‘Saturday Night Live’ Chicago Improv Sketch Offers A Hint Of Reality [Opinion]

Tina Fey’s 'Chicago Improv' sketch from the season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live’ hits home.

Tina Fey at the Tony’s.
Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Tina Fey’s 'Chicago Improv' sketch from the season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live’ hits home.

Tina Fey served as host of Saturday Night Live’s season finale. The SNL alum’s episode received some mixed reviews. Some of the sketches from the SNL season finale were well-received, others not so much. However, one of the sketches stood out.

The “Chicago Improv” sketch ended Saturday Night Live on an interesting note. There were some questions (courtesy of Indie Wire) regarding why Saturday Night Live ended their season with the “Chicago Improv” sketch starring Tina Fey, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Luke Null, and Melissa Villasenor.

One of the most talked about SNL sketches features an inside view of the actual Chicago improv community. Ask anyone who performs or has performed improv comedy, especially in Chicago, you will find out that there is a ton of accuracy in the Saturday Night Live sketch. Determining which moments ring truthful and which do not, however, is a challenge for anyone outside of the Chicago improv community.

Entertainment Weekly considers Saturday Night Live’s “Chicago Improv” sketch an inside joke about what goes on in the improv community. There is truth in those sentiments.

As Saturday Night Live pokes fun at, the Chicago improv comedy scene does feature distasteful suggestions from audience members. At times, some people watching the improvisers want to see uncomfortable moments played out on stage.

It has always been at the behest of the audience to what inspires an improv performance. The SNL sketch highlights just how a performer handles receiving an awful suggestion. What was not shown in the Saturday Night Live sketch was just how often the suggestion has to be obliged.

Warmup games was another accurate account of the SNL sketch.

For anyone who watched the SNL season finale and wondered what was going on in the “Chicago Improv” sketch, the game “zip-zap-zop” is a way of checking in with your fellow teammates. It is one of the most commonly used methods of warming up before taking the stage.

Oftentimes, an improviser never knows who is in the audience taking notes as each performance could become an open audition for bigger opportunities in the future.

There are several people who take up the Chicago improv scene hoping that it will be a springboard to larger comedic projects. A vast majority of the Saturday Night Live cast has hit an improv stage in Chicago on more than a few occasions.

Saturday Night Live’s “Chicago Improv” sketch also shows a semi-accurate portrayal of the envious nature amongst some performers.

Any improviser will tell you that they would love to go on and do commercials, act in movies, or even be an ensemble member of the Saturday Night Live cast. However, as it is in many cases, only a handful of performers go on to become success stories in the entertainment world.

For every Tina Fey, who went on to become a staple of the Saturday Night Live cast, there are hundreds of other improv comedians who bravely take the stage on a regular basis. What SNL did successfully was tell their stories with precision and wit.