Quarantined NYC comics stream improv show from Vermont

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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PITTSFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - There's some funny business happening in Rutland County! Our Olivia Lyons introduces you to some quarantined comedians putting on shows from their living room.

It may look like just another Airbnb in Vermont, but a group of comedians from New York City turned it into the Improv House.

"Everyone has just been so friendly and welcoming and excited to have us here. And have been tuning into the shows. But also, it's just so beautiful here," said Whitney Uland, a producer of the Improv House.

The group streams improv comedy shows on YouTube Tuesday through Sunday at 8 p.m.

These up and coming comedians did not all know each other prior to the show.

"It was a kooky idea, but it's working!" comedian Nora Kaye said.

Many saw this as a way to continue doing comedy and a chance to get out of the city during the pandemic.

"When I heard that I got to come here and perform, I figured yeah, there's something in the water, something in the hills, in the Ben and Jerry's I guess," comedian Matthew Starr said.

Uland came up with the idea after hearing a story on NPR.

"People were so bored and starved for entertainment that they were tuning in to livestream construction sites. Just because they wanted to see humans interacting in a space together," she said.

That sparked the idea: a house of comedians quarantining together and inviting their audience to virtually join them by giving suggestions in the comments during the show.

"Before coming to the Improv House, I hadn't talked with another human for a long time and then suddenly we're in this hyper-social space and also getting these reps in of a show every night," comedian Alex Song-Xia said.

Not only have they built a community among themselves, but they've also given viewers an escape from reality.

"We're taking advantage of this beautiful bed and breakfast that we're in and now our shows seem more grounded to me at least. They seem more real," comedian Sydney Battle said.

Friday night's show is a dedication to the Green Mountain State, including a love song to Vermont.

Dan Fox/Comedian: We're gonna be slamming ciders, we're gonna be talking about Ethan Allen, the formation of Burlington, the fact that Vermont was a sovereign nation for 14 years in the late 1700s. Vermont history is so...

Sydney Battle: Yeah, he's been reading a book about Vermont while we've been here.

The last show is scheduled for August 15 but the cast hopes to have future iterations of the show back in Vermont.

Click here for more on the Improv House.

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