The Spin is a longform improv comedy group in New York City. They originated in, and developed their form in a 600-level UCB class in 2007. Their focus is on the humorous yet insightful exploration of current events.
The Spin is directed by Doug Moe.
The Spin's current roster is Jeremy Bent, Beth Cartier, Guy Cohen, Timothy Cooper, Eric Hollerbach, Barry Lank, Beth Newell, David Siegel, Matt Stillman, & John Robert Wilson. Past performers include Emily Bryan, Michelle Dobrawsky and Lauren Reeves.
Before the show, the group researches current events of interest that day. Three of these are posted on a screen during the beginning of the show. The Spin employs a host whose job it is to briefly enlighten the audience about each event and, by applause, decide which event will be explored in the show. Once the issue is selected, the cast and the host will solicit opinions from the audience about the issue.
The issue and the opinions serve as the suggestion from which the group improvises scenes.
During the show, the "group games" take the form of a talk-show roundtable and of a series of "talking heads" giving sound bites on the issues.
- The Spin's slogans include "Like our leaders, we make it up as we go along" and "News you can Choose."
- The host who solicits audience suggestions was known as the "Donahue," after talk show host Phil Donahue who wandered the audience with a microphone and great enthusiasm. It is likely that many improvisors are too young to remember when Donahue was on the air.