The Do’s and Don’ts of Improv Comedy with Liam Neeson, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Del Close

Open Culture culls together some tips of how to do improv comedy.

Attention, all struggling comedians! There’s big money in teaching corporate executives the rules of improvisation. Not to prepare them for a highly lucrative second career on some late night, black box stage, but rather to hone their listening skills, teach them how to work collaboratively, and give them practice communicating in a flexible—and therefore effective—manner.

The above clip from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’sLife’s Too Short, suggests that actor Liam Neeson might benefit from similar training.

Or are Gervais and Merchant guilty of failing to embrace the Rules of Improv, when Neeson, having solicited a suggestion of “hypochondriac at the doctor’s office” from series star Warwick Davis, announces that he’s contracted full blown AIDS from a starving African prostitute?

Even though it’s obvious that the supremely gifted Neeson is having a laugh, let’s see if we can determine who’s breaking the cardinal rules of improv in this scene.

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