What happens when you cross improv theater with a popular social news and discussion website? You get r/WhatTheImprov, produced by Fearless Comedy Productions and playing monthly at Honey in Minneapolis. You also get adults laughing hysterically at other adults crawling on stage mooing at each other.
r/WhatTheImprov was developed by actor and Redditor Kyle Dekker. After a few years of reading the entertaining and not-so-entertaining comments on the site, Kyle decided to bring it to the stage. The actors request an audience member to use Reddit’s “random” feature, which takes you to a random subreddit within the site, and read aloud any comment on the page. The actors take that as their cue, and off they go—a much more interesting way of picking prompts than audience members hysterically shouting random inappropriate or generic words as suggestions.
The show debuted last month, and I showed up a little early so that I would have time to really check out the venue and get a good seat. If you’ve never been to Honey and aren’t familiar with the area, it can be a little tricky, as it’s cleverly hidden in the basement of Ginger Hop Restaurant near Nicollet Island in Northeast. The space is quaint and dark and has a full bar. Audience members sit at small tables, which is ideal for anyone ordering from the menu.
As for the show itself, it was a great début night. All of the actors are relatively new to improv or had a long break between performances, but although there were a couple moments that didn’t quite strike the crowd, the overall performances were entertaining. Actors took mere seconds to start the scene once a comment was read. I particularly loved that callback to jokes was used, but not overdone. The flow was steadily paced and kept my attention.
r/WhatTheImprov starts out with long-form scenes with swipe cuts, and it amazes me how a scene can go from individuals talking about dirt to something completely different within a matter of minutes with reasonably seamless transitions. Three short scenes were also incorporated throughout the show, which were replayed in progressively shorter amounts of times—eventually the scenes were cut down to one second, with ridiculously entertaining results.
The show was the perfect length, and the venue’s parking time of three hours gave me and my guest enough time to enjoy a walk outside and check out some of the other bars around the block afterwards. The very reasonable price of $5 leaves room in the budget for dinner or drinks before or during the show.