Laugh Out Loud Improv is a campus comedy group that produces fast-paced and clean comedy to the BYU community.
According to current Improv President, Matt Barker, LOL Improv is made up of two sections of performers: club members and the players. The club is open to everyone who wants to participate in improv comedy, while players are the main performers.
Club members meet once a week to practice improv skills and to learn new techniques that will assist them in creating a production and are given opportunities to participate in a show, which puts their newfound skills to the test.
Players have a larger responsibility than club members and meet independent of the club meetings. Team members are the main performers for the group and perform in several shows throughout the month. The team is made up of select experienced and dedicated improvers.
Andrew Haviland, a current player for LOL, was first introduced to the club when he attended a show with his roommate in 2018. Haviland remembered how entertaining that first show was and accredits his love and participation for improv to that production.
Haviland commented on the impact that the team has on everyone, saying that not only is it entertaining for audience members but it is also fun for the performers. He said, “We all have different senses of humor and work together to create something hilarious. I laugh out loud — literally — at every practice and every show because something is bound to make me laugh.”
Although Haviland said improv is not the most popular form of comedy, he still invites everyone to give it a try.
“It is so much funnier than you expect,” he said. “Because people don’t know about us as much as the other comedy groups, they think that we are less exciting or that we have less talent and that is just not the case.”
Haviland is not the only one on the team that appreciates the humor that LOL provides. Allison Dahl shares the same enthusiasm for the craft.
Dahl is not new to this style of comedy and has participated in several teams throughout her life. She commented on the unique approach that LOL has and its impact on their audience.
“I love that we are not all professional improv people like you might see at another place,” she said. “We all come from different disciplines, different majors and that kind of helps us to have a unique flavor of ‘on your feet’ improv.”
Dahl said when every player actively strives to be their authentic self, they are able to produce a show that is catered to the student body at BYU. She mentioned the differences they all share makes the club and craft more inclusive and universal.
Although becoming an effective and funny improver is always on the docket of the meetings, Dahl said she sees these skills and practices as something that benefits her in her personal life.
“I love thinking on my feet and practicing those creative skills, I feel like it translates well into other aspects of my life,” she said. “So improv has just been a good life skill in general.”
Dahl shares this perspective with club president, Barker. Barker is an aspiring english teacher and has found multiple similarities between this style of comedy and teaching.
Barker commented that in the classroom, lots of unexpected moments can happen, similar to how a scene can take an unexpected turn or have an unexpected conflict. He said, “I think improv helps me to be prepared for situations that I might not be expecting.”
Laugh Out Loud Improv said they are always looking for new talent and club members. “We do a lot of short form improv which is more of a quick, rapid fire, game based approach,” he said.
They meet on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 214 of the Crabtree Technology Building. Students can visit the club’s Instagram page for more information on meeting times and show dates. Their upcoming show is part of BYU’s Care Week and will be on Feb. 25 with all proceeds going to “Toys for Tots.”