You know how I’m constantly half-complaining about comedy nowadays – talking about how hard improv is and wondering if it’s worth it and if I’m doing the right stuff and all that jazz…
Well, I don’t know if improv makes you funny, but I do know that when I saw On The Town, I was shown in Jackie Hoffman (and others) why comedy is so important to musical theater.
She held that audience in the palm of her hand. All the specificity in her vocal and physical choices (and her improv-ed lines, since it was closing night after all) – everyone just loved her.
And that’s why comedy’s so important.
I know you can absolutely be a great comedic actor and not be a good improviser, and vice versa. But if I wondered why I studied comedy… it’s so I can both write and perform in things that make people laugh the way Jackie Hoffman did.
[Also, side note: Comedy just makes people happy. That’s why important. Once, I was having a down day and I watched an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (the Jimmy Fallon one), and my day got oh so much better… by watching one episode of TV. That was a gift given to me by Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, and everyone involved in the show. And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to give that same gift to other people?]