Ian is regarded by many as one of the technically best improvisers of all time. Many legends surround moves he has made on stage. They are often passed down through generations of improvisers, even amongst groups where none were present to witness his particular exploits. Examples include: - The time during a Roberts & Roberts show Ian placed a mimed can of soda down on a mimed table early in the show, then returned over 20 real time minutes later and picked up the can of soda from the same exact spot without mentioning it. - The DCM Lazy Man where Andrew Secunda entered the theater late, disrupting the show due to the layout of the space at 161 W. 22nd St. Roberts turned his entire set into a rant about how evil the Swarm was that ended with him threatening to throw an unopened can of soda at his wife and Swarm member, Katie Roberts. - A laundry list of honest, hilarious, and often disturbing personal facts about his life that have been revealed during Lazy Man shows. - Ian's nickname in the improv world is "The Machine". He got this name by being fanatical about eating a regimented diet, writing down everything he ate and timing meals to the minute. The name also refers to his inhumanly above average improv skills. And lastly the name (and part of the legend) comes from his participation in a scene where he hit the ceiling with this hand, dislocating his finger. He paused, popped the finger back and continued the scene.
Ian is married to fellow improvisor, Katie Roberts, and has two children.
Roberts was a member The Family at ImprovOlympic. He was one half of the improv duo, Roberts and Roberts. In part because he did not want to write a one person show, he created a one man improvised show called Lazy Man. He appears annually with Matt Walsh in the Del Close Marathon in a show that combines cooking and improv, Walsh and Roberts.
- Ian has been added to the regular cast of Reno 911 for its sixth season. He will play Deputy Jack Declan.
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