Sports Improv Show Leaves the Audience Wheezing with Laughter


(Chiarra Sorci and Taylor Sternberg perform “A Day in the Life” for the audience)

Akshita Nair, Staff Writer

Hosted and performed by the ComedySportz® group based in San Jose, the comedy improv show on November 2 in Valhalla featured a variety of games and skits that left the crowd practically breathless with laughter. The tickets were sold for $10 and the funds went straight to the Irvington athletics department.

The show was not a comedy show based on sports, but as host Jeff Kramer said, “improv comedy as a sport.” The show featured the host and four other members including: Chiarra Sorci, Joe Schneider, Brandon Karleen, and Taylor Sternberg. In the show, the host was the “referee” for the teams, who were dressed in sports jerseys and split into two teams-red and blueset to compete against each other. The teams were competing for the most amount of points, and to win these points, the two groups engaged in several unique games.

These games often required the audience’s participation in games like “A Day in the Life”, where an audience member would describe the events of a particular day in their life and the team members would have to act it out without faltering, or risk losing the point. Another game called  “Forward and Reverse” required the members to act out a situation described by one of the audience members, but as soon as the referee blew his whistle then they would have to reverse the act and recite the exact lines and perform the actions backwards perfectly without hesitation. This provided a nice alternative to typical comedy shows, where most of the performance is scripted as opposed to this , where all the events are determined by the audience and what they decide to do with the cast.

  “We think of what activities we are going to do beforehand, because it’s a challenge when we are in the field,” said Taylor Sternberg, who’s been part of the show for nineteen years. “The trick is to pick the ideas that will keep the audience interested and be easy to understand [to appreciate].”

ComedySportz® was started in 1984 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has since then grown into a global organization. They also offer classes to the public to get them into the world of improv and often donate a lot of their earnings to charities and fundraisers every year.

   “I think that generally, it is important to understand the temperature of the audience and to keep the fever going. And I mean, even if your audience sucks, you’re still out there doing it,” said Stenberg when asked talking about the initial challenges in performing in comedy bits.

With every show being different and customizable to any crowd, the skit gave a fresh new take on comedy. An undoubtedly funny and clever performance, the comedy improv show conducted by the ComedySportz® San Jose group gave an audience a spectacular and memorable show.