GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- If you have ever seen the show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" you've seen what great improv is, but to get that good you need a place to practice. No Outlet Improv is creating a test space to help put Grand Rapids on the comedy map.

In a black room sounded by chairs, an improv troupe is practicing their comedy sketches. Some ideas are falling flat, but others seem to be working and the group can learn a lot from their failures as well as their successes.

"This is experimental alt comedy," explains Joe Anderson of The Don't We Boys Improv.

The latest addition to the comedy scene in Grand Rapids is Comedy Outlet Mondays, hosted by No Outlet Improv at The Dog Story Theater. Normally the theater puts on shows from Shakespeare to original plays.

"Dog Story Theater has been here for four years now," says Anderson. "We won Grand Rapids best kept secret award and, of course, you only want to win that once."

Now the theater will be the place to go for testing improv, a type of comedy that requires rapid-fire quick thinking responses to keep the audience laughing. While improvised comedy can be a lot of different things, one of the common forms is asking the audience for suggestions then, based on the input, creating a small improvised skit.

Comedy Outlet Mondays will take that idea to the next level by letting groups go outside the normal formula to find new ways to make comedy on the spot.

"You can come in and explore any type of comedy and you will have people leading workshops and we will have people popping up saying, 'let's try this game, let's invent this," explains Eirann Betka of No Outlet Improv.

The first show is Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at Dog Story Theater. The cost is $5. Click here for more info.


  • 7 p.m. - Meet-and-greet
  • 8 p.m. - The Don't We Boys perform
  • 8:30 p.m. - SALT performs
  • 9 p.m. - Open comedy lab