Del Close by Brian Stack


Conan writer and past Sound guest Brian Stack was a 19-year-old intern at a community TV station when he made this eight-minute profile of Del Close in 1986. Close, if you don't know, remains the great hero of long-form improvisation. Stack accidentally set the camera to black and white, so the whole thing has an oddly artsy look. A remarkable and irreplaceable artifact.


Harold Team

The Harold team in the background of this video is, i am almost positive, "Baron's Barracudas" the first Harold team to come out of Del's training center! Cast included David Pasquesi, Mark Bellson Steve Burrows, Brian Crane, Bill Russell, John Judd, Honor Finnegan, Kim Howard Johnson, and Judy Nielson. I would kill to see what a Harold looked like back then.

That's Stack-tastic!

That's Stack-tastic!

David Pasquesi

Can't really place many of the actors here, but I'm certain the lanky improviser in the light blue shirt (seen at the 3:10 mark) is Chicago improv legend David Pasquesi, currently of the long-running "TJ and Dave" show. It's one of Chicago's most popular and respected acts.

Brian Stack

Brian is a true sentimentalist as well as a humongous comedic talent of his own. I had the honor of seeing Brian Stack do the Harold game in the Del Close theater in 2005. What a great piece, it really captures what a genius Close was. This was made with true passion and thank you for posting this!
- Dustin


this was amazing -- thanks Jesse

Great video

Truly phenomenal. But I want more of Video Cuisine!

Apparently Boloney's still

Apparently Boloney's still exists -

Thanks, Jesse!

Thanks a lot for posting this, Jesse. As embarrassed as I am by my geeky voice-over and the lame copy ("Are you a comedy fan?" Jesus.) I'm happy that this amateurishly produced little intern project of mine from so long ago has some value for people today. It's especially nice to see the shots of people like David Pasquesi and Mick Napier, without whom I never would've ended up doing improv myself later on. They're still a big inspiration to me after all these years, and I'll always be grateful to them. I'll always be grateful to Del, too, of course, not just for all his amazing and innovative ideas, but also for taking the time to do an "interview" with a clueless beginner like me.
P.S. Go Boloney's! (even if it's no longer there)