10 COMICS TO WATCH: Together or solo, the nine-member sketch-comedy troupe is making waves
As it turns out, none of the comics that that belong to the Harvard Sailing Team went to Ivy League schools. Rather, when longtime friends Chris Smith and Billy Scafuri graduated from their respective colleges, the pair decided to recruit several of Smith’s NYU Tisch classmates and start a sketch comedy group.
Numbering an unwieldy nine members — besides Smith and Scafuri they are Jen Curran, Clayton Early, Faryn Einhorn, Katie Larsen, Adam Lustick, Rebecca Delgado Smith and Sara Taylor — the cut-ups earned a national fanbase via slick online videos, including viral hit “Boys Will Be Girls,” which numbers nearly 6 million views.
Even with a popular YouTube channel, Curran insists their live show — which they honed on the Peoples Improv Theater and Upright Citizens Brigade stages in New York City — has always been their bread and butter: “It’s just 55 minutes of non-stop singing, dancing and making ourselves look like total assholes, and we have blast doing it.”
One thing that sets this comedy ensemble apart is that they all started as thespians. “If we are going to say a funny moment in a sketch, we’re really going to take our time with it as actors,” Curran says. “It’s more important to us to capture the realism of that moment instead of relying on the writing of the joke itself.”
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The group is headed for a college tour this fall and will continue their work with branded content, TV and film. In addition to their group work, they are each pursuing their individual acting careers as well, with Smith having much solo success, including a role on CBS’ “We Are Men” and guest spots on “The Mindy Project” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
INFLUENCES: “Portlandia,” the Muppets, ensemble comedies like “Arrested Development”
REPS: Doug Edley, UTA; Manager: Kevin Gottlieb