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Trophy Wife : Improv Comedy from Los Angeles

Trophy Wife

Improv Comedy from Los Angeles

Trophy Wife is a long-form improv comedy group that performs "The Harold," the signature improvised piece of the iOWest. Based on a single audience suggestion, Trophy Wife weaves a series of completely improvised scenes, stories, and games into a single hilarious piece. Each show is broadcast worldwide via the group's popular podcast.
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About Last Night

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When I was a kid I used to hallucinate bugs in the bed. My mom would come into my room and I’d have torn everything off the bed down to the mattress, insisting there were bugs in the bed. I must have known this would happen some day; Last night I saw a huge roach in our bedroom. We stared each other down for a split second and I thought, “Slipper! Sneaker! Saucepan!” In my moment of incoherent hesitation it ran under the bedside table. I tried trapping it there but somehow it got out. I knew it had to have gone under the bed so I started taking everything out. (It’s totally packed with under-the-bed-storage boxes.) I saw him, he ran, I lost him. I got everything out from under the bed and he was nowhere. I shone the flashlight under everything.

My husband and I live with our baby in a one bedroom apartment. The baby, I should mention, slept soundly through everything, including my 20 minutes of stage-whispering on all fours, “you mother f**ker! I’m gonna kill you mother f**ker! You piece of s**t, where are you?”

I’m a good mom.

So now there was a roach in the room with us and the baby. My plan was to never sleep again.

I eventually talked myself down enough to go to bed but soon realized I’d forgotten to take my vitamins. I got up, shining my cell as a flashlight and there he was, running towards the changing table! I yelled, “YES!” Threw my under-the-bed storage box of christmas ornaments on him, went to get the cast iron pot (to overturn on him so my husband could kill him later of course), and when I got back and lifted the box of ornaments? GONE. He was back under the bed. So I just sat there waiting for him to come out again. Holding the pot. In my glider. It’s actually Johnny A’s glider. He and his lovely wife, Natasha, were kind enough to lend us theirs when we had a baby.

As I waited I wrote a panicked email to my Trophy Wives (wouldn’t you?) and the response I got from Johnny A was one for the books. Well, the blogs:


Let me know where and when I should report to jump that roach in the dark and beat him.

When Michael was a few months old, I woke up one morning and told Natasha about a dream I had had that night. There was a cockroach in Michael’s bassinette. I grabbed it with my bare hand and smashed it against the wall. I dragged my hand down the wall until the roach was obliterated. Then I went back to bed (without washing my hand!).

Natasha response? That wasn’t a dream.


The Farmer and the Film School Should Be Friends

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If only we had Rodgers and Hammerstein to solve this dispute with a song…

There’s some trouble brewing down on Ivar Street, the street just to the east of the IO West theater. The Hollywood Farmers Market closes Ivar (and Selma) every Sunday morning. They’ve been doing it for 20 years now. The Los Angeles Film School is located at Ivar and Sunset and they want to keep Ivar open to make their parking garage more accessible on Sunday mornings.

That, as they might say in the Farmer’s Market word, presents a bit of an artisanal pickle.

I’m usually against street closures. And I’m all for film schools. Some of my favorite acting experiences have been on student films. But the Hollywood Farmers Market is an institution. It brought fresh produce to Hollywood back when Hollywood didn’t have much going for it and Selma was more accurately called Smellma. And it is huge (as evidenced by this whimsical proposal for a ticketing system to keep the crowd a manageable size). Vendors, baby strollers, and improvisers grabbing a crepe before rehearsal at IO West take up every inch of the current layout.

Can the Farmers Market figure out another configuration in Hollywood that can accommodate all of its current vendors? Or can the LA Film School do us a solid and let the closure of Ivar continue? Where do you stand? If you want to speak your mind, contact Councilman Garcetti ‘s office.

New Year's Eve in the Bunker

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It’s New Year’s Eve and, in an overabundance of caution, I’ve sequestered myself in Trophy Wife’s bunker. I don’t think there will be any civil unrest tonight, but you never know. They are, after all, adding a leap second to ‘08. And Microsoft Zunes are going all haywire because of the leap year.

Our bunker is an interesting story in itself. We wanted it to be underground, near the iO West theater, and have good parking. After an exhaustive search, we gave up on the parking requirement and signed a lease on a former sex dungeon. A few of the bunker’s features:

  • A stockpile of 100 suggestions that could be used to start an improv show. We began secretly assembling these suggestions in 2007. This stockpile will enable us to put on shows even in some post-apocalyptic world where the audience is not allowed to speak.

  • 30 copies of the book Truth In Comedy, translated into many different languages, including Esperanto and some comic book, story-board edition. Kevin assures us that version will be intelligible even in some post-apocalyptic world where no one knows how to read.

  • A red phone that connects us directly to an improv group in Bejing. I just picked it up to test the line and, yes, the Hey, Fred Schneider warm-up has made it to China.

  • A popcorn machine and a keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon. In some post-apocalyptic world where the iO West Theater has been closed down (or, in some pre-apocalyptic world where an SUV has crashed into the theater), the good times can continue in our bunker.

That’s all I can say without compromising the bunker’s security. Please, have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve. And come see us perform next Wednesday (1/7/2009) when we return from a two-week hiatus.

Tips for a Kountry Khristmas: Mind Games

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Sometimes I go from a big city (Los Angeles) to a small town (Mooresville, IN) over the holidays. This seems like it’d be relaxing, but sometimes I get stressed out from inactivity. This is because Mooresville is “quieter” than Los Angeles, and I’ve gotten used to loudness.*

So this year I’ve decided to keep myself amused by playing a new little game every day.

Today’s game was called Answer My Sister When She Is Talking to Her Cat As Though She’d Been Talking to Me.

Sample conversation:

Come on, fatness! Get off my mattress!

Oops, sorry about that.

No, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the cat.


(Please note that I was nowhere near the mattress – in fact, I was in a different room)

Second conversation:

Come on, fatty, it’s time to eat your dinner.

Yay! What am I having?

No. I am talking to the cat.



If you decide to play this game, and I highly recommend it, nonchalance is key.

  • “loudness” = hobos, smog, desperation, partial nudity

Behind the Scenes at a Trophy Wife rehearsal

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Ever wanted to know what a Trophy Wife rehearsal was like? Well, last night, our coach Rich Talarico took these photos of us improvising blindfolded. That’s right, we improvise blindfolded. That’s like some Jedi-level shit right there.

John Abbott and Jill Alexander improvize blindfolded

Jill Alexander and Zabeth Russell improvise blindfolded

Audish Talk: The Good, the Bad, and the Totally Fat

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So today I went on an audition for a well-known product we’ll call “Popular Diet Shake That Is In Fact Probably the Only Diet Shake You Know About.”

The audition consisted of me walking in, making it clear through body language and facial expression that I am LOVINLIFE, then remembering the delicious Diet Shake in my purse. I stop on the busy street*, yank out Diet Shake, shake it in a whimsical way (see above re: lovin’ life) then slam it down. I’m so satisfied, y’all. Then! Oh no! From out of nowhere comes a shitload of evil donuts! They’re flying… they’re attacking me! I kick! I punch. I high kick again! I’m gonna fucking pound you to a pile of sugar, donuts!

Suddenly – my badass kicks have worked. The donuts have been defeated! With a satisfied look (satisfaction is key) I brush off my hands, tighten my belt (literally, they had a belt for me to wear) and walk off, loving life again, NOT AT ALL FAZED BY THE FACT THAT SOME DONUTS ATTACKED ME. In real life I’d think, “Well, Kirk Cameron was right all along, it IS the end times,” and probably wander along the streets bloodied and dazed while cars ran into each other, babies screamed, sirens blared and dogs barked under the sudden donut assault. There’d be fires. Sobbing. Gunshots. Maybe I’d take part in some looting but I doubt it.

What I’m saying is, if drinking Diet Shake causes Flying Donut Attacks then I want no part of it. I will not drink Diet Shake. No sir.**

*the busy street was in my mind’s eye. In actuality I was in an audition room with a surly bearded dude! Imagination is MAGICAL.

**also, if i actually drank Diet Shake I might lose weight and never get called in for the fat-girl auditions for Diet Shake.

what life should look like, if you are “loving it” properly. If this isn’t you then you’re doing something wrong. Fix it.

Farewell Opus

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Last Wednesday, we said goodbye to Opus Moreschi with the following video tribute. If you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Opus, you can leave your wishes in the comments. He still reads this site (we think).

Get Flash to see this player.

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