Posts Tagged ‘UCB’

Monday Medley

What we read while celebrating the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it…

Monday Medley

What we read while moving to Ecuador for the weather…

Monday Medley

What we read while the government spying- NEVERMIND EVERYTHING’S FINE!

Monday Medley

What we read while remembering Mother’s Day, we swear…

Monday Medley

What we read while celebrating Veinte y Nueve de Abril…

  • Read this, and you’ll never have to read anything else about Tim Tebow again.

The Top Five Comedians of the Summer


After we (John S and Josh) settled our squabbles on anchoring, we went to the highly recommended Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York nearly every week this summer (sometimes twice) to see some of the best (and worst) up-and-coming and established comedians. The vast majority of these comics were seen at Leo Allen’s Whiplash, but some were also seen at Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler’s variety show, Hot Tub. All in all, we saw over forty comedians perform. In traditional NPI fashion, we decided to rank them. Below are the five best comedians we saw this summer, all of whom we strongly recommend: Continue reading

Against Insular Arrogance

I was at an Improv show the other day (in fact, it was referred to in the Anchoring Symposium) and the host asked audience members for a word, any word in order to get the guest monologist (a comedian) started on her monologue. One man responded with analrapist, an Arrested Development reference. In context, this joke is very funny. Out of context, however, it only signifies that you’ve watched the show. When the comedian did not get the reference, the man started repeating the fictional word louder and louder with a sense of snide condescension. Analrapist. Analrapist. He might as well have been saying “I watch Arrested Development, don’t you?” All I could think was: Are you serious? She is the one actually performing comedy, not you. Watching a show and understanding a joke written by someone else (and then, presenting it without context) is not at all impressive. It certainly does not give you license to look down on someone who is actually in the practice of making jokes for not understanding your reference.
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Symposium: Non-Delusional Anchoring

Now, Josh got upset with me the other day for not wanting to see a $12 comedy show because I had just seen a free show and was skeptical that this show would be “$12 better.” He accused me of anchoring. Basically, anchoring means that I am letting an arbitrary piece of information (in this case, that I happened to have seen a show for free) play an irrationally large role in my decision. As Josh said to me “it’s arbitrary that you saw UCB (the free show) first…if I didn’t tell you about that and just told you about this, you probably would react differently.”

Of course, Josh is right that I would have reacted differently, and there are definitely times when anchoring leads to very irrational behavior. But I maintain that it makes sense in this instance. Continue reading