One of my favorite things to do when I need a laugh is go to the comedy performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. On Sunday nights, they have a random assortment of comedians — many from Saturday Night Live or 30 Rock — do improv comedy. (If you don’t mind waiting around for a while, the 9:30 p.m. performances are free, but you have to get in line for them around 6:00 p.m. to guarantee a spot.)
I went this past Sunday, and left with my sides hurting as usual. But one of the improvisers made me laugh more than the rest: Westchester native Bobby Moynihan. (He’s from Eastchester.)
You might have seen him on Saturday Night Live, where slowly but surely he’s moving from the “featured player” role into more of the spotlight. Watching him do improv was something else, though. While everyone who performed was funny and got in some great gags, when scenes started to stall it was Moynihan than burst in and brought everything back on track. He was also one of the few that worked in clever callbacks to earlier scenes. And, really, he was just hilarious.
So we should definitely be keeping an eye on him. If you’re unfamiliar with who he is or what he does on SNL, here’s a good place to get started in your Bobby Moynihan fandom.
First, here’s a video with an oddly dead-on impression of Snagglepuss (discussing Prop 8, of course). It was actually one of the first things he did on the show, and what an introduction:
This next video, however, is more in line with the kinds of jokes he was doing at the UCB Theater. This irreverent take on Of Mice and Men shows what happens when Lenny finally catches wise to all of George’s euphemisms. It really gets cooking about a minute into it:
He’s also really great in group ensemble sketches, even when he’s not the star. (He pops in at minute 3:35 of this five-minute sketch and does a brilliant one-second joke, for instance.) He really shines through as one to watch — and when he hits it really big, we get to claim him as one of ours!