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i am not a stuffed tiger.

performance living?

It is apparently a week in which I'm feeling all sorts of recommendy. Last week's This American Life, "Mind Games" [#] is definitely worth a listen.

In particular, the middle act is about a group called Improv Everywhere that takes the flash mob [Ed: do you think anyone remembers those?] concept to a whole new level. The show profiles a few of their missions to "[cause] scenes of chaos and joy in public places" and follows up with commentary from the people whose lives were unknowingly the focus of the group's performances. Listening to it last night, I couldn't decide whether I thought that the Improv Everywhere was creating some kind of beautiful magic in a mundane world or just being egotistical and creepily intrusive. Maybe it's both, or something in the middle.

It's likely my general reservations about improv comedy are a factor in my reception of the story.


flash what?
I have no idea. I just heard the term somewhere and thought I should use it without knowing the meaning.
i'd like to hear more about your "general reservations about improv comedy."
I think that my main reservation is that it's really hard to do improv comedy well.

As a result, most improv comedy turns out to be not particularly funny and sort of uncomfortable. I hate it when they ask the audience for ideas and end up with lame suggestions and the troupe (comedians/players/cast?) doesn't make anything funny out of it. Also, when it goes overboard and becomes annoying. And shows like "whose line is it anyway?" do absolutely nothing for me, even though you'd think that the people on it would be at the top of their craft.

That said, I have no doubt that some improv comedy is actually hilarious. Maybe I just don't have the patience to find it?
How funny, Mrs. Maltby was telling us all about the Improv Everywhere segment when I saw her this weekend. She didn't say where she'd heard/seen it so I didn't know it was from TAL. I'll have to listen to it even though I know the entire story, she was hilarious telling us about it, which was good as the wedding we were at was not exactly exciting.