Head down to Improv Asylum at 216 Hanover St. for some intense comedy. Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian Head down to Improv Asylum at 216 Hanover St. for some intense comedy. Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

Demanding guffaws since 1997, Improv Asylum has established its chunk of Hanover Street as the North End’s de facto capital of both kinds of mirthfulness: unscripted and scripted. We called up two of its main stage cast members for a lark, and they graciously obliged.



What do you say to people who claim to dislike improv?
Well, there is a lot of bad improv out there. When it comes to our show, it’s more like a variety show. In an hour and a half, you’re going to see music, movement, dance, improv, sketch. It’s not just, “We take one word and spend an hour trying to figure out what’s happening.”

What’s the funniest type of dinosaur?
The natural answer is probably the T-Rex because of the arms, but I get the arms. Like, if I went into a bar and there was a T-Rex there, I’d be like, “Oh, look at his cute little arms!” Then I would approach and he would eat me. He does half the work just by showing his weakness. The dinosaurs were around, what, millions of years ago? And people are still talking about T-Rex’s arms. He had staying power.

What’s the funniest thing a person can throw up into?
Anywhere near spinach and artichoke dip would be confusing for people. Everyone’s throw up looks like spinach and artichoke dip, right?

Vomit usually looks like whatever it was before it became vomit.
Okay. Then I am eating too much spinach and artichoke dip.


What’s the funniest letter of the alphabet?
I’d have to say “A,” because it’s the beginning and everybody knows it, and it’s also a word. Most people would say “X,” but I’m going to say “A.”

You think “A” has untapped appeal?
Yeah. It’s not fair. I don’t think it’s gotten to speak its own mind and express itself.

What would “A” would tell people about itself?
That it’s not as straight-laced as people think. I mean, definitely, out of the entire alphabet, “A” has the most issues. It’s definitely been to rehab a couple of times. But no one knows about it, because all they talk about is “X.”

What famous comedian – living or dead – would you work with in your worst nightmare?
Gallagher, ‘cause it would be such a mess. I’m the type of person where if I’m onstage and something’s there that shouldn’t be, like a smashed piece of fruit, I’d be so transfixed on it that I’d have to start cleaning it up.

Could you clean in a funny way?
I mean, sure, I would have to make a bit out of it. But I’d be super uncomfortable. I’d probably be real sweaty, and it would be something I would look back on and regret a lot. I’d be like, “Why was I dancing while sweeping up watermelon? And why was I humping the watermelon?”

What’s the funniest way to murder someone?
Scare them when they’re on the toilet.