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High-Status Characters: How The Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Nook
Published June 7th 2013 by Megawatt Press
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Jaime Soria
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This book tells the story of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) from its beginnings on 6th St in New York, through current day, now with thousands of students on both coasts enrolled in their classes. The story is told via interviews with the four founders - Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Amy Poehler, and Matt Besser, along with interviews with countless writers, performers, and directors, who frequented the stages of UCB. The interviews are broken down into quotes or small paragraphs, which m ...more
Shannon
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
RACHEL DRATCH: When they moved, I was like "How could you leave this big establishment, the one we all came here to be a part of? Are you crazy?" They took this huge risk. Then they came to New York and took over the whole joint.


This is a fun, quick read about the history of the UCB as a troupe and a theater. There's not much talk about classes itself; instead you'll find hilarious and ridiculous anecdotes from their roots in Chicago to their New York move -- from the founding members to the mor
...more
Denny
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for improvisers and comedy fans

A fascinating oral history of the UCB that also contains some real gems of advice that will be useful info or great reinforcement for improvisers. It's amazing to see the list of well-known actors, comedians, and writers who got their start at the UCB. A funny read, and a useful lesson in trying crazy things and not worrying about potential failure.
Nick Douglas
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great first-person stories from the founders and other members of UCB. Not a lot about how the classes worked in the years after the founders were running everything, but great stories about early classes, performances, and sketch/improv groups. As a beginning improv student, I was glad to read about how my comedic heroes had their ups and downs and bad days and times when they were so far away from the impressive talents they are now.
Sarah
Really quick read (like 1.5 hours) and kind of an interesting look at the origins of some of my favorite comedians. And not just the 4 founders; at least 3/4 of the people interviewed are people whose work I enjoy from various podcasts and other comedy nerdery. Anytime you talk about comedy it's a little "you had to be there"--unlike Live From New York, very few of us have seen the works referenced. So it suffers a little for that, but it's still worthwhile.
Bryan June
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great sneak peak into that amazing history of the UCB theater as told by the improv stars themselves. Spread out in an oral history, much like how "Live From New York" told the storied past of SNL, "High-Status Characters" gives us the first-person perspective on the lives and improv adventures of the comedians who lived them, many of whom have gone on to become famous, but have not forgotten their humble (and crazy) roots at UCB.
Tommy Lynch
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book, once again, reads like the SNL or ESPN book. It is a short book. I liked how the book focused on the avant gardeness of UCB approach to live shows and sketches. Really strange stuff. You also are surprised at the amount of people that are in comedy now that were members of UCB. It ended badly. Could have ended better. That is why it is 4 stars. If you are into comedy you will like this book.
Andrew Shaffer
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
High-Status Characters is a brief (137 pages) but surprisingly in-depth oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the comedy troupe that took over New York City in the late 90s. Raftery interviewed many of today’s top names in comedy for this ebook-only release, including Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien, Ed Helms, Seth Meyers, Andy Richter, and Aziz Ansari. For comedy fans, the book is a steal at $1.99. Seriously, you might be arrested.
Gretchen
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
A quick read, with an interesting "inside baseball" approach to the UCB. As someone who has admired from afar, some of the content went over my head. But I always enjoy learning how people in different industries approach their craft, and this oral history serves the purpose.
Sarah
Oct 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
A great read for fans of comedy and improv, I liked that this book mostly allowed the performers to tell the stories instead 1of relying too heavily on narration. Great stories from Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch, etc. etc.
Ben Baker
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating look at a world i'd love to have known but sadly was several thousand miles away for. Shame the UCB series for Comedy Central is a bit skipped over but more than enough other good stories make up for it.
Shaun Connor
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you love the UCB and the people associated with it then you will love this book. I breezed through it.
Kellog Mcpussy
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fairly fun and interesting. Next, Keith Johnstone.
Ale Canahui
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
If I don't want my family to confirm their suspicions that Improv is a cult, I must not let them get their hands on this.

Great book for the UCB geek (or in my case, wannabe).
Ginger
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read. Individual recounts about the improv world.
Erin
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Aug 09, 2013
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