Sometimes celebrities will eat it, hard. Sometimes complete unknowns will blow minds. Yet every single instance of Troy Conrad and Paul Provenza's The Set List allows audiences a rare glimpse into the gear-spinning creative process of professional comedians. The premise: Performers make up material on the spot based on random (and often twisted) phrases they've never seen before. (Fortunately there's always help available from the audience suggestion box.) The results — whether witnessed locally at a handful of L.A. venues, around the world at nearly every major Stateside and international comedy festival or on the U.K.'s Sky Atlantic HD channel (coming soon) — are unpredictable, illuminating and always enthralling.

—Julie Seabaugh

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