I am quite afraid to promote UCBW. I know it may not seem that way at all, but I don’t mean posting flyers or video game avatars of our characters.
I mean, me, as Fesh, saying “Hey, come to this show!,” because I know that next-to-never works. So, I sit here a wrestle (uh-huh, honey!) with the…
In my opinion:
UCBW CAGE MATCH IS THE BEST SHOW AT THE UCB THEATRE. And it’s weekly.
Look, of course Fesh and I are biased as wrestling fans. But this post is less about loving wrestling and more about loving a show with endless possibilities that also happens to nail the genre it is parodying.
Hands down: UCBW is the most inclusive show at the theatre for both performers and the audience. Every week, the hosts
ask demand you to CHEER and BOO at the characters. This is the show where the polite thing to do is to participate and contribute to the show with your voice. You can be a character, even if you’re sitting in the dark. It works if you work.
Starting in 2009, I would sit front row and center at Cage Match every week and see some of the best improv I’ll ever see in my life. The legendary Death By Roo Roo streaks, the meteoric rise of Doppelgänger, and Kevin Hines’ one man Macroscene come to mind. As an improv student, it was invaluably inspiring and unbelievable. But I would always save my energy for what most people consider the intermission.
I got into UCBW. I saw that they were encouraging audience participation, so I took that and ran with it by playing the part of a wrestling fanatic. BOOING at the top of my lungs. Leaping out of my seat in amazement, starting ASSHOLE chants, yelling “FUCK YOU!” in the middle of a performer’s speech. If I behaved this was at any other comedy show, even at the hip and on the fringe of mainstream comedy UCB Theatre, I would have been kicked out and banned for life. But in 2011 I was asked to join UCBW officially and play the referee because I was doing the best I could to show how much I GET and LOVE the show and what it means.
I thirst for the day that the collective audience comes around and remembers that this is the chance you get to enhance the show with your participation. You will not get in trouble for being loud. When the hosts introduce the show and you instinctually BOOOOO the thought of chicken wings being kicked in the audience and YAAAAAAAAY the rule against throwing a chair at an audience member, that is UCBW, in a very slick and sly way, letting you know you’ve crossed over into a different kind of show. You are supposed to make noise. You’re supposed to cause a ruckus. YOU vote on the team. YOU decide which wrestlers RULE and which ones SUCK. CHEER and BOO.
Of course, please respect the improv teams. Don’t act like a UCBW audience during Cage Match. But conversely: you don’t need to act like a Cage Match set is happening during UCBW.
There’s UCBW and there’s Cage Match. There is a difference. But together, they create the best and longest running live comedy show in NYC.
Come to UCBW’s Special Event AUTUMN SLAMN this Friday at Midnight. Go fucking insane as an audience member at this show. We may ask you to calm down and give us the spotlight, but only for just long enough to give you another reason to go even crazier. It’s the most fun.