Bad Data is a longform improv comedy group in New York City comprised of Brett White, Melanie Hamlett, Kim Ferguson, Jessica Wyant, Phil Weintraub, Trevor Williams and Mike Sapp. To date they have performed 36 times.
Bad Data is the sole producer of a nearly monthly show called Bad Date. In addition to routine improv sets, the show includes a dance party and a lottery team made of volunteers drawn from a hat. Occasionally it includes pizza.
Bad Data is a co-producer of System Error, along with teams Thank You, Robot and LD & The Scientist. System Error was initially thought of as a play on the nerdy names of all three teams. This show is held on the second Sunday of most months, at the Parkside Lounge.
Bad Data was founded by Brett White, Jessica Wyant, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, Kim Ferguson, Melanie Hamlett, Mitch Hansch and Lee Rubenstein in late April 2007. The members all met in classes at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, specifically levels 201 and 301 taught by Shannon O'Neill. Shortly after the group decided to become an official performing team in August 2007, Rubenstein and new addition Doug Stoley stepped away from the group.
Bad Data made their debut on September 1st, 2007 at a show hosted by Sherpa and also featuring Shark Tank at Under St. Mark's Theater. Patrick Clair joined the group officially later that night and made his debut with the team during a show at The Cake Shop on October 3. The group followed very lewd anti-establishment stand-up acts and noise rock. Their suggestion from the audience was "not funny." The group performed twice as a septet twice before Mitch Hansch left the group in October 2007.
The remaining six stayed a performing unit from October 2007 to June 2008 and helped found and produce the monthly independent improv show System Error, along with teams Thank You, Robot and LD & The Scientist. The team played regularly at other shows, including Rogue Elephant's Fridays at Under St. Mark's, Bombardo's Gotham City Improv Fridays, Thank You, Robot's Summer Fridays, and Fwand / Tantrum's shows at USM. Bad Data performed in Cage Match at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on May 1st, 2008 against Bastian.
In June 2008, Patrick Clair left the group. In August 2008, Katey Healy-Wurzburg left the group. Phil Weintraub began practicing with the group in July 2008 and officially joined the group in August. Trevor Williams and Mike Sapp joined in January 2009.
The name Bad Data was agreed upon in August 2007 after the group passed on the name Bad Droid. Either pronunciation of 'data' is valid. Other names considered were ABE, Brunswick, Chanteuse, Clutch Kids, Cup Co., Meets The Rising Ape, PF Flyers, SpeedHoles, Teenage Kicks, The Fights and Yan Tan Tethera.
The name Bad Data is also used by a rave-rock band based in Los Angeles, California. In February 2008, they posted a news item on their website that unofficially threatened legal action against the 'band' in New York City using their name. No legal action was ever taken. The band's catch phrase is "Bad Data isn't pretty."