06/07/2013 10:58 am ET

An Oral History Of UCB Theater Partying


When the members of the Upright Citizens Brigade — Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh – moved from Chicago to New York in 1996, they had one goal in mind: Getting their own TV show. “We were just a sketch group,” Besser remembers. “The idea of starting a theater and a school — that was very far from our minds.” Over the next few years, though, the UCB Four would not only land their own cable series, they’d also become the unlikely instigators of a new wave of comedy. Within months of arriving in New York, they were teaching improv classes and putting on daring, cheaply priced live shows like "ASSSSCAT 3000," which often featured drop-ins by old Chicago friends now working on SNL or Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

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