3 on 3 Improv Tournament

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This is the "Fall Classic" of competitive improv, held at UCBT-NY every November and hosted and organized by Pat Baer. It was founded in 2001 by Kevin Mullaney.

Currently Pat updates all information on the 3 on 3 tumblr: http://threeonthree.tumblr.com/

Background

In the fall of 2001, Kevin Mullaney (then Artistic Director of UCBT) was having trouble figuring out what shows to put up during Thanksgiving weekend. Many of the regular performers would be out of town, and several of the regular shows would not be at full strength. The format of a 3 on 3 Improv Tourney seemed like a great solution. It meant that the performers who were in town could form their own teams and compete. And the mix of competition and audience participation helped make it a fun holiday event. The first tournament at the old UCB space on 22nd Street was a huge success, and it was turned into an annual event at the UCBT.

Rules

Teams of 3 people enter the contest, and 21 teams are chosen to compete in preliminary rounds held in November, Wednesdays at 11:15 PM in the Improv Jam time slot for the first 3 weeks, and on the night after Thanksgiving at 10:30pm.

Each week for four weeks in November, eight teams - seven pre-selected teams and one wildcard team comprised of randomly drawn audience members - compete in seven-minute qualifying rounds. The audience votes for their favorite teams. The top three teams each week advance to the semifinals held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The twelve teams then compete in two semifinal rounds (six teams each) which consist of ten-minute rounds. Each team is judged by a panel of judges (one of whom is a wildcard selected at random from the audience), who score the teams on a scale of 1-5 in three areas - Technical Merit, Artistry and Comicality. The two teams from each show with the highest composite score after each semifinal round meet in the finals held in the final time slot on Saturday evening.

The four remaining teams have fifteen minutes each to perform. Scoring is the same as for the semi-finals.

The prize break down for the finalists is:

  • 1st place - $220
  • 2nd place - $130
  • 3rd place - $55
  • 4th place - $15

Results

2001

  • 1st - Triage (Michael Delaney, Sean Conroy, Andy Secunda)
  • 2nd - NJ Stink (Rhea Dates, Rebekka Johnson, Jim Festante)
  • 3rd - D.A.R.I.U.S. (Shannon O'Neill, Julie Klausner, Sam Riegel)
  • 4th - Puppy Stab! (Bernie Kravitz, Brian Finkelstein, Jeff Campbell)

2002

  • 1st - The University of New Jersey (Tarik Davis, Katie Dippold, Chris Gethard)
  • 2nd - The Odds (Shannon O’Neill, Amy Rhodes, and Marian Rosin)
  • 3rd - Hot Feverish Thigh (Mark Lee, Billy Merritt, and Lynda Thomas)

2003

  • 1st - Team FAK (Flynn Barrison, Anthony King, Kate Spencer)
  • 2nd - Death by Roo Roo (Brett Gelman, John Gemberling, Curtis Gwinn)
  • 3rd - The Sex Beatles - (Eric Bernat, BJ Gallagher, Federico Garduno)

2004

  • 1st - Bruckheimer (Owen Burke, Chad Carter, Paul Scheer)
  • 2nd - I Eat Pandas (Glennis McMurray, Eliza Skinner, Travis Ploeger)
  • 3rd - Team FAK (Flynn Barrison, Anthony King, Kate Spencer)

2005

  • 1st - C, C + C Improv Factory (Charlie Todd, Charlie Sanders, Chuck Dauble)
  • 2nd - 3/5th Dudes (Eugene Cordero, Bobby Moynihan, and Chris Gethard)
  • 3rd - Gogo Yubari (Matt DeCoster, Andy Rocco, Will Hines)
  • 4th - Penny (Tricia McAplin, Jessie Schupack, Amber Petty)

2006

  • 1st - Presidents of Roo (Curtis Gwinn, John Gemberling, Neil Casey)
  • 2nd - C, C + C Improv Factory (Charlie Todd, Charlie Sanders, Chuck Dauble)
  • 3rd - Derrick (Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, DC Pierson)
  • 4th - Fortune Cookie (Zach Woods, Sean Clements, Drew Nelson)

2007

  • 1st - 3/5th Dudes (Eugene Cordero, Bobby Moynihan, and Chris Gethard)
  • 2nd - Outlook of the Poet (Jonathan Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller)
  • 3rd(t) - C, C + C Improv Factory (Charlie Todd, Charlie Sanders, Chuck Dauble)
  • 3rd(t) - Hot Sauce (Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally, and Gil Ozeri)

2008

  • 1st - Outlook of the Poet (Jonathan Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller)
  • 2nd - Derrick (Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, DC Pierson)
  • 3rd - C, C + C Improv Factory (Charlie Todd, Charlie Sanders, Chuck Dauble)
  • 4th - The Greatest Actor in All of France (Brandon Gardner, Birch Harms, Oscar Magallanes)

2009

  • 1st - The Greatest Actor in All of France (Brandon Gardner, Oscar Magallanes, Neil Casey)
  • 2nd - Outlook of the Poet (Jonathan Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller)
  • 3rd - The Blondes (Mike Still, Jill Donnelly and Chris Gethard)
  • 4th - These Guys Look Like They Read (Will Hines, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye)

2010

  • 1st - Hot Cheese Fiesta (Big Rich Armstead, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, Charlie Todd)
  • 2nd - These Guys Look Like They Read (Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, Will Hines)
  • 3rd - Let's Get Salads! (Ellena Chmielewski, Casey Jost, Chris Gethard)
  • 4th - GLADWELL (Kevin Mullaney, Corey Brown, Morgan Phillips)

2011

  • 1. Sabonis (Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Chris Gethard)
  • 2. The Three- Man Musical (Kirk Damato, Michael Martin, Frank Spitzagel)
  • 3. According to Jim, Rory, and Criag (Craig Rowin, Rory, Panagotopulos, Jim Santangeli)
  • 4. Blink 184 (Brandon Gulya, John Trowbridge, Ryan Karels)

2012

  • 1. Sabonis (Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Connor Ratliff)
  • 2. These Guys Look Like They Read (Kevin Hines, Will Hines, and Erik Tanouye)
  • 3. Girlfriends Best Friends (Allie Kokesh, Ryan Haney, and Natasha Vaynblat)
  • 4. Jamwell (Brian Glidewell, Dru Johnston, Ben Rameaka)

2013

  • 1st Place- PARM (Dan Black, Neil Casey, Gavin Speiller)
  • 2nd Place- Pahjonka Johnk (Dru Johnston, Ben Rameaka, Josh Patten)
  • 3rd Place- New York City (Kevin Hines, Will Hines, and Charlie Todd)
  • 4th Place- Sabonis (Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Connor Ratliff)

2014

  • 1st Place- Pahjonka Johnk (Dru Johnston, Josh Patten, Ben Rameaka)
  • 2nd Place- Greasy Lake (Anthony Apruzzese, Daniel LoPreto, John Purcell)
  • 3rd Place- Sabonis (Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Connor Ratliff)
  • 4th Place- Book (James McCarthy, Carrie McCrossen, Eric Gersen)

2015

  • 1st Place- Sabonis (Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Connor Ratliff)
  • 2nd Place- Goofy Snitches (Alan Starzinski, Shaun Diston, David Bluvband)
  • 3rd Place- Pahjonka Johnk (Dru Johnston, Josh Patten, Ben Rameaka)
  • 4th Place- Morgan Grace Jarrett (Pat Regan, Brandon Scott Jones, Morgan Grace Jarrett)

2016

  • 1st place- Vatican III (Zack Willis, Patrick Noth, Steve Theiss)
  • 2nd place- The Mannequin Room (Brian Urreta, Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel)
  • 3rd place- A Spicy Hot Meatball (Kevin Hines, Caroline Cotter, Lui Vega)
  • 4th place- Coldplay (James Dwyer, Molly Gaebe, Jess Lane)

Trivia

Some teams that first organized and performed for the 3 on 3 and continued to evolve into highly successful performing groups include I Eat Pandas, C, C and C Improv Factory, Derrick, and Death By Roo Roo (in a 3-person incarnation with Curtis Gwinn, John Gemberling and Neil Casey).

The plug thread for the 3 on 3 on the IRC generally evolved (or devolved) into a series of nonsensical bit questions for Pat Baer to answer, which he did in his trademark straightforward fashion. Since moving to tumblr, however, Pat Baer does not accept nor answer bit questions.

Pat Baer began hosting and organizing the 3 on 3 in 2003. Kevin Mullaney had planned to pass the hosting duties on to the then cagematch hosts (Eric Scott, Charlie Todd, and Chris Kula). Only Kula seemed interested/available to organize, so Pat Baer (then teching cagematch) helped out. Kula ended up teching the show and gave a bit of commentary to Pat (the host).

Kevin Mullaney's mother served as a judge in the first 3 on 3 Tournament in 2001.

At the 2nd annual tourney, the wildcard team was comprised of Andy Rocco, Rob Huebel and Billy Hot Chocolate. In one scene Mr. Hot Chocolate initiated a scene as a rapist in a prison, and Rocco played a prison guard, fed up with this guy trying to use his status as "rapist" to get away with everything. "What are you gonna do, rape your way right up the ladder?" The scene hit huge and left the crowd chanting "Roc-co!, Roc-co!" Later in the week, Rocco was placed on the Harold Team Monkeydick.

The 3rd Annual 3 on 3 tournament involved 21 teams and the whole event took place over the course of 1 night. Since then, it has expanded to 24 teams and returned to the qualifying rounds taking place over 3 shows.

The Sixth Annual 3 on 3 saw the Wildcard Team Fortune Cookie make it to the finals. This was all but unheard of. The team, made up of Zach Woods, Sean Clements, Drew Nelson, came in 4th.

The Seventh Annual 3 on 3 had a fairly unusual end: two ties! Hot Sauce (Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally, and Gil Ozeri) tied with C, C and C Improv Factory (Charlie Sanders, Charlie Todd, and Chuck Dauble) tied for 3rd place. First and second places were decided by a 5 minute Sudden Death battle between 3/5ths Dudes (Eugene Cordero, Bobby Moynihan, and Chris Gethard) and Outlook of the Poet (Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller, and Jonathan Gabrus. 3/5ths Dudes came out on top.

The Tenth Annual 3 on 3 had the first wildcard team tournament victory. The team was named Hot Cheese Fiesta (a reference to Pat Baer's famous nacho parties) and featured Big Rich Armstead, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, and Charlie Todd. Big Rich had never performed improv before the tournament, making the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals his first three improv shows ever.

In 2014, the tournament moved to the UCB East. While the Semi-finals and finals remained unchanged, the Quarterfinals moved to Wednesday nights at 11:15pm.

None of the top three prize money awards are divisible by three, to encourage infighting after the competition was complete. The 4th place gets their money back, allowing them to break even.