Dwayne, Bo and Thad, the coolest guys in a small town high school, ten years after school is over.   Our story begins when Thad returns home to Ridgewood a small town, to find his two oldest friends Dwayne (Womack) and Bo (McQueen) (now, also in their late 20s), exactly where he left them. Still hanging out in the same disgusting garage… Dwayne still working at the factory and having given up on his music career and Bo still smoking major amounts of dunk, both yet to realize that the party is over. 

 
THE ESCAPADES
Live on Stage 
@Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson
6539 Santa Monica Boulevard
cross street Hudson Avenue between Highland and Vine  
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Show begins at 8:00pm 
Absolutely Free 
Reservations Required 
To RSVP, please call 323.960.5519 
Street and Lot Parking Available 
All Ages Show

 

RT @ Twin Cities Improv Festival this weekend

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I’ll be teaching and performing this weekend at the Twin Cities Improv Festival.  Performing for the first time with improv legend Jill Bernard.  Tickets are here.

Talarico & Bernard
Rich Talarico is a writer, filmmaker, improviser, and teacher whose credits include Key & Peele, Saturday Night Live, MadTV, and The Tonight Show. Jill Bernard is a founding member of HUGE Theater who has performed her one-woman improv piece, Drum Machine, in over forty improv festivals in Norway, Australia, Canada, Argentina and over thirty-five of the United States. This is their first opportunity to perform together, forecasted is realistic and whimsical improvised scenes heavy on the joy and with an equal chance of giggles or tears.