Improv ReporT: ‘The Colbert Report’ Writers in ‘Seize the Mustard’.

UCB NY Theatre

Hubster Caroline, was lucky enough to attend last night’s performance of “Seize the Mustard” by The Colbert Report writers, at New York’s UCB Theatre.

Cast: Peter Gwinn | Meredith Scardino | Michael Brumm | Opus Moreschi | Rob Dubbin | Eric Drysdale | Max Werner | Jay Katsir | Cecilia Lederer

Special Guest: Paul Dinello.

As Katt has mentioned before, the Colbert Report writers sometimes do an improvisational comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre in New York City. I forgot to write a review for the show I went to back in June, but here’s what happened at the show on Thursday, September 22.

The show started off with a great surprise – Paul Dinello was one of the writers performing! I’m a big fan of his and have never seen him live. It didn’t even occur to me that he might show up. How cool is that? I was in the front row – about 5-10 feet away from him. I think I had a big grin on my face for the first few minutes of the show!

Other writers? Oh yes, there were other writers there. :) Two I recognized were Opus Moreschi and Peter Gwinn. I think Cecilia Lederer was there too, but I’m not 100 percent sure it was her. Plus, there was a young, blond guy I have never seen before and a short, dark-haired guy with glasses.

Anyway, the show was about 45 minutes long and a lot of fun. You could see that some writers have more experience with improv than others. They were all funny, but the tricky part of improv is knowing when to listen and when to jump in – Paul and Opus were very good at that.

They started by asking for a prompt from the audience. Someone said “Iran”. That led to Peter Gwinn talking about the two US hikers who were just freed. Then they did a sketch on that. It was interesting how one bit melded into another. The format of the show continued along the lines of short, true monologues followed by an improv that was in some way based on the story that had just been told.

Paul hung back a bit in the first few minutes, letting other people have the center stage. Later he and Opus did several very funny bits together. They both have great timing and are good at listening to and playing off each other.

I highly recommend this show for anyone living in or visiting New York City. It’s a great deal at only $5. The Colbert writers have recently been playing Thursday nights at 9:30, maybe once a month. UCB doesn’t have its October schedule up yet, but it will be here soon: It’s best to reserve tickets online ahead of time, since the show usually sells out. Hope to see some Hubsters at the next show!

P.S. Another good UCB improve show is ASSCAT3000 on Sunday nights.

  • SazzrahUK

    Cool review! So jealous you got to see Paul Dinello! I spent the summer volunteering in New York City and became obsessed with UCB, saw the writers do improv twice! and also saw Wyatt Cenac perform there, such a great place and the tickets are so cheap! Oh and ASSCAT3000 is awesome, although you have to queue for a long time! awww I miss it, if I lived in NY, I would go there every night lol

  • CN Helper

    Wow! Opus and Paul, how awesome. Gosh to have been there! Caroline you’re a lucky duck!

  • Caroline

    Here’s someone else’s Tumblr review of last night’s show. She says Eric Drysdale was there (I thought it could be him, but wasn’t sure). She has some good details on the sketches:

    One thing I’ll add is that during Opus and Paul’s anti-gay therapy sketch, they got into a slapfight! (It started as high fives and degenerated.)

  • Erin

    Oh hey, that’s my recap! Well this is awkward.

    I was actually going to comment before that it was, in fact, Eric Drysdale, but goodness, I cannot remember the other two writers’ names! Thanks for reminding me of the Opus-Paul slapfight, by the way.

    So yes, everyone. It was totally enjoyable.

  • Caroline

    Hi Erin,

    Your recap was really good. Hope it’s okay I linked to it. I found it while I was googling, trying to figure out who the other writers were. So, I’m pretty sure the woman was Cecilia Lederer (it definitely wasn’t Meredith) but who was that young, blond guy with the hipster look? Anyone have any ideas? It’s gonna bug me until I find out. I thought Opus said they were all current or former writers on the show, right?

    P.S. That’s cool you got to say “hi” to some of the writers after the show.

  • lockhart43

    Thanks for the great reporT, Caroline! I’m jealous that you got to see some of the writers perform, it sounds like a lot of fun! And it’s awesome that Paul was there. 😀