Football season (and by default, Fantasy Football season) has begun, which means that those us that do not partake are once again gearing up for a full season of being annoyed by everyone we know.
I hate it. But also, I feel left out.
So if you, like me, want something that you have no control over to dedicate far too much time and energy to– considering you are a (mostly) functional adult– I present to you:
FANTASY IMPROV LEAGUE
Here’s to ruining watching improv the way fantasy football ruins watching football.
The Leader (TL) - This is the player that puts/keeps teams together. They’re a solid player, but they’re not the best. They’re the glue and the social ring leader.
The Initiator (TI) - Also known as “The Balls.” They make big moves first.
The Support (TS) - You’re going to need the most of these players, and they are actually the hardest to identify. Look for the person who is in the best scene but not getting most of the laughs. Also, look for the player who is in a cluster fuck show and is not walking into scenes.
The Brain (TBR) - They. Drop. Knowledge. They don’t flaunt their intelligence, but they can’t hide it, either. They make references you don’t understand but do appreciate.
The Body (TBO) - They play with their gut. Most commonly you will see them climbing, bending, cartwheeling and playing animals. They ain’t afraid to fall through a table.
The Triple Threat (TTT) - They can sing, they can dance, they can improvise.
The Loose Cannon (TLC) - Also known as “The Pot Head.” They come out of left field constantly. If you find yourself both saying “Whaa?” and doubling over with laughter every time they’re onstage, you have found a loose cannon.
The Loud Guy (TLG) - He may not be the funniest, but he’s the loudest.
The Crazy Girl (TCG) - You know how crazy girls are great in bed but kind of horrible to be in a relationship with? Same principle. They can be brilliant and unpredictable in a fun way… or they could burn something down.
The Hot Guy/Girl THG) - People are horny. Even babies like pretty people. If the show isn’t going well, at least there’s something pretty to look at
The Weaver (TW) - They’re big picture players. You don’t notice these guys, but they show up at the end of shows, make one move, and tie the whole goddamn show together.
The Fan (TF) - Improv is best with an audience, thus a necessary part of a team.
SCOUTING & THE DRAFT:
Every team needs at least 1 TL, TW and TF, as well as 2 TI’s and 3 TS. Pre-rank according to your own preference.
1. Your TIs are like your RBs and your TSs are like your WRs. You want to get them early, you need them; you need them deep. Your TL is like a QB, you can wait til mid-draft. Your TLG and TCG are like your Ks– you don’t have to worry about them until the end. They’re gonna have one move that’s crazy fun, but they’re not going to win the game for you.
2. Don’t forget to give some thought to your potential breakouts and sleepers. They could win you the season. Those are your newer improvisers, recent parents, or the utility players you have trouble categorizing.
3. Beware of the One-Week Wonder. Don’t believe the hype. Sometimes a player will have an amazing show, but there may be other factors at work (seamless support players making them look good, just the right amount of alcohol, etc.)
4. Keep your cool; the season’s long. Basically indefinite. At least until your players either get hired by SNL or decide to go back and get their master’s in dentistry.
5. Monitor intriguing players. A good question to ask yourself is, “Do I want to sleep with them?” If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Are they attractive?” If the answer is “not classically,” they are probably a good improviser.
HOW TO SCORE :
Every league will have different criteria, thus making it more fun to play. Here are examples of fun criteria:
- Well-rounded show
- Good edits
- Number of scenes
- Number of laughs
- Believability of accents
- Object Work
- Boner references
Instead of weekly scoring, I suggest a Total Points approach.
WHY FANTASY IMPROV IS BETTER THAN FANTASY FOOTBALL:
There’s no official season, so you can start anytime. It can be played in a league, by yourself, or as a drinking game. (i.e.; do a shot every time TS sets up a laugh line, pound a pint if TCG does a grounded scene that’s not about a breakup she recently went through, buy a round if you enjoy watching the show.)
Andel Sudik has performed improv at iO, the Playground and the Annoyance and sketch comedy at Second City on a cruise ship, in theatricals, with the national touring company and on the E.T.C. stage. She is an alumni of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, currently teaches sketch and improv in Chicago and occasionally writes things while looking out her window at the lake. Follow her on twitter @AndelSudik or check out her website andelsudik.com.