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JulyDiaz

Episode 172 — Big Grande

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Dan Lippert, Drew Tarver, Ryan Rosenberg, and Jon Mackey are all best buds and together perform all around LA as the sketch group Big Grande. Today they join Matt Besser for a special improv5humans complete with pirate speakers, passionate waltzers, and a guy who lives in a mall. Plus, everyone shares their best Shaq story during Crap On YouTube. Make sure to get the Upright Citizens Brigade television show season 3 now available on DVD, the UCB Comedy Improv Manual, and Dragoon’s new album at dragoongalaxy.bandcamp.com! LA: Come see improv4humans LIVE at the UCB-Sunset on Tuesday February 3rd at 8:30pm. Go to www.ucbtheatre.com for tickets!

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am I crazy or has Matt told the left ear story on an earlier i4h... or on another podcast perhaps? I usually start listening to the show as soon as I wake up so my mind is still somewhat hazy, but it sounded very familiar for some reason.

 

 

also, I'm with him on that snow video... it looks and sounds contrived as fuck.

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The snow one definitely seemed fishy, but the cleverbot one seems legit. That's what talking to cleverbot is like, it accuses you of being a robot and says nonsense (because it's learned from the people who talk to it, who mostly just accuse it of being a robot and say nonsense).

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These guys are definitely sketch people and not improv dudes.. felt like the scenes so far have been kind of lacking any real "game" but they seem like good sports. Never thought that I would have consumed so much improv that I could spot when something's amiss but here I am. So many off-mic giggles though! I always like when the talent cracks up.

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also, I'm with him on that snow video... it looks and sounds contrived as fuck.

 

Even if its contrived, its still pretty hilarious. Can't he just be stoned out of his gourd or something? Do they get a lot of snow there normally? Maybe its a rare thing!

 

#iwanttobelieve

 

EDIT: Finished the episode. Good lord, that Heart Attack Grill guy is spouting some serious bullshit.

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The snow one definitely seemed fishy, but the cleverbot one seems legit. That's what talking to cleverbot is like, it accuses you of being a robot and says nonsense (because it's learned from the people who talk to it, who mostly just accuse it of being a robot and say nonsense).

Agreed. You can check out http://www.existor.com/, and talk to it yourself. It does just bring up random subjects sometimes. But despite that, this is improv4humans, no chat bots allowed.

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In the snow video, the voice of "John" sounds suspiciously like Alan putting on a voice later with his microphone -- the distance of the voice never changes the entire video, and you don't ever see John's face or see him move.

 

Loved the Shaq stories. It was way too long before I realized they'd started a scene.

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Having spent way too much time messing with chatbots, I will also say I believe the chatbot video was legit. I would love for Matt to engage with one as a segment on the show and do some scenes based on the 'conversation'.

 

Cleverbot.com

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I'd love a follow-up to the bot video since Matt was SO emphatic about it being BS.

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texter, upthread, is correct I'd say. The cleverbot thing is more than likely the real deal. They repeat human input from previous conversations, whilst trying to match the answers to familiar questions again from the human input. It's kinda clever but not really useful.

 

And yeah lots of people like to fuck with them so they feed it nonsense, hence the unicorn.

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Also, as someone else stated, it was ages before I could tell that the Shaq bit was an improv moment.

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am I crazy or has Matt told the left ear story on an earlier i4h... or on another podcast perhaps? I usually start listening to the show as soon as I wake up so my mind is still somewhat hazy, but it sounded very familiar for some reason.

 

 

also, I'm with him on that snow video... it looks and sounds contrived as fuck.

He has. That time they went off on a scene where two parents went on vacation and brought back for their son, who has a stump for a hand, a shirt from a bar that has "___'s Stump" as its title. I wish I could remember the episode as it was an awesome scene.

 

Also, guys, I didn't realize the Shaq scene was a scene until it was over. Kind of blew my mind.

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I'm glad they did the Heart Attack Grill video, but a part of me thinks that whole thing is just too insane already to make into a great scene. How do you escalate women dressed as nurses spanking 350+ pound people because they failed to finish a meal and a guy dressed as a doctor pulling out the cremated remains of the restaurants spokesperson whilst trying to justify himself? So fucked up.

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That bot video is exactly how bots are supposed to work. I think it's legit. It's a bummer because it's a really interesting premise too. Chat bots record and store records of chat with humans as their memory. They then weigh the possible responses they could generate based on the likelihood of 1) the response as a possible response to the last message and 2) the response as potential to extend the conversation.

 

When people are talking to chat bots, they bring up random stuff like unicorns and whatnot. The bots then learn to bring up these topics as they tend to generate more questions and extend the conversation. It makes conversation with bots really stupid, because we're having a conversation with humans who are talking to robots. It's being parroted back at us.

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I get that the bots are actually talking. But their responses are from "funny" things humans have said to it therefore it's behaving like a parrot owned by someone who is always trying to be funny. Therefore it seems there is a comedy element innate to the bots which I don't like as the "truth" for our comedy.

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The episode where Matt told the ear story was on the second Adam McKay episode.

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So Old Man Besser - having just learned what a Chatbot is - really doubts that a chatbot will say random stuff like, "I'm a unicorn"? Sounds like he should spend a few minutes talking to Cleverbot.

 

I just had this conversation right now:

Conversation.png

 

lol. Technology angers Besser so much...

 

Good ep though! I mean, I laugh so hard when Besser goes crazy on "the youth of today". The improvisors here were fantastic and the sketches were hilarious. I'm always going to be tempted to throw a chair through a window whenever I see people dancing now!

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These guys are definitely sketch people and not improv dudes.. felt like the scenes so far have been kind of lacking any real "game" but they seem like good sports. Never thought that I would have consumed so much improv that I could spot when something's amiss but here I am. So many off-mic giggles though! I always like when the talent cracks up.

 

I was actually just about to post what was basically the exact opposite of this. I thought it was a pretty strong episode. I'd definitely be in favor of a Big Grande return at some point.

 

I know Lippert has been on the show a bunch, and Rosenberg and Tarver have also made appearences, so I don't think they're light on improv experience or anything. Most sketch groups actually do a lot of improv anyway, since it's such fertile ground for inspiration.

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I was actually just about to post what was basically the exact opposite of this. I thought it was a pretty strong episode. I'd definitely be in favor of a Big Grande return at some point.

 

I know Lippert has been on the show a bunch, and Rosenberg and Tarver have also made appearences, so I don't think they're light on improv experience or anything. Most sketch groups actually do a lot of improv anyway, since it's such fertile ground for inspiration.

 

I felt like Matt was struggling to take control of some of the scenes but I also found myself zoning out a lot during this episode so maybe I just need to give this another listen. I believe you!

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