The Truth Is Funny – Breaking Character in Improve

I know the readings, particularly the Truth in Comedy reading, talks about how the truth is funny and honesty is funny. Particularly, not just the observation, but the honest reaction as well. A lot of the elements of improv are the “game,” and I couldn’t help but wonder if truth, honesty, and openness also essentially mandate that “breaking the character” is fundamental to the comedy of improv?

Whether it’s Whose Line (i’m a full fan girl, ask me anything!!) moments where Ryan loses or Wayne lose their cool during a bit or that incredible moment on SNL with Kate and Ryan Gosling where Ryan Gosling and everyone else lost their cool at Kate’s character, I have always found half the humor of improv to be in the game of them trying, because I know it’s all on the spot and I find that effort (and it’s flaws) funny.

Is that honesty and truth? To not ignore the fact that everyone knows its improvised and let that become a natural part of the game? Are breaks in character always authentic, then? Is truth on the scale of relief to explain the humor in this sensation?

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