Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch reunited onstage on Thursday, performing the kind of improvised comedy that made them friends before they ever reached Saturday Night Live.
Fey, Poehler and Dratch all met in the Chicago improv community when they were younger. They all studied improv under Del Close, and they went on be co-founders of the improv school Upright Citizens Brigade.
On Thursday, they came together onstage at Carnegie Hall in New York City in honor of Close. They marked the 20th anniversary of the Del Close Marathon — which Poehler helped found in 1998 — with a performance of one of UCB's most infamous shows: ASSSSCAT. The fully improvised show comprises monologues and sketches performed by a rotating cast of some of the school's most high-profile members, including Matt Besser, Lauren Lapkus and Zach Woods.
This week's reunion show consisted of Dratch, Poehler, Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and fellow SNL alumn Horatio Sanz, with Fey providing the improvised monologues, according to a report by PEOPLE. The other three were responsible for interpreting Fey's stories in off-the-cuff scenes, to the delight of the crowd.
“It’s sort of a funny culmination for an art form that we did in Chicago for 50 people and now it’s at Carnegie Hall,” Walsh told PEOPLE last year when the show was announced. “It’s really a stamp of approval and it’s weird to mark 20 years with that. We’re very excited.”
While they're best known for their later work on TV, both Fey and Poehler hold their years in the staged improv community in high regard. Fey's book, Bossypants, and Poehler's book, Yes, Please! both dedicate large portions to that chapter in their respective lives, as well as the invaluable and serendipitous friendships they made there.
Poehler in particular wrote about UCB, which she co-founded and which first brought her to New York City. The improv show even made it to TV, in a series by the same name on Comedy Central. It ran for three seasons between 1998 and 2000.
Poehler, Dratch and Fey are currently working on a Netflix original film called Wine Country. Poehler is set to direct the comedy, which reportedly filmed between March and June of this year. No release date has been announced yet.0comments
This year's Del Close Marathon comes to an end on Sunday, July 1 in New York City. The event consists of a "marathon" of improv performances across several days, with many of Close's students taking part.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder