Petrol was the first Harold team at the UCB Theatre in NY to be created out of formal auditions.
Origin of the Name
After each receiving phone calls notifying them that they'd been placed on a Harold team, the individual members were asked to convene at the UCB Theatre (then at 161 West 22nd Street). Once there, they were sent to the basement of the theatre to get to know each other and decide on a name.
All eight members sat in a circle amongst the old UCB tv show costumes and rusty pipes. One at a time, they shared their improv histories and brief personal biographies. Brian Fountain was the first person to mention something that happened so long ago that, "Petrol was a dollar back then." A few people later, Mark Sam Rosenthal brought the reference back, mentioning something else that happened so long ago that "Petrol was a dollar back then." It was mentioned a third time by either Foley or Frusciante, and thus the group was named.
Odd Warm Up
Before every Harold, the group would stand in a circle and recite a long chant that a new word was added to each week. How this served as a warm up is unknown, but the chant went something to the effect of, "Happy birthday happy warriors solemn promises hoo hoo where's Brian..." etc.
While the group was made up of talented performers, and while they turned in some strong shows here and there (even beating Mother in a Cagematch for their only Cagematch win), Petrol was ultimately unable to gel into powerhouse team. Part of this may be attributed to team chemistry and interpersonal drama.
Petrol was the team that faced (and was trounced by) Kurt Braunohler at Cagematch when he debuted his now-legendary "One-Man Harold" during what was expected to be a Neutrino show. In the days of the old UCBT space, the crowd would stomp their feet on the risers when they really dug something, and as Petrol tried to warm up in the basement that night they were distracted by an almost-constant thunder of feet stomping on risers above them. Legend has it that at one point this stomping caused a small piece of the ceiling to land on Brandon Calhoun's uplifted face, resulting in what must have been a perfect moment of comedy.