For Madmen Only

USA, Feature Documentary, 2020, 87 min

If you’ve never heard of Del Close, well congratulations, that means you’re not a comedian. Opening of For Madmen Only

The world’s first improv troupe, The Compass Players, was organized in Chicago in the 1950s and grew to include Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Shelly Berman, Del Close and others. When Nichols, May and Berman left for fame and fortune, the group renamed themselves The Second City, and the eventual Director, Del Close—between his many nervous breakdowns—taught his rat-a-tat, free-association method of improv to young comedians like Robin Williams, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Andy Dick, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Shelley Long, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Amy Poehler, Harold Ramis and dozens more. This unforgettable film features cameos and tributes (sort of) from some of the funniest people in America. Del Close believed that his improv students all had a “light to share” but that they should shut off the goddamn light and listen to him.

Directed by Heather Ross

Colorado Premiere

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Venues: The Boulder Theater; Grace Commons Church, 1820 15th Street; Boulder High; Cinemark Century Boulder, 1700 29th St.; eTown Hall; Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium