Upright Citizens Brigade
A sketch and longform improv group founded in Chicago, which moved to New York and eventually Los Angeles. Its members met mostly at IO in Chicago. Its final lineup (the "UCB 4") founded the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City in 1999 and opening a second branch in Los Angeles in 2004.
Comedy Central Show
The UCB 4 had a sketch show on Comedy Central that ran for three seasons. In the show (as had been true in some of their stage shows) the four members posed as a secret underground organization dedicated to creating chaos called the Upright Citizens Brigade. Matt Besser was "Adair", Amy Poehler was "Colby," Matt Walsh was "Trotter" and Ian Roberts was "Antoine." Besser picked the names from professors in a yearbook. Each episode featured sketches of character being monitored or manipulated by this fictional UCB.
The fictional UCB would claim that they are in fact a real organization, and are believed to be fictional only because it is their wish.
Each episode of the show loosely followed the structure of a Harold, with sketches returning for second and third beats, with each of the threads connecting in the end. Del Close's voice introduced each show. "From the dawn of civilization, they have existed in order to undermine it. Our only enemy is the status quo. Our only friend is chaos. They have no government ties and unlimited resources. If something goes wrong, we are the cause. Every corner of the earth is under their surveillance. If you do it, we see it. Always. We believe the powerful should be made less powerful. We have heard the voice of society, begging us to destabilize it. Antoine. Colby. Trotter. Adair. We are the Upright Citizens Brigade."
Also, each season would have a recurring joke that ran through the entire season, with the payoff in the final episode.
The UCB created and performed the following sketch shows:
And the following improv shows: