WORDS / ANDREW MCCLAIN
Arkansas native Matt Besser and SNL alum Horatio Sanz will perform at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on Friday, September 27 at 7 PM. The Friday performance at the Verizon Ballroom on campus starts at 7pm and is sponsored by University Programs and is free for students and to the public according to space.
Little Rock native Besser is best known for co-founding the Upright Citizens Brigade with Sanz, Adam McKay, (director of Anchorman, Talladega Nights) and Amy Poehler, to name a few while Sanz is best known for his eight years on Saturday Night Live and various supporting roles in major comedies of the past 10 years.
Upright Citizens Brigade started in the early ‘90s as an improv group in Chicago. Besser and others had studied under Del Close, who literally wrote the book on improvisational comedy and can be credited with inventing the form as we know it today. The Upright Citizens Brigade moved to New York and opened a small black box theater, which became home to weekly improv and standup shows, as well as a “school” for teaching improv. Known to the entire comedy world as “UCB,” the institution became a symbol for alternative comedy, giving a space to dozens of comedians who were “too weird” to perform at your local Looney Bin or Chuckle Hut.
UCB now operates two theaters in New York and one in Los Angeles, all of which function as educational institutions for comedy, offering a variety of improv and sketch classes and an advanced curriculum, developed by Besser and other founding members. This performance
It’s not unfair to assume that nearly every comedic actor you see on television who has come to prominence in the past 15 years has performed at the UCB, and not unlikely that they studied there.
Besser has been seen recently on Parks and Recreation, (with UCB co-founder Amy Poehler) and alongside John C. Reilly in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Sanz and Besser are touring as part of the UCB touring company.