Friday, November 30, 2007

December's Player of the Month: Drew Champion!

He's a newbie, but a goodie. Drew Champion joined ComedySportz this past summer. In between performing at CSz, going to school full-time and working at the BYU Library, he's also a budding filmmaker who's worked on such films as "The RM," "Church Ball" and the upcoming "American Fork" starring Billy Baldwin. He's currently in post-production on a short film he directed, but somehow found time to talk to us. Enjoy.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada and in Orem.

What was it like growing up in Canada?

It was different than growing up here. I was only eleven when my family moved to Utah. I remember Canada being more racially diverse. I had Asian friends, East Indian friends, Polish friends, and Jewish friends…I’m sure I had at least one friend who was Jewish. My best friend was Lutheran.

I was also the youngest kid in my grade. The cutoff date in Edmonton was a lot later than it is here. But then moving here I was one of the oldest because I took sixth grade twice. Not because I failed, but because the cutoff date was earlier. I could have graduated from high school a year earlier, but that would have been really hard. I didn’t really learn much in Canada anyway.

Tell us about how you got involved with ComedySportz.

My brother, Scott, has done ComedySportz for like, forever. I’d always go with my friends. It was fun. I thought about doing the workshops and then my brother said not to because he thought I wouldn’t enjoy it and that it would be too hard. Then, kind of putting two and two together, I realized he regarded ComedySportz as his thing, which I can understand.

I finished high school, went to college; I would still go to a show every once in a while. I remember seeing Matt Mattson, Randy Tayler, Brett Merritt, Maclain Nelson, Jake Suazo, Patrick Livingston and Patrick Maravilla. Those guys were funny. Oh yeah, and my brother. And Curt Doussett.

I got back from my mission in the summer of 2005 and worked on a movie with Curt. He said that I should do the workshops. I got married in December of ’05. I didn’t start the workshops until February of this year. I had a blast! I finished the beginning workshops, I went to a few of the intermediate workshops, and my first shows were in May of this year.

I remember being really nervous for my first show. My parents were in the audience and they said my face was completely white. I was really scared! I remember being exhausted by the first show. It was really run, though.

What kind of things do you find funny?

I like stuff that just seems natural. I’m not a big fan of watching stand-up comedy. It’s funny—Brian Regan’s my favorite—but I kind of life more thematically funny stuff, where it’s being played out, like The Office. The really funny things are the stuff that just happens.

I think it’s funny when people get scared. I startle people at work all the time. I don’t know why I get such a kick out of scaring people. People even do it to me, and I love it!

I LOVE watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. Total guilty pleasure. I miss Bob Saget. One of my favorite videos on YouTube is the Panda Sneezing.

What's the one thing you've learned as a ComedySportz Player?

The less I TRY to be funny, the more funny I become.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Be an even BIGGER Big Shot with 2 for 1 admission!

We're down to our final three shows of BIG SHOT KARAOKE, brought to you by Square Magazine! Come be part of our interactive singing game show and get 2 for 1 admission with this coupon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yellow #2 for 1!

For the month of November you can get 2 for 1 admission to our Yellow #2 show! Click on this coupon and print it out and present it at the door. Shows are on November 1, 8, 15 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. (No show on November 22.)

November's Player of the Month: Kevin Lambert!

Kevin's been with CSz for two years, and after a summer away in Puerto Rico, he's ready to get back on the comedy bandwagon. Here's our interview with him.

You have been a player since…?

November 2005.

What prior stage/performing experience did you have before joining ComedySportz?

I did theater in high school. I did a couple shows down at the Center Street Musical Theater in Provo while I was doing the workshops at ComedySportz.

How did you get involved with ComedySportz?

Years and years and years ago I did theater games in one of my drama classes in high school. I loved it. I wasn’t very good, but I loved it. And I remember watching the old British version of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? I was always impressed with people who could do improv.

Then I moved to Provo to go to school. I went to a couple of ComedySportz shows just amazed that people could do that kind of stuff. I signed up for the workshops in 2003 and loved it. Stuck with it through the intermediate class, even though I had to bow out for six months because of school.

Did you ever have a moment where you couldn’t believe you were actually performing in a ComedySportz show?

Doing improv has been a lifelong goal for me. The first night I played, I was probably a nervous wreck. I did okay…I would hate to see a video of myself performing that night. I remember being on stage and just being shocked that I was there. I had the greatest time. It was one of those moments where you get to finally check something off on that lifetime to-do lists. I’ve loved it ever since.

I still get nervous. When I’m driving to the club to do a show I get this nervous, little bit awkward feeling like, what’s going to happen tonight? I love performing here, and that’s all there is to it.

What is your favorite ComedySportz game?

I have this strange love for Chain Murder. I don’t know why. I think it’s great. Especially when you have an audience volunteer who is absolutely lost. It’s one of the funniest things to watch.

What is your least favorite game?


While you were in Puerto Rico, your brother Jeff started performing with ComedySportz. He has since moved to California for military training.

Jeffrey and I are very similar. We’ve always loved improv. We used to go check out shows together and stuff. Then I started doing it, and I would tell him about it, and he’d come watch shows. I convinced him to do the workshops.

One of my regrets is that we never got to play in a show together. But someday we will.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We're in the news!

The Provo Daily Herald ran a big fat story about ComedySportz today! Check it out!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October's Player of the Month: Greg Kyte!

It took 30 years for October's player of the month to start pursuing his dream of performing comedy. And now he's a regular fixture on the CSz stage--starring in our Main Event and Yellow #2 shows--as well as an up-and-coming stand-up comedian who's making quite the impression on Utah audiences. We sat down with Greg Kyte for a little Q&A. Enjoy!

Do remember the first time you wanted to do comedy?

When I was in elementary school I was in a gifted program, so basically I was in a nerd factory. All the other nerd kids were hilarious and I wasn’t. I thought, I wanna be funny like the funny kids.

Unlike the majority of the population in Provo, you are not LDS. How did you end up here?

I came to Provo to go to school at BYU. I came to BYU to help foster a non-LDS Christian club on campus. Not like “Future Protestors of the Temple” club, but just a support system for non-LDS Christian students at BYU. It felt very adventurous to me: a non-Mormon going to a Mormon school. My first semester at BYU was so fun. I lived in Heritage Halls with some awesome guys. We had a blast.

You didn’t even start pursuing comedy until you were 30. How did that happen?

I hung out a lot with my friend Robert Dixon, and he brushed off a lot on me—his style of funny—and in high school I had opportunities—with him and sometimes without him—to do things in front of the student body. I did a lot of that emceeing kind of stuff. I loved being in front of people. I gave a lot of speeches to the entire student body that were very well received.

After high school I wanted to do [comedy], but sometimes is hard to overcome that inertia of where do you go, what do you do, where do you start? A couple of opportunities came up and then I got busy, and it was too easy to go, “I’m kinda’ busy,” which I think was half a cop-out because I was scared.

When I worked at Dixon Middle School I was teaching a couple of classes with low-end kids in terms of their math skills. Every week we had what I called “Motivation Mondays” where we wouldn’t do any math. Sometimes I’d have guest speakers come in, sometimes I’d show them a motivational movie, and sometimes I’d just talk to them about some kind of motivational theme. So much of it revolved around “do well in school and you can pursue your dreams.” You can do that so long before you go, “uh, I’m not doing that!” That was the breaking point for me. I was telling these kids to figure out what they really want to do and go do it, and I knew what I really wanted to do and I was just sitting on my butt.

You also do stand-up comedy. Which did you start first: stand-up or improv?

My very first standup was in July of 2002 and then I started the beginning (ComedySportz) workshops in September of 2002.

What are the differences between stand-up and improv?

Stand-up is rehearsed. There’s a routine. With my routine I’m able to switch it around, switch parts and change wording. It’s not so much memorized word for word, but it’s definitely planned out. There are parts where I know I have to say things the right way to consistently get the laugh.

I think stand-up comedy is like improv that sticks. Something you said that was funny to somebody else or some kind of premise that you just started thinking about and your brain makes the connection and it ends up working.

In Improv you’re making connections and it’s the spontaneous funny. In improv there’s something so spontaneous and organic and natural. It’s interesting because it comes full circle: the way to keep my stand-up funny is to relate it to the audience, the situation—somehow tie things in with the here and now. [Improv and stand-up] definitely feed off each other although they’re very different creatures.

How long were you in the workshops until you started performing with CSz?

Three years. Mike Bailey started his workshops after me but started playing long before me. But he wouldn’t leave the club. Any time the doors were open he’d be there. As much as I wanted to do that, I had a daughter born prematurely so I took six months where I didn’t do anything with CSz.

What’s your best advice for anyone interested in doing comedy?

If you want to do something, start pursuing it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

BIG SHOT KARAOKE! brought to you by Square Magazine

Our new singing game show BIG SHOT KARAOKE premieres this week! We did a test run of the show last week and it went great! It's going to be a lot fun. (Imagine a cross between "American Idol" and "The Price Is Right" with a ComedySportz twist.)
You're probably wondering how the show works. It's simple:

1. If you're in a singin' mood, you'll be handed a numbered ping pong ball and a request form. Browse through the song catalog.

2. When you know what song you want to sing, write your name, song title/number, and the number on your ping pong ball on your request form.

3. Drop your ping pong ball in the BIG SHOT! Bucket.
4. Singers will be randomly chosen from the BIG SHOT Bucket to perform.
5. If you're chosen to sing, get up on stage and show us what you've got!
(Due to time constraints, or if you're boring, songs may be cut short.)
6. You then will be judged by our panel of music experts who will give you feedback. (This is where it might get a little scary...for you!)
7. Near the end of the night the judges will select two of the performers to compete in a final round. The finalists will then sing another song each. The audience will then decide who is the Big Shot for the night! (There will be prizes for the two finalists. Of course, the Big Shot's prize will be slightly cooler than the runner-up. We're just saying.)
8. The night's Big Shot will be invited back to our Final Show of the season on November 15. All past winners will compete to become the Biggest Big Shot!
If you come to the show and you don't get chosen to perform, you still have a chance to win a prize: we'll have a drawing near the end of the show for something nifty.
So come and have fun with us on Thursdays at 9. Admission's only $5--that's cheaper than a movie ($8) , Arby's 5 for $5.95 deal, or a Kia Sorento ($20,650).
If you have any questions about BIG SHOT KARAOKE, contact the ComedySportz Office: 801.377.9700 or

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Q&A With Mike "Viper" Bailey!

Born in New York state (Goshen, to be exact) and raised in Dillon, Montana ("one of those places where you even know the bums’ names. Andy was the main bum"), Mike "Viper" Bailey joined ComedySportz in 2003 and has proven to be one of our star performers. He's September's Player of the Month. Recently we picked his brain for our blog. Enjoy!

When was your first inkling that you were funny?

My dad’s always been a joker; he’s always been kind of a funny guy. He teaches Leisure and Hospitality at a college and has done corporate parties, so games and goofing around has always been a part of my life. I started acting when I was in 8th grade. I did it all throughout high school.

How did you start with ComedySportz?

I went to BYU studying Mathematics. I realized after a while that I was getting to be a really huge nerd. Friday nights I was sitting at home studying abstract algebra, realizing that this was my life.

I actually started college as a Theatre major but stopped that after one semester. I was becoming a huge dork. I was okay with that to an extent, but I wanted to do comedy again. I looked to find what comedy groups there were in town. I contacted ComedySportz, found out there was a workshop starting the next week; I had never even been to a show.

What were the workshops like?

It was really fun. I was okay with not becoming a player. I got to the point where I assumed I was never going to be a player. I was really surprised when (the owners) invited me to play because I enjoyed doing the workshops. Once I started doing the workshops I started going to every show. Not long after that I worked the door every single show, and then I started doing Mr. Voice every now and then. I just loved being there.

What is the difference between being funny and doing improv?

I think it’s pretty hard to teach people to be funny. It’s something so innate. Some people have it, some people don’t. I think it can be nourished, but there’s no set formula. In improv there are formulas. There are skills and things like that. And no amount of funny can compensate for lack of those skills.

It’s like Euclid. Euclid was the father of geometry, and King Ptolemy was trying to learn geometry and complaining that it was so complicated. He asked Euclid if there was an easier way, and Euclid responded that there’s no king’s road to geometry. I don’t think there’s a king’s road to improv, or a comedian’s road. You have to learn those skills. Just being funny isn’t going to make up for it. So much of improv is teamwork, and being able to involve yourself with this team, because you’re nothing without the team.

Have you ever been scared on stage?

My first show. I was terrified. I remember our first game was “What Are You Doing?” and I remember thinking, wait a minute. You don’t need to be nervous. You know how to do this. The only time I can remember being nervous again after that was right before I performed at the ComedySportz National Tournament. It was one shot; people were going to be judging me.
I’m not afraid of failing in front of people because it’s going to happen. I’m not scared of it, I just don’t enjoy it. I’ve failed too many times to get nervous about failing.

What’s your favorite thing about ComedySportz?

One of my favorite things is definitely the companionship. I think some of my best friends are people from ComedySportz. There’s a lot of connection and history there. We’ve had to interact with one another in a certain way that we can predict what’s going to happen. Regardless of whether the audience enjoys the show you can enjoy the companionship and enjoy the things you are creating on stage. I love that.

What do you get out of doing improv comedy?

I love making people laugh. I just really enjoy seeing people happy and laughing. There’s a thrill to it. I love ComedySportz, but I also love the Yellow #2 show, where I have the ability to create these stories. I’ve always wanted to be an author, make movies, things like that—I’m just not willing to take the time to do so. The Yellow #2 show is an opportunity for me to do those stories without all the time and effort it would take to write a novel.

Who are your biggest comedic influences?

I like smart comedy. I like comedy that makes you think. I don’t know if I have influences necessarily… I love political comedy. I love John Stewart, Dennis Miller. I would like to be Garrison Keillor: his ability to tell a story and make you care about it but at the same time make you laugh. I feel that the jokes aren’t all that funny, but it’s because you’re so emotionally invested in that it become so much funnier. It’s the same way a funny story about a friend is far funnier that a story about someone you’ve never met. I think he’s brilliant.

What would be your two cents for people who want to do ComedySportz?

Practice. A ton.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beginner Improv Workshop begins October 2!

So you go to a ComedySportz Main Event or Yellow #2 show and you think, hey, I could that! Or you want to overcome your fear of public speaking. Or you're looking for a new way to (re)energize your creativity. Or you just want to have fun.
There are a million (okay, ten) reasons why people take our Beginner Improv class. The "why" doesn't matter. It's the "when," "where" and "how" that does.
Our next class starts on Tuesday, October 2 from 7:30-9:30 pm and runs every Tuesday until October 30. Cost is $90 and payment is due at first class. Classes are taught by some of CSz Utah's best performers. Call 801.377.9700 or email for more info.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is Our Blog!

Welcome fans!

This is our new blog which will keep you up to date on all the awesome goings-on at ComedySportz Utah! We have a lot of new stuff coming up in these next few months (new shows, special events) so check back often for what's going on with Utah's #1 Destination for Comedy!