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Commedus Interruptus

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Commedus Interruptus
2012 Commedus Interruptus Logo
CompanyUniversity of Southern California
Show typeImprovisational theatre and sketch comedy
LocationLos Angeles, California
[www.commedus.com Official website]

Commedus Interruptus is an American theater troupe operating from the US state of California.


Commedus Interruptus originated as a short and long-form improvisational theatre troupe at the University of Southern California. The oldest of USC's five currently performing improv troupes, Commedus was created in 1989 by then-senior Don Friesen. The group is best known for performing a free hour-long lawn show every Friday at 1 p.m. in front of Tommy Trojan. In addition to their weekly shows, the troupe writes and produces a full-length sketch comedy show every semester.

Commedus quickly established itself as a fixture within the USC theater community, and has served as a stepping-stone in the careers of many USC alumni.

Sketch show[edit]

Twice a year, Commedus puts on an original sketch comedy show for the student body, shortly before finals week, showcasing original material written and performed by the Commedus cast (commonly known as the "Commedes"). The show is widely acclaimed by the USC theater community, and performances are regularly sold out.

Annual Improv-a-thon[edit]

Every spring, Commedus performs 24 straight hours of improv as a fundraiser. The event begins at 2 p.m. Thursday and ends with Commedus' regular lawn show, from 1-2 p.m. Friday.[1] The event has become a staple of the Commedus calendar, and is well-attended throughout its twenty-four-hour span.

Audition process[edit]

Commedus Interruptus holds auditions each fall, open to undergraduates of all majors. The primary auditions are administered jointly with three other USC improv troupes: Second Nature, The Merry Men, and Spoiler Alert, after which each troupe will offer callbacks on an individual basis. Commedus is unique, however, in that it requires an additional workshop phase: eight candidates are selected to be mentored by the troupe over a six-week period, after which 1-4 will be invited onto the troupe proper. This unusual process is designed to assess the candidates' ability to display talent consistently, take direction and improve over time, and work collaboratively with the rest of the group.

Current members[edit]

  • Leo Driessen (co-director)
  • Julia Wisnia (co-director)
  • Frankie Nayman
  • Aidan Gray
  • Zoey Smith
  • Daisy Tichenor
  • Ava Bunn


  • Rob Kerkovich, actor known for his work on the television series NCIS New Orleans
  • Don Friesen, stand-up comedian and two-time winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition
  • Jason Reitman,[2] Academy Award-nominated director of Juno and Up in the Air
  • Abby Kohn,[3] writer of Never Been Kissed and Valentine's Day
  • Damien Haas, former cast member of So Random!, a Disney Channel sketch comedy series and current cast member of Smosh
  • Beck Bennett,[4][5] star of the AT&T "It's Not Complicated" commercials and Saturday Night Live cast member[6]
  • Kyle Mooney, cast member of Saturday Night Live[6]
  • Nick Rutherford, writer for Saturday Night Live[6]

Additionally, the following comedy groups have been formed by alumni of the Commedus cast:

  • Good Neighbor[4]
  • Trust Fall
  • Invisible Engine
  • Summer of Tears

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Theatre : Vitas Varnas, Serafim Kalliadasis, Drama, Shadowplay (play), Elizabeth Taylor, Andrew Liverpool, Laura Benson
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  • Second Nature Improv
  • Improvisational theatre
  • List of improvisational theatre companies
  • USC School of Dramatic Arts


  1. "Long-running joke". Daily Trojan. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  2. Wheeler, John (2009-12-01). "Reitman finds himself on the ascent". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  3. [1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Violette, James (2011-01-23). "Student comedy group grabs attention". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  5. Kevin Fallon. "Beck Bennett: Meet That Guy in Those Adorable AT&T Commercials". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "SNL hires Nick Rutherford to reunite, write with his Good Neighbor mates | The Comic's Comic". Thecomicscomic.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08.

External links[edit]

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