Compiled by: Elizabeth Lee and Kehau Jai ‘16, Staff Writers
Q: How long have you been around?
A: About 2 and a half years.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: Typically practice has about 20 people, but there are many people who only come sometimes or have semester-long conflicts.
Q: How can people become a part of your group, and what made you join?
A: Our practices are open to anyone for any amount of time. We started Duck! to share our passion for improv and be a playground for new ideas to flourish.
Q: When/how often and where do you perform/publish?
A: We perform shows once every one or two weeks. Our shows are almost always at HMC, usually in one of the large lecture halls.
Q: What makes your group so especially funny and unique? What comedy niche do you fill at CUC?
A: One of our defining traits is that no audiences are needed to come to practice, and that you can be in a show whenever you feel ready. We rely on our more experienced members to help the less experienced in the scenes they have together. I have seen many people who were far too nervous at starting improv to do well in an audition setting bloom into some of our most talented performers. This makes our group unique because you can hear comedy from people who haven’t always been the “funny guy [or girl].”
Q: What is one word you could use to describe your group?
A: Open. We’re open to everyone of any experience level and shows can be organized by anyone in the club. If you want to do something improv-y and will organize it, most of Duck! will show up.
Q: What kind of humor do you find provokes the most successful response from college students? What does this say about us, or why do you think that is?
A: It really depends on the group of college student. We’ve had shows at midnight where the audience was pretty drunk and all about sexual humor and shows right after dinner where half the biggest laughs were puns.
Q: What is off limits?
A: Depends on the show. We try our best not to swear or have innuendo when there are children in the audience. In general, I would say that we avoid racial stereotypes and jokes about specific violent incidents in the near past. We also may mime taking off clothes or hitting each other, but nothing real will happen.
Q: What is the greatest struggle that comedians, in general, often face?
A: One of an improviser’s greatest struggles is not to be comedians. If you go for a silly gag in a scene it will get a laugh, but also often derail the scene. When the scene dies you’ve lost all the laughs it could have gotten. You have to remember to let the comedy come naturally.
Q: Is laughter truly the “best medicine”, or is there another, perhaps darker, side to humor?
A: There is definitely a darker side to humor: humor at the expense of someone against their will. This is not something that we have to worry about too much in improv because it is by nature a collaborative effort. In improv you can fail and it’s fine. Everyone is able to make the magic of improv because they know that, in the end, when the scene is done, you can just let go of what just happened.
Q: What is the ultimate secret to making something funny?
A: Being honest. When you are in a scene what will really make people split their sides is a character who is honest about their nature. When you’re playing a character and you make them make decision just for the laughs it will get, you are really hurting the humor. People laugh when they feel a connection to the story, and nothing establishes a connection better than honesty.
Q: What’s the best joke you’ve got in your back pocket?
A: I try not to know until I reach back there to use it.