Brian Stack is a friend of mine, and a writer on Conan (Conan fans would know him as one of the Slipnutz, or maybe as the Ghost Crooner, Artie Kendall). He's been writing for them for many years, but before that, he was in improviser in Chicago. When he was 19, he was an intern at a public access station, and he made this video report. The subject is Del Close, with whom Stack had just started his first class at the Improv Olympic. Close is known as the "guru" of improv — he's basically the guy who created modern improv comedy, which is, in turn, the source of all most all modern American comedy that doesn't come from standup. He was mentor to everyone from Bill Murray to Chris Farley to the Upright Citizens Brigade. The video is in black and white, because Brian accidentally set the camera to "monitor" mode, but it's a totally amazing time capsule and about 10 minutes of wisdom from the greatest guru of improvisation.Video: Del Close, 1986. When you're done watching it, head on over to Boloney's for dinner!
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.