Reuben Williams

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Reuben Williams is a house team at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.


Reuben Williams was originally called Robin Williams. At that time, it was a side project for NYC improvisers who were on other teams. In July of 2004, Robin Williams began performing bi-weekly shows at Under St. Marks with Rogue Elephant. John Reynolds was frequently intoxicated by the time the group closed out the show. During one memorable set, after Reynolds had insulted and/or attempted to make out with everyone on the team, the team announced that they were actually there for an intervention and that Reynolds would have to go to rehab after the show. Reynolds did not go to rehab.

After watching one of their shows, Paul Scheer suggested that they be made a house team, which happened on October 26, 2004. Amy Poehler made them change their name so people would not incorrectly assume their group had anything to do with the comedian Robin Williams.

They continued their weekly USM shows until they became a weekend team at UCBT in October 2005.

Reuben is one of several successful Harold teams which essentially put themselves together, like Respecto Montalbon. Much like Respecto, Reuben was a team of people who were not only talented and popular performers but among the leaders of the community offstage. They became a Harold Team at the same time their founder Anthony King was named artistic director, just as Respecto's cast included the former artistic director Owen Burke.

On Harold Night, Reuben most often performed sound-and-movement openings. They had an aggressive, high-energy style and were almost always big crowd-pleasers. When they became a weekend team, they introduced a form of creating a television station based on an interview with an audience member.

An example of a Deconstruction that they performed is cited in the UCB Manual.

Cast (past and present)

Warm Ups

Reuben Williams is proud to warm up in the hallways before their shows. Here are a few of their favorite warm-ups.

  • Operation is a tense activity. No one is sure when to count.
  • Collapsible Dick. Does it begin with Ben Rodgers, or is he just a conduit for what needs to happen.
  • Mummy Squats are a key element to Reuben Williams fitness.
  • MegaBus is a battle to the death of random categories.
  • Karen Carpenter or 1,2,3,4,fiiiiiive.