Harold Night

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This page refers to Harold Night at the UCB Theatre in New York City. For Harold Night at UCBT-LA, see Harold Night (Los Angeles).

An improv show held every Tuesday night at the UCB Theatre where The Harold is performed by UCB house teams, also referred to as Harold Teams. It was initially modeled on Harold Nights at IO in Chicago.


A staple of UCBT shows since the theater was founded, Harold Night is the showcase for most of the house teams of that theater. Free for students, it's one of the most consistently large audiences for long-form improv in NYC. It's also one of the social centers of the UCBT community. For many up-and-coming improv performers and students, going to UCBT Harold Night, and then to McManus afterwards to hang out with other students and players is one of the ways to feel a part of that community.

Most of the well-known players to come out of the UCBT system spent a tenure on Harold Night, including: Jack McBrayer, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Casey Wilson, Bobby Moynihan, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel.


Getting on a Harold Team has always been an immensely competitive process. A great many students audition for only a few spots, putting immense pressure on auditioners, those who make it, and those who choose who makes it. For those who come through the training program at UCBT, Harold auditions may be their first (and quite valuable) improv audition experience.

The pressure doesn't stop for those on a team. Each team has a coach, who gives them notes after each show. Teams must rehearse, and those who are absent are reprimanded. Teachers watch Harold Night, and rate each performance. Teams are then awarded a number of shows based on those ratings.


Harold Night was originally Thursday night. Two teams performed at 8pm and two more at 9:30pm. Newer teams tended to perform earlier, with more veteran teams closing out the night. When Cagematch started, it followed Harold Night.

In 2003, Harold Night moved to Tuesdays. In November 2003, the theater declared the closing spot to be the "anchor spot" -- whichever team had done the best in the previous month got to close out each week the following month. When Mailer-Daemon was named anchor team in March 2006 the team wrote the playfully obnoxious phrase "Anchor's Away!" on the back of the second issue of their newsletter, The Monthly Daemon. However cooler heads prevailed and they pulped the printined and printed a new version the next week without the phrase written on the back cover.

In February 2007, Harold Night started featuring 5 teams, starting at 8pm. The fourth spot was declared the new anchor spot.

On April Fool's Day 2008, all the Harold teams participated in an all-short form night officiated by the striped-jersey wearing Anthony King.

Every year around the winter solstice (December 21st), all the Harold teams participate in the so-called Longest Harold Night of the Year.

Del Close is named as the developer/inventor/co-developer of Harold and Chicago its city of birth every Harold Night.

Current UCB Theatre Harold Teams

For past teams, see Category:UCB-NY Harold Teams.


Who was on the most Harold teams?

Who was on a Harold team the longest?

Who was on one or more Harold teams the longest in total?

What are the longest and shortest-running Harold teams?

What was the first UCB Harold team?