You may not know the name Del Close, but you are undoubtedly familiar with the comedians he taught. Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Sedaris, Chris Farley and many more all received improvisational comedy training from Del Close, but in a rather unconventional way.
For Madmen Only is a new documentary that chronicles the life of Del Close as he goes through the process of creating a DC Comics title called Wasteland, a horror anthology series that took cues from Close’s life, but exaggerated them into gnarly, surreal tales of terror. But perhaps more importantly, it follows his never-ending ambition to turn long-form improv into an art form that was not only accessible to audiences, but could also be taught to generations of comedians. Oh, and you should probably know that Del Close is absolutely insane, and everyone who knew him confirms that here. Read More »
Many of today’s comedy stars have been through some kind of formal training at one of several well-known improvisational schools like Uprights Citizens Brigade Theatre, Second City, The Groundlings, or ImprovOlympic (now known simply as iO). The latter is where two of the most legendary improvisational comedians taught and performed, and now their story will be told on the big screen.
Del & Charna is a new movie from Pitch Perfect writer and Blockers director Kay Cannon that will tell the story of improv comedy pioneers Del Close and Charna Halpern, the duo who founded improvOlympic in 1981 and influenced and trained comedians like Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Sedaris, Chris Farley and many more. Comedy wouldn’t be what it is today without the contributions of these two. Read More »
When it comes to inspiration and influence, you’d be hard pressed to find someone mentioned by today’s famous comedy talents more than Del Close. You may not know the man by name, but he’s been responsible for mentoring some of the biggest names in comedy today, pushing them to see comedy as more than just a way to make people laugh. Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Amy Sedaris, Adam McKay and more all studied under Close before he passed away in 1999.
Even after his death, Close continues to influence up-and-coming comedians as many of his foundations of improv comedy are taught in workshops and classes all over the world. Now the man will be played by one of his most famous students in a new comedy.
Find out more about the Del Close movie after the jump. Read More »