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Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane

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"Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane," is a live interview show hosted by Jimmy Carrane, a well-known improv teacher and former host of Studio 312 on Chicago Public Radio. In this show, Jimmy explores the creative process used to make great comedy.

"Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane," is a live interview show hosted by Jimmy Carrane, a well-known improv teacher and former host of Studio 312 on Chicago Public Radio. In this show, Jimmy explores the creative process used to make great comedy.
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"Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane," is a live interview show hosted by Jimmy Carrane, a well-known improv teacher and former host of Studio 312 on Chicago Public Radio. In this show, Jimmy explores the creative process used to make great comedy.




Tj Jagodowski

TJ Jagodowski is one of the finest improvisers and people you will know. He's half of the long-running show TJ and Dave. In this special episode that was originally recorded for Curious City at WBEZ in Chicago, Jimmy talks to TJ about why he thinks Chicago is still the mecca of improv, his definition of Yes, And... (which is not out of the text book), and why he has stayed in Chicago to improvise.


Jeff Michalski

Jeff Michalski is an improv legend. He is a teacher, director, an improviser who was a founding member of Second City's ETC Theater back in the 80s and now teaches in Los Angeles. Jimmy sat down with to talk with Jeff about what he learned working with Del, how he uses Meisner and view point techniques when he is teaching improv, and telling Stephen Colbert to start loving to bomb on stage.


Shad Kunkle

Shad Kunkle is an improviser, actor, teacher, and comedian. He has been playing with the iO Harold team Carl and The Passions for 20 years, he toured with Second City and understudied the Main Stage. We talked to him about the importance of focusing on the other person, being selfless as an improv coach/director, and how he uses short form to help his long form.


Todd Milliner

Todd Milliner is one of the executive producers on CNN's original series, "The History of Comedy." He has produced such shows as "Hot In Cleveland," "Hollywood Game Night" and "Grimm." We talk to him about taking improv classes at The Annoyance back in the '90s, how "Yes, And..." works in L.A., and why it is important for people in improv to know the history of comedy.


Andel Sudik

Andel Sudik is an incredible improviser and teacher. She has performed all over the United States with The Second City Touring Company and in Europe with Boom Chicago, and she travels the world improvising and teaching. We talked to her about how she creates her wonderful characters on stage, what she learned about herself after being fired from the Second City ETC cast, and auditioning for Saturday Night Live.


Jimmy Pennington

Jimmy Pennington is one of the Annoyance Theater's most popular improv teachers. He has performed in lots of shows there, including Co-ed Prison Sluts, and is currently in Fish Bowl on Thursday nights. We talked him about how to "get out of your head" when you are improvising, how to improvise from the character versus from the scene, and the importance of doing the projects you love.


Vernon Mina

Vernon Mina teaches and performs at The Annoyance Theater in Chicago where he is currently in Trigger Happy direced by Mick Napier. He also performs with the Second City Touring Company and has previously understudied for Second City’s ETC. We talked to him about the Annoyance style of improv, diversity in improv in Chicago and auditioning for Saturday Night Live.


Mark Czoske

Mark Czoske is one of Chicago’s most respected improvisers and teachers. He currently teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago and has performed at The Improv Institute and in Flannigan’s Wake. Jimmy talks to him about the “hard truth and realism” in improv, how he developes his characters and how meditation has help him be more in the moment as a teacher and improviser.


133: Jordan Klepper

Jordan Klepper is a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has taught and performed at The UCB New York, where he is a member of legendary group The Stepfathers, as well as at iO-Chicago, where he in the the original cast of World News Tonight and a member of Carl and The Passions. In this episode, which was recorded at the Peoples Improv Theater during the New York Improv Festival, Jimmy talks to him about how he got a job on The Daily Show, why he moved from Chicago to New...


132: Kelly Leonard

Kelly Leonard is the Vice President of The Second City, and President of The Second City Theatricals. He's also co-author of a new book with Tom Yorton, "Yes, And." (How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City) Jimmy talks with Kelly about how he got started at Second City back in 1988, stepping in as the producer at a young age for the legendary Joyce Sloan, and of course- his new book. If you want to get inside the...


131: Joe Canale

Joe Canale has done it all in the improv world. He's an alumni of The Second City Main Stage in Chicago, and has performed too many shows to list at iO and Boom Chicago. Jimmy talks with Joe about why he's so comfortable being "a lighting rod," what he learned from hosting an improv jam when he was just starting out, and why he wishes he would've stayed at Boom Chicago and Second City for just one more year. Joe Canale is always honest and always insightful.


130: Dana Quercioli

Dana Quercioli is from Cleveland, where she was the second youngest person to be on a Main Stage at Second City. She is a hugely respected improviser and teacher performing at iO-Chicago and Second City. Jimmy sat down with her and talked to her experience on the Main Stage in Cleveland, driving from Ohio to Chicago on Sundays to take classes at iO, and what she wants to do next in her career.


129: Brad Morris

Brad Morris is a writer/actor/improviser. He wrote for three seasons on Cougar Town, he is an alumni of The Second City Mainstage and a member of the legendary iO Harold team The Reckoning. Jimmy sat down with Brad and talked to him about his journey from iO to Second City to LA as writer, actor and everything in between.


128: Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway is the creator of the hit show Transparent. Jimmy sat down with The Golden Globe winner and talked to her about starting out at The Annoyance Theater back in the early 90's, how she is dealing with her success, and the creative process. You will not want to miss this honest and insightful interview!


127: Noah Gregoropoulos

Noah Gregoropoulos is an amazing teacher, director and improviser at iO-Chicago. He is one of the oldest members of iO, where he has been teaching and improvising for close to 25 years. Jimmy sits down with his old friend to talk about stepping in for Del Close when he died, what "truth in comedy" means to him and where he developed his artistic approach to improv.


126: Amey Goerlich

Amey Goerlich is a hugely respected teacher, director, coach, producer and improviser in New York City. She has directed or coached more than 300 teams and off-Broadway productions. She hosts and produces the Indie Cage Match at the UCB and improvises all around the city. Jimmy talked to her her about starting out at the UCB, teaching improv seven days a week and the famous people she has been fortunate enough to work with over the years.


125: UCB Touring Company

The UCB Touring company consists of Marshall Stratton, Mike Kelton, Jenny St. Angelo, and James Smith. Jimmy caught up with them at The Steel Stacks Improv Comedy Festival and talked to them up about how they got into the touring company and what they've learned from doing gigs on the road. Take a listen!


124: Judy Fabjance & Kelly Beeman

In this episode, Jimmy interviews Judy Fabjance, a well-known improv teacher at Second City, who recently created a two-person sketch show called "Tales Of A Stage 4 Cancer" with her wife, Kelly Beeman. The show is based on Judy's struggles with cancer and Kelly's experiences as a caregiver to Judy. In this very moving episode of Improv Nerd, they discuss how they created the show and how they turned something so painful into something so funny.


123: Will Hines

Will Hines is a legendary teacher and improviser at the UCB. He has been performing there since 2000 and he headed up the training center in New York for years. Jimmy talked to him about how he was first exposed to improv in New York back in the late '90s, what the UCB was like when he first started, and what "the game of the scene" means to him. Will is both thoughtful and articulate about improv, so you won't want to miss this episode!


122: Danny Balel

Danny Balel is not someone you may know. He is in the improv trenches doing the un-glamorous work of teaching improv to kids. He is a member of Improv Boston's Touring Company who also teaches improv to a diverse bunch of high school kids in the working class city of Worcester, Mass., as well as at Clark University. In this episode, Jimmy talks to him about his rough teenage years, how theater saved his life and how he's making a difference teaching improv.