25 Quotes about Improv Comedy

Many of the members of Broadway’s Next Hit Musical’s audiences don’t believe us when we say our show is improvised. They may not know that there are guiding principals to improv that all good improvisers follow. Below we have some of our favorite quotes about our favorite art form. You’ll see that all improvisers work to obey these guiding principles for the good of the scene.

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  1. The world is a slighty better place for having improvisation in it than it was before. There’s something about it that says something positive about the human spirit, that a bunch of people can get together and by following a few simple traffic rules can create art and can entertain an audience and can thrill and exalt each other. — Del Close

  2. The improviser has to understand that his first skill lies in releasing his partner’s imagination. — Keith Johnstone

  3. The rules of improvisation apply beautifully to life. Never say no - you have to be interested to be interesting, and your job is to support your partners. — Scott Adsit

  4. No one looks stupid when they’re having fun. — Amy Poehler

  5. I love improvisation. You can’t blame it on the writers. You can’t blane it on direction. You can’t blame it on the camera guy… It’s you. You’re on. You’ve got to do it, and you either sink or swim with what you’ve got. — Jonathan Winters

  6. You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. — Robin Williams

  7. The thing about improvisation is that it’s not about what you say. It’s listening to what other people say. It’s about what you hear. — Paul Merton

  8. Improv teaches the importance of support through true listening. — Rob Schiffmann

  9. There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. — Amy Poehler

  10. Improv groups get stale when the members stop surprising each other. — Greg Triggs

  11. With improv, it’s a combination of listening and not trying to be funny. — Kristen Wiig

  12. The key is to use something that is a mystery to you, and then follow it. And let it reveal itself without too much concern for solving that mystery. — Rob Schiffmann

  13. Just say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards. — Tina Fey

  14. If we treat each other as if we are geniuses, poets, and artists, we have a better chance of becoming that on stage. — Del Close

  15. 80% of improv is owning the stage. — Jason Mantzoukas

  16. Those who have learned to collaborate and improvise have prevailed. — Charles Darwin

  17. Put your whole self in - just like the hokey pokey. — Deb Rabbai

  18. If you’re in your head then you’re not here with me. — Susan Messing

  19. The fun is always on the other side of a yes. — Martin DeMatt

  20. Behave honestly and act honestly. That’s all. — T.J. Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi

  21. The right choice is often the brave choice. — Will Hines

  22. Improvisation is the art of being completely okay with not knowing what the f___ you’re doing. — Mick Napier

  23. What all my years in improvisation has taught is that - if you’re going to grow as a performer - you have to try some new things. You’ve got to be willing to take a few risks.”

  24. Enjoy things even when you’re screwing up. — Keith Johnstone

  25. Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action. — Malcolm Gladwell

Posted on April 30, 2019 and filed under How To Do Music Improv.