Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art by Sam Wasson

Premiere DateJan 11, 2018
00:00 Book Talk Opening
02:26 Episode Intro
04:29 Thrum a Dum Spud Cannon
07:13 Interview with Sam Wasson Part 1
16:40 Ow Ow Ow Spud Cannon
19:48 Interview with Sam Wasson Part 2
35:50 Midnight Spud Cannon
39:03 Episode Outro: Kory French
40:42 Solar Pyromaniac Spud Cannon
43:41 Book Talk Outro: Kory French
44:13 Finish

At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, consciousness-raising style. From this unlikely seed grew the Second City, the massively influential comedy theater troupe, and its offshoots—the Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, SNL, and a slew of others. Sam Wasson charts the meteoric rise of improv in this richly reported, scene-driven narrative that, like its subject, moves fast and digs deep. With signature verve and nuance, Wasson shows why improv deserves to be considered the great American art form of the last half-century—and the most influential one today.

Book Cover and Author headshot images provided by the author’s representative.


Kory French is the Founder and Principal of Emily Consulting, a consulting company that leads start-up and early-stage companies in everything from concept development to strategic planning to scaling and exit…