Face Off Unlimited

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Face Off Unlimited is an improvisational comedy production company based in New York City that produces live shows and special events, offers improv and corporate training, and features FOU Studios and the FOU Podcast Network.

Current & Past Running FOU Shows

  • BATSU! NYC - America's live Japanese game show. running 7 shows a week in NYC's East Village. Since 2010
  • "BATSU! Chicago" - America's live Japanese game show. running 3 nights a week in Chicago since 2016.
  • "BATSU! Tour Co" - Nationally and at performing arts centers and colleges since 2015.
  • "Laughter Party" - Stand Up comedy, FOU Style. Monthly NYC
  • Pillow Fight" - The ultimate slumber party with all female cast and creative team. New York City 2015-2017
  • 11th Hour" - Your final chance to catch comedy in the East Village, Saturday nights. New York City 2014-2016
  • Improv Face Off" - FOU's premier short-form improv show. Times Square, New York City 2014-2016
  • "Nads" - All male, strip improv show in a Times Square, NYC "Whose Line" meets "Magic Mike." 2024-2016
  • A Whole 'Nother Level - Acclaimed Long form with live music, poetry, physical comedy, and elements of short form. Performing at colleges and festivals around the country. Created by and featuring the 3 partners in FOU: Joe Tex, Jay Painter (founder), and Eric Robinson (founder). Since 2010.
  • Improvius Maximus - Long form teams compete in the Roman arena with Caesar, his beautiful slaves, and a Roman soldier, running weekly in LIC, Queens, Preview Performances on April 21st, 28th, and May 5th. Opens May 20th, Sunday night's at 7pm..
  • "Two Gentleman of Verona" - Shakespeare FOU style. Queens, NYC. Secret Theatre. 2012
  • Queens Improv Jamboree - A celebration of "Improvised Artwork Showcased In A Production Frame" © - 2nd annual event (formerly known as the Queens Fringe Festival)
  • The FOU JAM - Performances by the newest Intro to Face Off class, and featuring former/current Face Off cast members, students, and friends. quarterly, NYC. Since 2010
  • Friday Night Face Off - The original Face Off show, short-form competitive improv, running weekly on Long Island, NY. Since 2003.


  • "Thanking You" - Hosted by Broadway's Willie Dee. Interview show. (pre-production, 2018)
  • "Her Moment" - Starring by Katherine McDowell. Amazing women from the past, here and now. (pre-production, 2018)
  • "The Kenny Show" - Hosted by Puppet Legend, Kenny. Interview show. (pre-production, 2018)
  • "The Chris Hahn Show Podcast" - Radio host and political pundit - America's favorite progressive (weekly)
  • "Too Blondes" - Starring Chase O'Donnell and Savanah Brown - Award-winning comedy duo. Interview show (3 seasons)
  • "Geek XP" - With Peter The Geek & Friends - Interview show (1 season)
  • "Old Timey Radio" - Shakespearian radio play from the 1930s and 1940s (1 season)
  • "Big Brother On The Slop" - Big Brother (CBS) Superfan spoiler show (1 season)

Current Casts

Visit http://faceoffunlimited.com/the-company/

Improv Festivals

  • 2010 Harrisburg Improv Throwdown
  • 2011 Chicago Improv Festival, "Can't-Miss Act" - The Huffington Post

Reviews / Recognition


  • Jay Painter - Founder, Partner, Creative Director
  • Eric Robinson - Founder, Partner, CFO
  • Joe Tex - Partner, Director of Operations
  • Heather Shiekds - General Manager
  • Whit Baldwin - BATSU! NYC Company Manager
  • Steve Grande - BATSU! Chicago Company Manager
  • Brittany Moran - FOU Sr. Producer, FOU Studios Manager
  • Vinny Russo - Creative Director Friday Night Face Off
  • Martin Lorea - Receptionist

Notable Alumni

  • Christopher Hahn - Syndicated Radio Host, Democratic Strategist & FOX News Contributor
  • TJ Moss - Emmy Award-winning singer/songwriter/The Yes Team
  • Hettie Barnhill - Broadway actor, dancer, and award winning choreographer


  • The company originated in January 2003 as Friday Night Face Off, a weekly improvised comedy show in Port Jefferson, New York featuring two teams of comedic improvisers engaged in a mock competition in the style of TheatreSports. Friday Night Face Off (often abbreviated as FNFO) has since become one of the longest continuously running improv comedy shows in New York.
  • Joe Tex named Creative Director of FNFO - June 2003
  • Vinny Russo named Creative Director of FNFO - January 2007
  • In 2009, the founders of Friday Night Face Off (Jay Painter and Eric Robinson) formed Face Off Unlimited, A Limited Liability Company, which produces various comedy stage shows as well as offering classes and workshops that utilize techniques of improvisation and creative ensemble. Soon after they brought on Joe Tex, a former Creative Director of FNFO (2003-2007) as Director of Operations.
  • In 2010 Face Off Unlimited opened Face Off University at The Secret Theatre in Long Island city, New York. Students include Emmy Award Winner TJ Moss of the band The Yes Team and Chelsey Keding of the Off-Broadway hit Voca People, which enjoyed a run at The Westside Theatre in 2011 and currently is running at New World Stages, and dozens of other professional working actors, singers, and dancers.
  • On January 10, 2011, Face Off debuted their live Japanese game-show comedy in New York City's East Village called Face Off Unlimited presents BATSU! Translated from the Japanese word for "penalty game", BATSU! has been hailed by critics as one of the "Best Things To Do In NYC" by CBS New York and was made a Time Out New York Critics' Pick and a Village Voice, Voice Choice. BATSU! was also hailed as "one of the most entertaining Monday nights in NYC" by Backstage Magazine.
  • A Whole 'Nother Level was created August, 2010 as part of the Harrisburg Improv Throwdown
  • Face Off Unlimited co-produced the 2011 Queens Fringe Festival in partnership with the Long Island city Arts Open, featuring the All Day Improv Festival. The All Day Improv Festival featured UCB Theatre house team Standard Oil, Travis Ploeger and IMusical: The Improvised Musical - The Reunion Show!, Chet Watkins, Hustlebot, and International Stinger, a comedy team from Chicago founded at the Playground Theatre. The 2nd annual event will be held on May 19th, 2012 at the Secret Theatre in LIC, Queens. The Queens Improv Jamboree will bring legendary musical improv director and accompanist Travis Ploeger (iMusical, I Eat Panda).
  • The 2012 Queens Improv Jamboree - "Improvised Artwork in a Production Frame" Featuring performances by Face Off Unlimited, an improvised musical directed and accompanied by Travis Ploeger (iMusical, I Eat Panda), and live music by Two-Thirds Goat. May 19th. Secret Theatre, LIC NY.
  • Face Off University offers improv classes exploring a wide range of formats and styles.
  • Japanese TV star Brian "Bu- Chan" Walters joins the cast of BATSU! March 19th, 2012.
  • Improvius Maximus Opens May 20th, 2012.
  • Face Off Unlimited is the content producer of Live Laughs and co-owner of DFD*TV.