The Groundlings Podcast Network

Breaking Ground - Episode 9: Writing Solo Shows Panel

In addition to being a place of great collaboration in its sketch and improv shows, the Groundlings has also become an incredible platform for solo performers. Several solo shows created on the Groundlings stage have gone on to be produced on Broadway and at international comedy festivals such as The US Comedy Arts Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. On this week’s episode, we’re bringing you a panel discussion that was recorded at the theater with Groundlings who’ve written and performed solo shows. If you’ve ever considered creating your own solo show, get ready to be inspired! 

Breaking Ground - Episode 8: Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr is a Groundlings alumni who began studying improv long before he found the Groundlings theater. He has trained with some of the all-time best improv teachers like Del Close in Chicago, but it was at the Groundlings with its emphasis on characters that Phil found his home. In this episode, Phil talks about getting to work with a slew of other Groundlings on the long running sketch show Mad TV and in the hit film Pulp Fiction, and shares how his Groundlings training has helped his extremely successful voiceover career. 

Breaking Ground - Episode 7: Greg Worswick & H Michael Croner

Greg Worswick and H Michael Croner are current Groundlings who first met when they started writing together in the Sunday Company around 2011. They’ve had many hit sketches together and two of the characters that they created on the Groundlings stage were picked up and turned into a series by Comedy Central. In this episode, they talk about their favorite sketches, why they love writing together and discuss the highs and lows of writing prop-heavy sketches.

Breaking Ground - Episode 6: Mindy Sterling

Mindy Sterling is best known for her role as Frau Farbissina in the Austin Powers films. It was at the Groundlings Theater where Mike Myers workshopped his Austin Powers variety show with Mindy and several other Groundlings. Mindy relieves her experience of working with Mike, the joy she discovered through performing and directing on the Groundlings stage and why improv is still a big part of her life.

Breaking Ground - Episode 5: Writing for Television & Film Panel

In addition to generating some of the world’s best comedic actors, the Groundlings theater has also produced a slew of incredible writers who have won Oscars, Emmys and Peabody awards. Join our panel of Groundlings who write for film and television as they discuss their writing process, which elements are essential for great storytelling and how their Groundlings training in sketch and improv helped them master writing for longer formats like sitcoms and feature films.

Breaking Ground - Episode 4: Ryan Gaul & Lisa Schurga 

Lisa Schurga and Ryan Gaul have the rare experience of knowing each other and working closely long before ending up in the main company at the Groundlings together. Lisa and Ryan relive their first encounter in an improv class over 20 years ago at the Improv Asylum in Boston and they talk about how their Boston roots continue to be an anchor for some of their greatest characters.

Breaking Ground - Episode 3: Mitch Silpa and Jim Cashman

Mitch Silpa and Jim Cashman are Groundlings alumni who have been writing together for almost 20 years. From their beginnings in the Groundlings main company to having their first sitcom script produced as a pilot for Fox, this hilarious writing duo talk about their writing process, why they enjoy trimming their own material and why improv is an invaluable skill for writers.


Breaking Ground — Episode 2: Tracy Newman & Jonathan Stark

The Emmy and Peabody award winning writing team of Tracy Newman and Jonathan Stark met at the Groundlings theater, but it was not until after they both retired from the main company that they started writing together. Tracy and Jonathan talk about how they got their start writing a spec script for Cheers, what it was like to write Ellen DeGeneres’ famous coming out episode on the sitcom Ellen and how the person who types in a writing team is usually the one with all the power. 

Breaking Ground — Episode 1: Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow is widely recognized as creating one of the greatest characters in American television. Her role as Phoebe Buffay on Friends was called ‘a delivery system for joy’ by the New York Times. But the origins of Phoebe go all the way back to her training at the Groundlings. Lisa talks about being pushed by her Writing Lab teacher to play a ‘dumb’ character, creating her favorite sketches and monologues in the Groundlings Main Company and how her very first audition in Los Angeles eventually lead to Romy and Michele’s Highschool Reunion.