Memories of National Comedy Theater – 15 Years of NCT

What do I remember from performing over 1,200 shows? Not much. I’m lucky to remember anything after the show is done. I think that if you’re making up a show on the spot, you’re constantly living in the moment and a little bit into the future. You don’t have time to remember the immediate past.

After 15 years, I remember one scene. It involved my favorite game, Blind Line, where 8 lines from movies, songs, pop culture are solicited from the audience, while the performers are outside. The players come in and perform a scene. Every-so-often a player picks up a line from the audience, reads it aloud and immediately justifies it into the scene.

One this particular night, I’m performing with fellow castmates, Zach Stone and David Armstrong. I start the scene with David and my first line is “Dude, your sister last night was amazing.” I’m establishing high school friends as the relationship.

I reach down to pick up a line and the dreadful “Luke, I am your father” is uttered from my lips. Yep, I just started an incest scene. David and I are frozen at this moment, which is where you never want to be in an improv scene. The audience is laughing at us because they want to see how the hell we’re going to get out of this mess. Seeing that David and I are stuck, Zach brilliantly wipes the scene and creates a therapy session with David’s character to talk about the horrible things going on with his family.

Seeing that David and I are stuck, Zach brilliantly wipes the scene and creates a therapy session with David’s character to talk about the horrible things going on with his family. Still feeling a little uncomfortable about the subject matter, we continue the scene with a great deal of apprehension. Zach’s therapist character is trying in vain to make light of the situation until Zach reaches for the line “Now, the Chamber of Secrets has been open.” The audience roars with laughter.

I take this moment to wipe the scene again, and I’m on stage with David portraying his character’s mother. I state the father is in jail and now this family can begin the healing process. Seeing that there’s one line left on the ground, I reach for it saying, I have one thing I need to say. It is at this moment that the audience starts to giggle and the other players, not in the scene, start snickering. Basically, they’re in on the joke, except me.

I reach down to pick up the line and say, “I have one thing to say…I kissed a girl and I liked it.” And Scene. The audience is in hysterics and the show is halted for what seemed like an eternity. Zach, David and I look at one another in confused amazement.

OK, you had to be there.

Other NCT Memories

  • My first official show was January 19, 2002, at 7:30.
  • When I started, I was one of three Asians in the cast. Today, I am the only Asian in the cast.
  • I performed one night wearing racquetball goggles because I had just had Lasik surgery on my eyes and could not risk getting poked in the eye.
  • For four months straight, I reffed/hosted one show a night while the Gary and Dorian were in Iraq performing as part of the USO. I was so pissed off at the end, I literally demanded that I not ref for an entire month.
  • Politics are the only subject, we as players can rationally talk about in the green room.
  • I caught the worst head cold of my life after playing the game Oxygen Deprivation and then immediately going outside in the cold to guess for 5 things.
  • Speaking of 5 things, I got 5-out-of-5 a total of who-the-hell-cares times.
  • Speaking again of 5 things, I was a part of Casey Gardner’s famous 30-out-of-5 streak and Renee Kohn’s 0-out-of-5 night.
  • I get browned bagged more now, then I did in the beginning.
  • I have a nut joke and a circumcision joke at part of my end game schtick.
  • This is debated, but I’m pretty sure it was me who came up with the “this isn’t Florida” joke.
  • I uttered the line “who thinks the blue team will explode in the second half, like a WMD in Iraq.” Man, did I take a beating for that.
  • My wife cleaned massive amounts of poo off the bathroom walls before half-time.
  • I threw up twice after games and farted once on stage.
  • I saw someone quit the show, during the show.
  • I totally suck at the Unrated show and HARD.

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