Upright Citizens Brigade coming to a chapel near you

The Upright Citizen Brigade Touring Company will bring their nationally acclaimed sketch comedy and improv talent to the Ira Allen Chapel at UVM on Friday, April 28th. While most people are familiar with the popular series that aired on Comedy Central from 1998 to 2000, little do they know that the series takes it roots in theatre. The Upright Citizens Brigade began in Chicago in the early 1990s. The four founding members, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser, and Amy Poehler met at the legendary comedy cabaret, Second City, where Bill Murray and John Belushi got their start in the 70s and Chris Farley and Tim Meadows in the mid 80s. In 1996, the foursome left Chicago and moved to New York, emerging themselves in a much more prevalent improv and sketch comedy scene. Soon after arriving, they established their own training theatre group, the Solo Arts Group, which became a haven for up and coming comedians. Their unique and cutting edge style of comedy quickly grew attention. In 1998, an executive at Comedy Central, Kent Alterman, signed the group to make a pilot which was to feature their original long form improvisations, sketches, and pranks. The basic premise of the show was that the four characters were part of an underground organization, “The Upright Citizens Brigade,” whom were in no way affiliated with any government association and were “dedicated to creating and monitoring chaos from their secure underground base,” as narrated by improv legend Del Close, at the beginning of every episode. The success of the pilot landed them three ten episode seasons. However, for reasons that are still not disclosed, Comedy Central did not agree to pick up the show for a fourth season. Once the actors were more financially sound, they decided to open up their own theatre in Chelsea, New York and in Hollywood, California. In recent years, they have taken their show on the road all across the United States. The original four members have found continuing successes, appearing in films such as “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and “Old School,” and in television, appearing in “Arrested Development” and “Saturday Night Live.” The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company is made up of some of the best improv comedians from New York City and Los Angeles. Tina Fey and Horatio Sanz of “Saturday Night Live,” and Andy Milonakis of the “Andy Milonakis Show” are some of the most notable past performers of the UCB Touring Company. This Friday at the Ira Allen Chapel, the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company will bring an all-star cast of Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Danielle Schneider, Owen Burke, and Brian Husky. The show starts at 9pm and is free to all UVM students.