Comedy service events

There is method to the madness. Core principles lay the groundwork for performance events.

Performances

Laughing Matters delivers volunteer improv comedy performances at therapeutic centers across Greater Boston. Past venues have included hospitals, shelters, and senior centers and audiences have ranged in age from children to senior citizens and come from all walks of life.

Laughing Matters is committed to clean, family-friendly comedy. Performers respect established boundaries of comedic theme, language, and plot, which are consistent with the unique demands of a therapeutic setting.

If you represent a hospital, shelter, senior home, or other therapeutic center and wish to book a comedy performance for your residents, please visit the Bookings page.

What is Improv Comedy?

Improv comedy, popularized by the television series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, is a form of comedic theater, whereby improvisational actors act out an array of unscripted scenes constructed through frameworks of predetermined games. The use of suggestions taken from audience members throughout a performance differentiates improv comedy from other forms of comedy and theater. These suggestions inspire scenes, facilitate audience participation, and demonstrate the fact performances are unscripted. They may fit into one of several categories, including person-to-person relationships, non-geographical locations, professions, and objects. Performers do not utilize props or constructed sets and, instead, allow imagination and mime to define physical environments. For example, a suggestion of “kitchen” might yield a scene in which Joe the Plumber and Suzie the Surgeon bake a rhubarb pie together using nothing but their plumbing gear and surgical utensils. The suggestion “student/coach” might inspire a scene where Charlie the Wrestler teaches Gilda the Granny how to wrestle. Such events, highly improbable in real life, are par for the course in improv comedy.

Our Comedy Show

The traditional Laughing Matters performance consists of a 1-hour short form improv comedy show comprised of a series of eight to eleven improv comedy games. Suggestions taken from audience members at the outset of each game drive the scenes performers develop. In addition, audience members, frequently, have the opportunity to participate directly alongside performers on stage.