Improv Shmimprov has been providing laughs to Orange County since 2003 and is located right in Downtown Fullerton. The crew has been putting on shows for over 10 years but have seen it grow beyond what they could have imagined.
The show has been named the “Best Improv Show in Orange County” by the OC Weekly. Tickets are priced at $5. However, there is an option to roll a ten sided dice and pay what you roll.
Improv Shmimprov was founded by a few graduates from the University of California, Irvine. They performed in a group called Live Nude People with Clothes On. Once they graduated they knew they wanted to keep going.
“When we started, it was literally about as small as it could possibly have been,” said Nathan Makaryk, founder. “It was like seven of us performing in someone’s kitchen for like four of our friends.”
Shmimprov caught a break early on and found its current home at The Maverick Theatre.
Every year in November, Shmimprov hosts Shmimprov Idol, where they hold auditions and let the audience vote on a few new members for their team. Everything they do revolves around audience participation.
“It is not about the money,” said Sarah Buster- Brooks, performer. “I just love doing improv and Shmimprov allows me to do improve with some of the best performers in the area.”
They take their comedy very seriously but are by no means against messing around.
“We do a lot of stupid crap on stage,” said Danish Nashirovan, performer. “Anything from making fun of each other, to inflicting pain on each other. We do whatever it takes.”
Shmimprov is known to throw random events throughout the year. They do special shows all throughout the month of October and call it Schmoctoberfest.
They are also known to put on benefit shows for big natural disasters and raise money by having the performers do crazy stunts on stage. These range anywhere from eating a ghost pepper before performing, to being shocked with various amounts of electricity.
“This is a fun group to perform with,” said Ryan Clark, performer. “We love to make people laugh and do a bunch of stupid crap in the process.”
Shmimprov continues to grow and have recently begun to add some big shows to their rotation. They perform at the Brea Improv one Saturday per month and have performed on a couple Disney cruises over the past year.
“I think what sets us apart from a lot of teams out there is the quality of talent,” said Makaryk.
The Maverick Theatre is small but they have no plans of moving anytime soon.
“Ideally, I would like there to be an Improv Shmimprov theatre one day,” said Makaryk. “But in order to do that, we would have to raise our prices way higher than they are. That is not something we want to do.”
For now, Shmimprov will continue to bring laughs from the little theatre by the train station.
“It’s crazy to see how many people come out to see us twice a week,” said Makaryk. “I never thought I would see this show grow to this extent.””