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Primer for the Improv Festival

Primer for the Improv Festival: What a Detroit Improviser Looks Like

(Ferndale View: Hailey Zureich, orig.Comet’s Comments, republished with permission, Ferndale 115 News, Aug. 9, 2012)

Just in time for Go Comedy’s Detroit Improv Festival to throttle to us faster than a zop to a zap.


It’s going to be a big weekend full of big names, out of town amaze-a-tron groups, and local super stars.

In order to prepare out of towners for what they will encounter. I’ve put together a general description, otherwise called a stereotype of a Detroit improviser so that you might be able to better spot this beautiful and allusive animal. To yes and the shit out of them.

First of all, when I say all- I mean it only in the stereotypical. Second of all, everything I say may not be true at all.

All Detroit improvisers have great hair. You will fail to find a Detroit improviser with a coif not up to snuff.

Like birds of paradise each improviser has a distinct plume.

You will see some with a lion mane’s combination of the Justin Bieber and John Lennon. Others will strut their stuff with a space monkey brush cut. Of course there is a few strutting with the upside down Cesar.

Of course the ladies sport their variations of on stage side ponytails, casual buns, and impish pixie cuts.  There is no shortage of straight bangs, ombre colors, and the occasional flip.

All Detroit improvisers wear the best hats.

If an improvser is so handsome he has grown more face, and has gotten rid of all of his hair he might dub a hat. Have no fear-Detroit improvisers caps are so fierce they keep Ashton Kutcher out of trucker hats til the end of days.

As if we lived in a community of sexy grandpas you will see a fair share of drivers caps,  newsboy hats, and the occasional Barretina.

Be grateful for these brave brim wearing Gods show mercy on us mere mortals by sheltering the entirety of their handsomeness so that we can handle our everyday lives.

modern taxAll Detroit improvisers wear plaid or stripes.

Just as the Starks each have a direwolf, Detroit improvisers have their own plaid pets that protect them.

You know when a Detroit Improviser has matured into their community when they appear on stage in plaid.

Females may never rep the plaid, but they have brought it hard with the stripes.

If they’re not wearing plaid where you can see it, they are absolutely wearing flannel long-john panties.

All Detroit improvisers improvise.

All the yes anding, character development, and object work  you can handle- for about 30 minutes at a time.

While every moment may not be hilarious, every player will be playing to make the best choices to support themselves and their team.


All Detroit improvisers like to hug.

Don’t believe me. Just start hugging the first good haired, plaid wearing, person who is washing invisible dishes or using a see thru iPhone.

If they only say the word “No.” That means they’re not a Detroit Improviser.

So run away.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

The annual Detroit Improv Festival comes on the heels of a wildly successful sold-out inaugural festival in 2011 and will again showcase Ferndale as the home of improvisational theater for the region. The festival is produced by the Detroit Improv Collective, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to advancing the art of improvisational theatre in the greater Detroit area.

For five days, over 30 improv troupes from across North America will perform in multiple evening shows, and as many as 160 local improvers will attend workshops offered by the performing troupes. The event offers Detroit area arts lovers the opportunity to witness some of the best improv comedy performances anywhere and take part in the motivating workshops.  Events take place at Go Comedy, The Magic Bag and The Ringwald.  Find out more at

Also check out our previous story about Hailey at

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