Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Lauren Frost ’16

Oak Park, Illinois • Art History View Profile

72 Hours of Improv

Quipfire! takes on the Del Close Marathon

What do Mike Birbiglia, Aidy Bryant, the cast of "Silicon Valley," the cast of "Broad City," and Amy Poehler all have in common? If you said "They're all people that Lauren has obsessive comedy crushes on and boy, she really needs to let go," you'd be right! If you said "Lauren saw them all perform at the 2015 Del Close Marathon," you'd be even more right!

The Del Close Marathon, or DCM, is an annual three-day improv festival in New York that features 72 straight hours of improv at nine different venues. Quipfire! visits DCM every year, because it's a great chance for us to learn from some of our favorite improvisers, and for us to see new forms that we can try out onstage. (Remember our Gravid Water shows this year? We saw that form at DCM!) I've gone every year since my freshman year, and it's always one of my favorite parts of the summer.

Quipfire! at DCM
A mirror selfie that Quipfire! took backstage during my first DCM. Bet you didn't know we were models!

DCM offers an incredibly diverse array of shows. A lot of famous comedians who got their start in improv come to DCM to show off their old skills. For example, we went to see UCB house team The Stepfathers, and a huge group of Stepfathers alums joined them, including Bobby Moynihan ("Saturday Night Live") and Zach Woods ("The Office" and "Silicon Valley").

But 72 hours of improv means there's some pretty weird stuff going on to fill the time. For example, we saw a show called "The Camping Trip" in which comedians like Ben Schwartz ("Parks and Recreation") and Horatio Sanz ("Saturday Night Live") pack each other bags of weird items, switch bags with each other, and then pretend that they are camping and these bags are all that they brought for survival. Ben Schwartz ended up with an envelope labeled "My Big Secret" that he saved until the end of the show, and when he finally opened it, it  contained a raisin and a single piece of spaghetti attached to a cotton ball. And I've heard even stranger stories. One performer told me he exited the stage after his show and the show that went on after him was just a group of unsupervised dogs.

If you were at UCB East on Sunday morning, you even caught a glimpse of Quipfire! performing! DCM does a great job of giving performance slots to college groups, even if those slots are at not-quite-primetime. We performed improv based on improvised monologues from friend of the group/funny lady Catherine Cohen '13. We also caught a performance by our sister group, Stranded in Pittsburgh from Fordham University.

Even though DCM is over, Quipfire! is still gonna catch a few more improv shows before the summer is over, including a performance by improv gods TJ and Dave. Stay tuned!