The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

63° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Who’s laughing: UA Comedy Corner takes on College Improv Tournament Nationals

Isabel Molla

From left to right: Comedy Corner members Sam Weisband, Ben Weinstein, Rebecca Wendler, Griffin Riley and Nikki Moore watch as their peers participate in an improvisation game on Monday, Feb. 6. The game required each member to improvise a scene acting as a character they frequently play.

On Monday and Wednesday nights in the Harvill building, you may overhear a group of a dozen or so people screaming and clapping between bouts of laughter. Passersby might mistakenly assume these UA students are participating in an unpaid study focused on the psychological and hallucinogenic effects of potatoes. This spunky troupe, however, is practicing improvisational comedy.

These students are members of the UA Comedy Corner, a club with a chance to be considered some of the funniest students in the United States. After performing at the College Improv Tournament on Jan. 21, Comedy Corner qualified for the CIT nationals at the Vittum Theatre in Chicago on Feb. 25.

The group will compete in the West Super-Regional on the morning of the 25, where they will match up against improv groups from the University of California-Berkeley and the University of British Columbia. If they win, they will be declared Super Regional Champions and will qualify into the competition for the title of CIT National Champions.

RELATED: Arizona Repertory Theatre reduces ticket prices for UA students

Comedy Corner performed half long-form and half short-form improv during the CIT West Coast Regional at the Torch Theatre in Phoenix.

Katie Gerdts, producer and club president of Comedy Corner, said the group plans to include fun, snappy, short-form games and longer free-form scenes at the end. The group will have 25 minutes to impress the judges.

Chris Bergin, director of Comedy Corner, said that what he is most looking forward to is seeing all the other troupes that are also going to be at nationals.

“One of the really exciting things is getting to watch other people who have committed as much time and energy into it and seeing how they do things differently and just how funny they are in comparison,” Bergin said.

This is the 10th annual College Improv Tournament Nationals Championship. Fifteen teams from across the country are competing for Super Regional titles; the winners of five regions will pass on into the Nationals competition. Paid streaming will be available for Wildcats who wish to watch Comedy Corner compete Feb. 25.

RELATED: Six shows to look for at the 2017 Tucson Fringe Festival

Comedy Corner is the nation’s longest running college sketch and improv group. The group formed in 1979. These students meet twice a week to practice and polish their humorous aptitude. At Monday’s meeting, the group played several improv games, including one involving discussion of the characters individuals jump into most often, to understand and diversify their portfolio of humor. 

Griffin Riley, a freshman and second-semester member of Comedy Corner, said that he thinks the club is great because they learn a lot of important skills that could be relevant in simple conversation, and it boosts his confidence.

“It’s nice to be able to just command a crowd really easily through a lot of the work that we do, because it contributes into so many other mediums,” Riley said.

UA Comedy Corner is trying to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign for their trip to Nationals in Chicago, as well as a trip to Los Angeles at the end of March for the Fracas Improv Festival at the University of Southern California.

Follow Isaac Andrews on Twitter

More to Discover
Activate Search