“The Upright Citizens Brigade is like a family,” said 28-year-old improv teacher and Podcast host Jeremy Reynolds shortly before finding out he would be fired immediately without severance. “No, that can’t be right? UCB wouldn’t just not pay us during the middle of a crisis,” said Mr. Reynolds of the theater he has paid over $2,500 to for improv classes and performs at twice a week for free. “What happened to ‘I got your back?'”
As the world grips with the economic fallout from Coronavirus and the Nation’s improvisers struggle to steal each other’s jokes on Twitter and practice their character work on Instagram live, many are looking to UCB’s founders, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser, and particularly Amy Poehler who is fucking loaded, to provide a cushion to, if not the hundreds of UCB performers who work for free, than at least UCB’s staff who relies on the theater for their weed and livelihood .
“I literally can’t do anything else!” said Jeremy Reynolds when faced with the thought of buying food and paying rent without a job. “No one is going to hire me to teach them improv on the internet and I don’t even know when I would be able to now that I’ve taken on a full-time quarantine podcasting schedule.”
The Avocado braved the quarantine to seek comment at UCB’s Franklin location, but no one was there. As I walked back to my car I was intercepted by a Scientologist from the Celebrity Center across the street where I was told all about Dianetics and how it protects against the spread of the virus. As I sat with Diane, a 48-year-old Scientologist leader and learned about her religion, I told her about the story I was working on.
“That’s horrible! They make so much money, they should really help their staff at a time of worldwide crisis,” Diane told me before asking me to sign a billion-year contract pledging my fealty to the Church and its late-founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Editor’s Note: Because of capitalism, a GoFundMe to help UCB’s staff has been set up.
Editor’s Updated Note: My agent just saw the post, fired me, and told me I would never work in comedy again. Accordignly, a GoFundMe to help myself will be set up shortly.