Respecto Montalban came together in June 1999 during the Del Close Marathon, when seven members members from different "Harold" teams joined together to do a gospel-inspired improv show. The name of the group is an homage to the actor Ricardo Montalban, although they were primarily referred to as "Respecto." They are one of the most lauded ensembles in the history of New York improv.
They won acclaim for improvised shows like "Fat City: Population YOU!" and "Good versus Elvis" They were cited in The Village Voice's Best of NYC issue for 2004 Billed as "the Upright Citizens Brigade's official touring company," they appeared at such comedy gatherings as the Chicago Improv Festival and San Francisco's Sketchfest. The group also produced four sketch comedy shows: Burn Millionaire Burn, Doin' Blow with George W., When Amish Attack, and George Bush Is a MotherFucker, which was conceived and guest-directed by Adam McKay. This show sold out a month in advance.
- Respecto was one of the few groups that maintained their original lineup during their entire run.
- During Rob Riggle's tours overseas, Respecto would hang Riggle's USMC T-shirt on the back wall during performances.