Hollywood on the Cheap: Comedians and Gymnastics

2014-08-14 21.04.58

If you look back on the previous posts, there are a lot of activities I have listed that are cheap or even free. Walk of Fame and dedication ceremonies are free, taking a picture with Snow White maybe costs you a dollar or two.  My favorite fun and cheap thing to do in Hollywood is spend an evening at IO West. Formerly called Improv Olympic. (I guess the Olympics threatened to sue) on Hollywood Blvd near Cahuenga. Tickets to watch improv and sketch comedy are around $10 to $15 and often 2 for 1.  For the price of that one ticket you, a friend, an acquaintance, or possible lover can jump between 3 theaters and watch comedy until there is no more comedy to have. It can go pretty late, some acts are not on stage until close to midnight. There isn’t a drink minimum and stiff drinks and craft beers are wallet friendly.

A lot of comedians got their start at IO and some of those people are immortalized on a crudely painted mural above the bar. If you turn your head sideways and squint, you can see Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon?? and Amy Poehler.  This is a practice ground for all things funny. I have seen a few people perform at IO West before becoming household names, not to name names. Ok, I will … Keegan-Michael Key from Key and Peele in a troupe named after one of the Detroit area codes, 616, and the creator and performers from Drunk History on Comedy Central.

You never know what you are going to get, from the amazing Purple Rain Redemption, to comedy choose-your-own adventure with Drunkards and Dragons, to the excruciatingly painful show I saw in the Loft. The two MCs were so high they had no concept of what was funny nor any concept of time whatsoever. So much so that the next act very kindly as to not embarrass incorporated one of the blitzed guys into the act because he wouldn’t get off the stage due to a staring contest he was having with an unwilling audience member. He became a tree. Never-the-less, you will leave IO West with something to talk about with your friends the next day.

If you are so inspired, they do offer classes on improv and writing (although not on the cheap.)

This is accessible by the red line, Vine Station stop as well as busses 780, 180, 212, 210, and the Hollywood DASH

NEXT UP One of those L.A. scenarios that only make you sound crazy when you repeat it.

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