It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools and a subpar improviser that blames their audience. After all, it’s improviser’s job to entertain, not the audience’s job to BE entertained.
Even so, when you do enough improv shows, there are certain truths that come out. When you ask for a suggestion of an ordinary household object you will, nine times out of ten, get spatula. Now spatula is a sort of a funny word, but I don’t think it’s that funny.
And as far as asking for occupations, the top two are prostitute and proctologist. It is so pervasive that many shows, when asking for a suggestion of a job do it with the caveat of “except prostitute and proctologist.” This is not just an issue when doing shows for high school and college kids, grown up people with jobs and perhaps children are the worse offenders.
The Chainsaw Boys were doing a series of shows at Surf Reality, a small venue in the lower east side. It might be said that the name of the show, “Out of Uranus” was the impetus for the suggestion we got one night. We may have no one to blame but our own foolish selves.
At this particular show, the parents of Miriam Sirota, one of our group, were in attendance. Both her folks are extremely well educated people. Her father is a highly regarded physician, well respected by his peers. Please remember that.
At the top of show, we would ask for a suggestion of anything at all. No stipulations or cautions, literally anything. Doctor Sirota shouts out “Painful Anal Fissure!” I cannot recall what we made out of that but both of Miriam’s parents enjoyed the show.
Perhaps the only thing you can take away from this is that trouble will come from where you least expect it, so just lean in and try to enjoy the “Painful Anal Fissure.”