The exquisite corps is an oddity generally only seen in literature. If you are an exceptionally obsessive lit nerd and/or have taken eighth grade English, you've probably encountered it somewhere: someone begins a story with a sentence and other people finish it, sentence by sentence, without seeing any part of the story besides the contribution of the person directly before them.
The strange minds responsible for Denver's Next Improv Star are excellent at defying convention, at rebelliousness, and at other acts of sticking it to the man. The first act of this week's installment of Improv Star took this already nonsensical game and brought it to the unbearably absurd realm of improv. The resulting scene was built through a series of separate monologues, rather than isolated sentences, but the product, as in writing, was entertaining nonsense.
To put it very briefly- a girl was imprisoned in a cage filled with monkeys, fell in love with one and eloped with it to Las Vegas. There, she decided it would be healthier to marry a human, but caught a mysterious disease called 'boogey fever' in the process; somehow illness instilled within the newly wedded couple a profound fear of the apocalypse, and they drove to Idaho, hoping to adequately prepare for their destruction but finding only a middle aged woman obsessed with Jeopardy and her awkward adolescent son. Malevolent (and inexplicably white-trash) aliens descended upon the earth in interstellar winnebegos, and using television as a means of hypnosis, they assumed control over the Earth's children. Eventually they decided the human race was too disgusting for them to stomach and returned to space.
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"What you do to us in this show is unfair," one contestant said after that madness subsided. Yes, probably. But the results are painfully, gloriously funny. This week's guest judge was Kathleen Ham, the director of broadcast media for the Donna Baldwin talent agency, and in the show's second act she asked contestants to create a scene and replicate it three times under different theatrical direction, a strategy used often in talent scouting and during auditions. The three scenes that followed were character-based, composed of such archetypes as the terrifyingly overbearing mother, the boyfriend with a spine amounting approximately to a wet napkin, and the spacey, indignant British bassist ("Guitar was too complicated," this one noted, "so I took off three strings.") Predictably enough, there was chaos. Predictably enough, also hilarity. Of the show's nine remaining contestants, Josh Robinson was eliminated. Jaimie Kulikowski was crowned champion.