The Upright Citizens Brigade (Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh) came to New York, from Chicago, in 1996. After staging their award winning sketch comedy show, and introducing the long form improvised structure of the "Harold" to New York audiences the UCB soon began their training program.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre opened February 4, 1999 at 161 West 22nd Street, the former home of the New Harmony, a strip club reported to be seedier than seedy. The UCBT quickly became the place for great, cutting-edge, comedy. Casting directors, agents, and journalists all began to flock to the 74-seat theater in Chelsea to see the best comic talent in the city.
On April 1, 2003, the New UCB Theater opened its doors. The 150-seat theater at 307 West 26th Street continues to offer the best and most innovative improv and sketch comedy in the city every day of the week. The UCB Theatre produces over 25 unique shows a week, often 4 shows nightly, ranging in price from $8 to free. There is never a drink minimum and beer, wine and soft drinks are available for a moderate price.
On July 1st 2005 the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre opened the first location in Hollywood, California. The 95 seat Theatre, located at 5919 Franklin Avenue, quickly became the home to great improv, sketch and stand-up in the Los Angeles area. The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre established itself as the only comedy Theatre and Training Center with stages and operations on both coasts.
On March 1st 2006 the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre opened the first comedy Training Center of its kind in New York City. Located at 145 W 30th Street, 4th floor, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's Training Center is 7,500 square feet of classroom space dedicated to the advancement of improv and sketch comedy. Many students have gone on to appear in and write for stage, television and major motion picture productions as well as popular comedy content on the Internet.
On January 16th of 2008 the Upright Citizens Brigade continued the spread of their unique brand of no-holds barred comedy to audiences across the country through UCBcomedy.com. UCBcomedy is the virtual home of all things comedy from improv, sketch and standup to pranks, jokes, podcasts, f'ed up and illegal videos and much more from the performers, teachers, students and friends who have made the Upright Citizens Brigade the leading brand of comedy in the country.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is dedicated to fostering both an appreciation and education of the arts through affordable and high quality comedic performances and classes.
Our all ages venue offers big names for small change: Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Conan O'Brien have each appeared in shows at UCB Theatre for no more than $8 per ticket. UCB Theatre's improv, stand-up and sketch comedy shows also regularly feature rising talent culled from our signature training center.
Students of UCB Theatre are taught our proven style of sketch and improvisational comedy by working actors and writers. In addition to teaching the necessary skills, UCB Theatre also works on behalf of its students to give them every possible opportunity to develop their own creative voices, industry relationships and comedic careers. Through our classes, stage performances and direction, young talent is on the way to viable commercial success.
Named "Hot Farm Team" by Rolling Stone magazine and "Best Comedy Club" by AOL, The UCB Theatre is widely recognized as home to today's funniest actors and writers. Among our esteemed alumni include several performers and writers for Saturday Night Live, The Office, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 30 Rock, Best Week Ever, Old School, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro and countless other films, commercials and television shows. Performers who have gained success continue to lend their talents to the theatre and training center.