In 1999, comedy legend and, by most accounts, the father of modern improv comedy Del Close passed away. The Upright Citizens Brigade felt that to pay proper tribute to one of the most important figures in improv they needed to hold a longform improv festival in Close’s honor. It wasn’t going to just be any typical festival either. They were going to do a marathon that never stopped no matter what time it is. The result was The Del Close Marathon, a non-stop weekend of improv that starts on a Friday afternoon and takes no breaks until the very end on Sunday night.
Just to be clear, that does means that the DCM has shows going at atypical hours like 2AM, 3AM, 4AM, 7AM, 8AM, and so on and so forth. If you’re still doubtful, then just check their schedule here and see that there is a show going on one of the stages at all times for the entire weekend. Having been an annual event for 16 years and going, the DCM draws the best improvisers from around the world. Even if their sets are 15 minutes long, improv teams travel entire oceans to join in this annual institution.
This year, DCM will be held over 8 different stages from Friday June 27th to Sunday June 29th throughout New York City and will host over 420 shows. To give you a little perspective on how crazy that is to pull of, one of the country’s most popular comedy festivals, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, also spans one weekend and has around 120 shows.
The UCB 4 (that’s Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Matt Besser), of course, will be in attendance, but a cavalcade of improv comedy goodness will fill in the rest of the insane schedule. Broad City, plenty of musical improv, Chris Gethard, the writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the writers of Key & Peele, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch & Ben Schwartz, BriTANick, Diamond Lion, Jason Mantzoukas, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and so much more will be taking part in this wonderful madness.
The best part of all of this might be that a pass to most of the shows only costs $30.
Are you going? Who are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below.