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The Centralia Improvisational Podcast

The Centralia Improvisational Podcast

By Kevin Scott
New York's longest running improv group performs improv comedy and chats about improv comedy.
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David Koechner One On One

The Centralia Improvisational Podcast

I.O. Co-Artistic Director Katie Caussin
Katie Caussin chats with host Kevin Scott about her years being funny with The Second City, The Annoyance Theater and future as Co-Artistic Director of I.O. Theater in Chicago.
June 06, 2022
Art vs Entertainment with Johnathan Pitts
Jonathan Pitts talks with kevin Scott about his 20 years as a festival producer and what he's learned traveling the world as an improv teacher. Jonathan Pitts is a improv theatre artist from Chicago with over 30 years’ experience. He’s a creator, director, improviser, producer, and teacher, and he’s also the Founder and Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions. He co-founded the Chicago Improv Festival and produced it for 20 years. He Has taught and performed internationally in 12 countries, as well as all over America.  He is also the creator of shows including “The Make ‘Em Ups”, "The Oracle", "The Silent Movie", “Solo Plus One”, “Stopwatch”, and "Storybox Unscripted Theatre". Jonathan taught at The Second City for 16 years and he’s a contributing writer to their book on improvisation. He taught story-based improv at Piven Theatre Workshop. 
May 20, 2022
Brian Stack on Conan, Colbert and making it as a comedy writer
Pat from Centralia chats with Brian Stack about his years writing for Conan O'Brien on Late Night and the Tonight Show and his current job writing for Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. They also discuss Briens years doing improv and sketch and how that led to his writing comedy for TV.
April 17, 2022
TV, movie writer, producer Cindy Caponera One on One
Patrick McCartney chats what it was like writing for SNL, staying sober and her time with Second City. Cindy Caponera is Second City veteran, TV and movie writer, and producer her credits include Saturday Night Live, Shameless, I'm Dying Up Here, Nurse Jackie and At Home with Amy Sedaris.
March 04, 2022
TV Writer Jodi Lennon One On One
Patrick McCartney and Jodi Lennon discuss starting scenes in the middle, coming up with characters and her time studying with Del Close and Mick Napier. Jodi Lennon is an Emmy-nominated writer, producer and a director. She is an alumnae of Chicago's Second City, IO and The Annoyance Theater.  Shes worked on many TV shows including It's Personal with Amy Hoggart, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Difficult People and Exit 57
March 02, 2022
Conan/Late Night writer Brian McCann One On One
Patrick McCartney goes one on one with comedy writer Brian McCann.  They discuss Brian's career path from advertising copywriter through classes with Del Close to his 17 years writing for Conan O'Brien. From 1995 to 2012 McCann wrote and made appearances on Late Night, The Tonight Show and Conan.  McCann is a stand up comedian and actor having appeared on 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation among other shows. He was also the head writer for "The Who Was? Show" an educational sketch show for Netflix and wrote for Nikki & Sara Live and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.
February 11, 2022
The Evolution Of Improv or Death to Tag-Out Runs with Bob Fisher
Centralia's Kevin Scott chats with fellow Bang Bang alum Bob Fisher to discuss Bob's days with The Second City, Annoyance Theater, Cardiff Giant and of course, Bang Bang. They also discuss how Improv has changed for them and the improv community at large since discovering improv in Chicago in the '90's. Bob Fisher is a teacher and performer at The Annoyance Theater, Chicago.  
February 04, 2022
Michael Shannon One On One
Centralia's Patrick McCartney chats with Actor, Michael Shannon about his days a a young actor in Chicago, and his journey since then. Michael Shannon has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in the Sam Mendes period drama Revolutionary Road and the Tom Ford psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals. He has worked on the stage the stage with such companies as Steppenwolf, The Next Lab and the Red Orchid Theatre. He has appeared on Broadway in Grace, Frankie and Johnny in the Claie De Lune and A long Days Journey Into Night and London's West End in such productions as Woyzeck, Killer Joe and Bug. His many film and TV credits include Knives Out, The Shape of Water, Pearl Harbor, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, High Crimes, Cecil B. Demented Tigerland.
February 01, 2022
SNL, Late Night Writer, Alex Baze One On One
Pat McCartney goes One On One with Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Alex Baze to discuss his days in Chicago in the '90's and his life at SNL and Late night and his journey to get there.
January 07, 2022
Adam McKay goes One On One with Pat McCartney
Centralia Pat McCartney has a one on one chat with his old pal Adam McKay to discuss his journey from improv student to Oscar winning filmmaker.  Adam was head writer at Saturday Night Live before writing and directing hit films and series such as Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Vice, The Big Short, Succession and Don't Look Up.
December 24, 2021
Ashley Ward and how to improvise a song.
Ashley Ward from Conyers, GA performed improv and sketch comedy in New York City for more than a decade before moving to Los Angeles. Ashley appeared in several off broadway shows including the New York Times Critic's Pick "50 Shades! The Original Musical Parody" which she also co-wrote. TV Credits include Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and Middle of the Night Show. Ashley performs at UCB Sunset with Magic to Do and Baby Wants Candy! 
July 22, 2021
Bill Chott on life and improv before and after The Dana Carvey Show.
Pat and Kevin chat will Bill Chott about touring the country Second City, His Saturday Night Live audition and how it got him the attention of The Dana Carvey show and his life as an actor, comedian and improvisor. Bill Chott played Mr. Laritate on the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. Billt toured the country with The Second City until he landed The Dana Carvey Show, with a cast that included Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Robert Smigel.  His film roles include performances in Galaxy Quest, Dude Where's My Car, Brainwarp, Dante's Inferno, Wild Girls Gone, Dancing at the Blue Iguana and The Ringer.
July 05, 2021
One On One with Noah Gregoropoulos
Noah Gregoropoulos is an influential Chicago improvisor, teacher and director having taught for decades at IO and DePaul University. Noah most notably directed the Lois Kaz show at Second City which features a who's who of long time comedy writers and performers.
June 28, 2021
Will Luera on community building
Hosted by Kevin Scott Will Luera has built communities at theaters in Boston with Improv Boston and in Sarasota Florida as the Director of Improvisation at the Florida Studio Theater. He's Artistic Director of Improv Asylum, Director of Big Bang Improv and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston.
June 23, 2021
David Koechner One On One
Patrick McCartney goes one on one with David Koechner best known as Champ Kind in the Anchorman films and Todd Packer on NBC's The Office as well as appearances in dozens of movies and TV shows including a year as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Pat and David discuss David's improv and acting journey, their thoughts on how to be a great improvisor as well as Chicago and improv in the 90's.
June 15, 2021
Dion Flynn & Nate Starkey on Shackled
Dion Flynn & Nate Starkey created and perform in the two-man prisoners-on-the-run improvisational comedy Shackled. In this episode they join host Kevin Scott to discuss their trailer park childhoods and how they found Improv, comedy and each other. They also discuss the process of developing an improv show with recurring characters, themes and stories.
June 07, 2021
Heather Urquhart on improvising musicals.
Heather is a UK based improviser with 20 years experience. She performs regularly with The Maydays, Showstopper! the Improvised Musical, and more as well as coaching people in improvisation and improv skills for life and work. She specializes in musical improvisation.  She is the the winner of the award for best female performer at Brighton Fringe & the Argus Angel Award for artistic excellence.
May 22, 2021
Robert Z Grant on the Actor's Imagination
ROBERT Z GRANT is a New York-based actor and improviser and author of Improv and the Actor's Imagination: An Essential Guide to Get Yourself Into Trouble. He trained as an actor with Bill Esper at the William Esper Studio in New York, studied clowning and Commedia with Christopher Bayes at The Public Theater and at Juilliard, and honed his improv chops in the tradition of Second City. Robert has been a cast member of the award-winning improvised musical comedy BROADWAY'S NEXT HIT MUSICAL since 2003, and he tours the country and internationally performing with the show. Robert is a founding member and former co-Artistic Director of The Collective NY and appeared in four seasons of INSIDE AMY SCHUMER (Comedy Central).
May 10, 2021
Guy Richards Smit on art and comedy
Guy Richards Smit is an American performance artist, painter, and singer-songwriter in the band Maxi Geil! & PlayColt. His work has been seen around the world including MoMA in New York City. he has been performing his character Jonathan Grossmalerman, a satirical take on the artistic personality, since the mid-90's and infuses much of his other work with humor including a series of single panel cartoons for 
May 03, 2021
Jules Munns and the Future of Improvisation
Jules Munns joins the podcast from the U.K. to discuss the future of Improvisation.  Jules co-founded the Nursery Theater and Slapdash International Improv Festival. He performs with the Maydays, Ten Thousand Million Love Stories, Concept: the Improvised Concept Album and many other shows.
April 29, 2021
Dave Razowsky is present and in the moment
Dave Razowsky performed in 10 revues at Chicago's Second City with cast members including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Rachel Dratch. He was Artistic Director of The Second City Hollywood for 10 years and has taught his unique style of workshops around the world. He discusses his improv life and wether improv can change the world with Host Kevin Scott
April 28, 2021
Finding your voice/Notes
Centralia discusses finding your unique improv voice and how to get and take notes from a director or other ensemble members. some adult language in the episode
April 26, 2021
Chris Griggs on Improv, Stand-up and being an ad-man
no one has guested with Centralia more than Chris Griggs. Griggs is a stand-up Comic who tours the US and has been performing Improv comedy and teaching for most of the past 20 years. Before he went into comedy he wrote Advertisements. He discusses all this things with host Patrick McCartney.
April 07, 2021
Lucas Hazlett on the philosophy of improv
The times Lucas Hazlett performed with Centralia were among the most memorable shows we've ever done. Lucas joins Kevin in a discussion on what makes good improv, philosophy, being a team player and the optimal improv show structure. Lucas Hazlett is a writer/performer who studied improv and sketch at the Upright Citizens Brigade and Peoples Improv Theater. He has had roles on American Princess, Superior Donuts and Wrecked. He has sold and worked on projects for CBS, TBS, MTV, Comedy Central, The CW, and Marvel Comics.  Language warning: Some words may not be appropriate for children.
March 16, 2021
Commitment is 9/10ths of success, Gary Oldman and Caskets at sea
Kevin, Matt and Jay chat about things in the news and try to understand why Gary Oldman is the worlds greatest actor.
March 05, 2021
We Apologize
Centralia's Matt, Kevin and Jay take the time to apologize for their behavior and chat about classic TV Shows and interior design of the late 1970's
March 04, 2021
KURT BRAUNOHLER on Comedy, Philosophy and the Absurd.
Comedian, actor and podcaster Kurt Braunohler has had a Comedy Central Special, appeared in Netflix’s LADY DYNAMITE, THE BIG SICK, BOB’S BURGERS, NEW GIRL, @MIDNIGHT, ANOTHER PERIOD, KROLL SHOW, DRUNK HISTORY, CHELSEA LATELY, DELOCATED, JON BENJAMIN HAS A VAN, HUMAN GIANT. He's done stand up on CONAN, THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS, and THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN. He's also appeared on RadioLab and this American Life and hosts the Bananas Podcast with Scotty Landes.
February 24, 2021
Ali Farahnakian, fake fighting and starting your own theater.
Ali Farahnakian was a founding member of the UCB theater and is the founder and owner of The People Improv Theater In New York and Chapel Hill, NC. Ali performed with the Second City Improv Olympic in Chicago and studied with Del Close in the '90's. He was a writer for Saturday Night Live, has appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Delocated, 30 Rock, Louie, Law and Order and more. In this interview he discusses running several theaters, bars and a rehearsal space while remaining a creative performer.
February 14, 2021
Centralia in conversation: Iceland, Anger management and a pronunciation guide
Kevin, Matt and Jay chat about Jay's fateful trip to island and other things as part of Centralia's In Conversation series
February 08, 2021
Turn ons
Centralia chat about what is turning them on these days-  the sights, sounds, smells and illustrated playing cards that have them excited are all discussed.
February 02, 2021
Mary Gallagher on Standup, Acting and Writing
Comic Mary Gallagher becomes Kevin's therapist as they discuss her stand up comedy, appearing on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, her days doing improv in Chicago and how to find your own unique voice and style.
January 29, 2021
KATARINA WAHLBERG on Book Writing, teaching and playing.
Katarina Wahlberg Joins Host Kevin Scott to discuss her Improv guide book and running a theater and school. Katarina is the co-author of The Visual Guide To Improv and a founder of International Theater Stockholm. She has trained and performed at many different improv theaters including the Peoples Improv Theater (PIT) in New York, Stockholms Improvisationsteater. She performs in many hit improv shows including Lost in Translation, Mission Improvible, Troubadour Tales and Lemonade.
January 20, 2021
Movie Snacks!
Centralia discusses their favorite snacks to have while watching a movie.
January 14, 2021
Joe Bill and the Improv life journey
Joe Bill has been traveling the world teaching Imprvised theater techniques for a couple decades. He was a founding member of Chicago's Annoyance Theater as well as Bass-Prov, the 2 man show where 2 guys chat while Bass fishing. In this conversation he and Kevin from Centralia discuss his journey through life and improv.
January 04, 2021
Susan Messing 1 on 1
Susan Messing joins Patrick one on one to discuss being A New Jersey native, performing i at IO in Chicago with the legendary the Harold team Blue Velveeta., her days on the Second City main stage and being a founding member of the Annoyance theater.
December 18, 2020
Todd Stashwick, actor, writer, dungeon master
Todd Stashwick and Centralia's Kevin chat about Chicago in the 90's, their days in New York and Todd's life as a Hollywood actor, writer and dungeon master.
December 14, 2020
One On One with Kate Walsh
Before Kate Walsh played  Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC'sGrey's Anatomy and Private Practice, she was improvising with the members of Centralia as Burn Manhattan. Before Kate was playing Rebecca Wright on the NBC sitcom Bad Judge, Olivia Baker on the Netflix drama series 13 Reasons Why, and The Handler in The Umbrella Academy she was appearing in plays with Patrick MacCartney. in the One On One episode Pat and Kate discuss their history together and what its like being a theater artist working in the fast paced world of TV and film.
December 03, 2020
One on One with Shira Piven
Shira Piven has a one on one conversation with Centralia's Patrick Mc Cartney to discuss her upbringing, career as a TV, movie and theater director and how improv influences her work.
December 01, 2020
J Elaine Marcos, Broadway and Improv
Centralia favorite J. Elaine Marcos has been in several Broadway casts. in this episode, she chats with Jay and Kevin about her days as a triple threat and how improv helps her acting and audition process.
November 22, 2020
One on One with Jay Rhoderick
Get to know Centralia's Jay Rhoderick as he chats with Patrick McCartney about growing up in Maryland, discovering theater and improvisation.
October 19, 2020
One On One with Kevin Scott
Pat sits down with Kevin to discuss being a theater kid, early comedy influences and being bossy.
October 17, 2020
One On One with Matt Higgins
Patrick McCartney gets to know Matt Higgins a little bit better in this one on one interview about life, theater, stand-up comedy and improvisation.
October 15, 2020
Julia Morales on Community, Cruises and Stepping Stone Theater.
Julia Morales, Artistic Director of Stepping Stone Theater in Chicago talks about her days doing improv on cruise ships and starting a new improv community.
October 11, 2020
The Raving Jaynes
Jamie Graham and Amy Larimer from The Raving Jaynes (, Instagram @ravingjaynes) join Jay and Kevin to talk combining comedy and dance in their unique performances.
October 05, 2020
The Chris And Paul Show Show
Chris and Paul from the Chris and Paul Show show up on our show! Hosted by Centralia's Jay Rhoderick, Chris and Paul discuss being finalists NBC's Bring The Funny and their unique style of sketch comedy.
September 05, 2020
Finding The funny with Joe Schiappa
Long time friend and frequent Centralia collaborator Joe Schiappa sits in to talk comedy and how to be funny while improvising.
August 19, 2020
Lennon Parham talks Characters and MORE!
TV and movie actor/writer/creator Lennon Parham (Playing House, BFFs, Bless This Mess, Schooled, Veep, Lady Dynamite) chats about her process in creating her unforgettable characters and how she uses improvisation in her work as an actor and writer.
August 11, 2020
Top 3 Improv Tips
Pat, Matt, Jay and Kevin each give their top 3 improv tips.
July 20, 2020
I.O. Del Close and Chicago in the '90's
Centralia's Patrick McCartney talks about his days at I.O. with Del Close in Chicago.
June 25, 2020
Musical Improv with Noel Katz
Centralia collaboration Noel Katz discusses his years as a musical improvisor going back to his teen years in Los Angeles in the 1970's.
June 22, 2020
Remembering John Thies and Burn Manhattan With Shira Piven and Todd Stashwick
Shira Piven and Todd Stashwick join original Burn Manhattan members Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick and Kevin Scott to reminisce about the old days and John Thies. Recorded the day we learned of his death.
June 04, 2020
GLOW stars Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson
Netflix's GLOW stars Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson chat about using improv in their acting, writing and directing. We also discuss their days in the New York comedy scene and the dozens of improv groups they played in.
May 12, 2020
The Group Mind with Centralia
The full Centralia discusses the concept of the group mind.
May 07, 2020
The UCB and Me!
With the  closing of the UCB theater in New York, Kevin and Patrick discuss the impact of the UCB in the New York scene and Patrick's days as an A.S.S.C.A.T. regular, UCB teacher and performer. Kevin and Patrick also get real nostalgic about Chicago in the '90's and New York in the early 2000s.
April 24, 2020
Sincerity and bits
Kevin and Jay discuss playing with sincerity, Comedia dell'arte and their love of obscure references from before their time.
April 20, 2020
Matt on Solo Improv
Matt and Kevin converse while in quarantine about the differences between group and solo improv as well as their different approaches to improv performance.
April 13, 2020
the Joy of Improv
at the start of the Covid-lockdaown in New York City, Centralia's Kevin and Patrick are joined by New York improvisor Joy Masters to discuss what they love about improvisation, their favorite exercises and all time favorite improv moments.
April 09, 2020