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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.




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.


Dan Bakkedahl

Dan Bakkedahl is one of the stars of CBS's "Life In Pieces," and you also know him from VEEP. He is an alumni of the Second City and iO Chicago. Jimmy caught up with him while he was back in Chicago recently to talk to about why he's happy with the state of improv on TV and film, getting a compliment from Del Close, and why choosing not to play certain stereotypical characters makes him a better improviser.


Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein is an improviser, director, teacher and writer. He directed The National Touring Company at Second City and The Annoyance Theater, where he also performed. He was the Artistic Director of Flat Iron Comedy and teaches writing and improv at the Second City Training Center. We talk to him about taking long brakes in improv, going from intern to performer and a little politics.


Pete Holmes

Pete Holmes is a stand-up comedian and the star and creator of the HBO show "Crashing." He is also the host of the podcast You Made It Weird. We talked to him about finding improv in the sixth grade, what was like moving to Chicago to purse improv back in 2001, how to bring more joy on stage, and of course his show, "Crashing."


Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson is the author of the new book, Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art. Jimmy talks to Sam about the history of improv, from beginning of improv with The Compass Players to Del Close and The Harold, Bill Murray, the Chicago improv scene in the '90s and more. If you want to know more about improv's history, don't miss this episode.


Mark Sutton

Mark Sutton is an improv teacher and a founding member of The Annoyance Theater, where he was part of the cast that created Co-ed Prison Sluts. He has toured around the country with Joe Bill doing Bassprov. We talk to him about the early days of The Annoyance, why the first 15 seconds of an improv scene is so key, and the importance of vulnerability and making an emotional connection.


Nick Johne

Nick Johne is from Canada where he performed with Second City Toronto. He is one of Chicago's most respected teachers, working with improvisers and actors and teaching improv to people on the Autism spectrum. We talk to Nick about why that brings him so much joy, the difference between Canadian and American improvising and how he creates characters.


239: Bill Chott

Bill Chott is an incredible improv teacher in Los Angeles who does long form, short form and musical improv, and also acts in TV and films and even does magic. We talk to him about why he puts so much importance on space and object work, how short form can help with long form, and the pluses and minuses of getting your big break at a young age.


238: Dee Ryan

Dee Ryan was a member of The Second City Etc., where she did three revues back in the late '90s. In LA, she performed with the amazing group Stacey's Not Here and the award-winning The All Girl Revue. She currently teaches long form to film students at Northwestern. We talked to her about how having brothers prepared her for a life in improv, how she over came working with difficult people and how she approaches characters.


237: Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstong is the founder of Improv Utopia and the artistic director of West Side Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. He performs with King Ten, the longest-running Harold team in LA, at iO West. Jimmy talks to him about why you should have an improv coach, he gives Jimmy an exercise to learn how to be silly and he shares what it's really like to be an artistic director.


236: 3Peat

In this live show, Jimmy sits down with four members of Chicago's best improv group: 3Peat. Nnamdi Ngwe, Patrick Rowland, John Thibodeaux, and Dewayne Perkins. Jimmy talks to this all-black ensemble about diversity in improv, their style of play and how they came up with their name.


235: The World According to Jimmy

In this special bonus episode, "The World According to Jimmy," Jimmy sits down with his producer, Dan Schiffmacher, and answers questions about improv, career and life submitted by our listeners and some of Jimmy's students.


234: Jill Valentine

Jill Valentine is the executive director of The Chicago Women's Funny Festival at Stage 773 and an original member of The Cupid Players. We talked about how women's roles in improv have changed since she started in 1999, why she likes to make bold choices in her improv, and why she doesn't give herself notes after she improvises.


233: Claire and Alan Linic

Alan and Claire Linic are improvisers, writers, teachers -- and a married couple. Alan is in the current Second City etc cast and Claire is the author of two books. We talked to them about how they met at an improv show, why they don't improvise well together and why it's important to put your ideas out there.


232: Alison Riley

Alison Riley is the producer of Second City, where she has worked for 30 years. She is one of the people responsible for casting. Jimmy sat down with her to talk about what Second City is looking for when they are hiring actors, how things have changed during her time there, and what Stephen Colbert was like when he worked in the box office.


231: Theresa Mulligan

Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal is a TV writer and producer, working on such shows as "Lady Dynamite," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Whitney." She started out improvising in the '90s in Chicago and was a member of Second City Touring Company, Second City Northwest and Jazz Freddy. We talked to her about taking improv classes with her mom, how she went from being an improviser to writing for TV, and how she has overcome her insecurities.


230: Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher is a well-respected teacher and improviser at The Annoyance Theater, where he was in the original cast of Co-Ed Prison Sluts. He was in also in the Second City Touring Company and the amazing group's Cardiff Giant and Bang Bang. We talked about his career as a lawyer, how he used improv to win a jury trial, and how we can always learn from the bad shows as well as the good.


229: Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch is best known for her seven seasons on SNL. She recently returned to Chicago for the Chicago Improv Festival, where she recorded this live episode of Improv Nerd on the Second City Main Stage. Jimmy talks to her about how she built her confidence as an improviser, how the slow times in her career have turned into great projects, and of course, SNL.


228: Jaime Moyer

Jaime Moyer is an improviser, teacher and actor. You have seen her in such shows as Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. She was originally a member of Second City Detroit before moving to LA in 2009. In this live episode recorded at The Chicago Improv Festival, Jimmy talks to her about how she auditioned for Second City for a parking pass, how she avoids being pigeonholed in improv, and how she decides what projects to take on.


227: Shantira Jackson

Shantira Jackson is a cast member of the current Second City Mainstage, and she also performs with Chicago's hottest improv group, 3Peat, at iO Chicago. Jimmy sits down and talks to her about leaving journalism for comedy, what she is trying to get across to the audience when she's performing, and her incredible work ethic.


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