Cards Against Humanity. If you know what it is, then you’re probably a horrible person. No really. It says so on the box.
Cards Against Humanity, or CAH, is a card game where players match horrible answers to simple questions such as “what’s that smell?”. Possible answers may include “dead bodies”, “old people”, or a personal favourite, “David Bowie riding in on a tiger made of lightning”. And those are the tame answers. While a night of Cards Against Humanity is already filled with laughter and cringe-worthy horrors, The Fictionals are taking it one step further with its own twist with Improv Against Humanity.
Celebrating its two year anniversary at the Rio Theatre this month, The Fictionals use the cards as suggestions for their scenes, and create a scene around the answers from the audience. In our David Bowie example, they would improvise the smell that he might make while riding that tiger made of lightning.
“It’s a big milestone” says Daniel Chai, creator and producer of Improv Against Humanity of their two year anniversary. “We have a great supportive fan base here in Vancouver who come out as often as they can”.
The show was created in true improv form from a flash of inspiration at a late night gathering of friends. “My friend Jordan brought it out,” says Chai, “and within the first minute of playing it I knew this would make a great improv show.”
Offering the perfect mix of ludicrous and discomfiting suggestions, CAH creates the perfect jumping off point for an improv show. However, one of the key components of any good improv show is the interaction between the audience and performers. The Fictionals, not willing to lose that connection, bring a group of audience members to the stage to actually play CAH before the improv gets started. This means that the audience gets both the traditional CAH night of hilarity, but then everything gets weirder as the cards are played out by professional improvisors.
Utilizing a game in an improv show can be complicated, especially when the show uses something like Improv Against Humanity as its starting point. In order to cover his bases, Chai went straight to the top. “I immediately wrote to the guys who created Cards Against Humanity out of Chicago and pitched them the idea for the show. They said ‘that sounds awesome. Go for it’”.
With prizes and over fifteen improvisers on stage, the 2nd anniversary show will also feature special guests including Diana Frances, soon to be seen on the Arts Club stage in A Twisted Christmas Carol, and improviser, podcaster and award-winning Simpsons and Futurama Comics writer, Ian Boothby.
The Improv Against Humanity 2nd anniversary show takes place at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway) on November 19. Visit http://riotheatretickets.ca for tickets and information.