Tuesday, March 25, 2008


185's is one of my favorite games because it's a change-up pitch in the improv world. Here's the game:

You have to take turns telling jokes in this general formula--

185 bicycles walk into a bar. The bartender says, we don't serve your kind.
That's okay, the bikes say, we're two-tired anyway.

It's complete old man humor, and it elicits groans instead of laughter. But, there's a couple reasons it's good:

1. It forces players to be confident, even though what they're saying isn't necessarily funny.
2. It allows players to think in a totally different way from most improv games.
3. The crowd gets a break from laughing, and starts to feel empathy for the team; the same way that you do for your dad when he's making extremely lame jokes at any family gathering.

So, next time you've got a performance, try putting 2-5 minutes of 185's into the middle of a performance. Ask for 3-5 occupations/nouns, and see where it goes!

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