The Del Close Marathon honors the guy widely regarded as the “father of improv” in a way that’s as audacious as the pioneer himself: 55 hours of longform improv. Close basically made improvisational comedy what it is today, presenting and promoting it in Chicago for over 30 years, and extending into N.Y.C. and L.A., which influenced the likes of Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi and so many more.  and the Upright Citizens Brigade might not exist as we know them without this forward-thinking funnyman, so UCB — which founded the festival in ’99 after Del died — is honoring him in a very special way. The marathon, which usually takes place in New York over three days at multiple venues, marks its first time in L.A. this year, and it’s sure to be a nonstop celebration of laughter, imagination and creativity — which is what makes improv our most unique form of theater entertainment.

For their first year in Los Angeles, DCM is doing away with traditional wristbands and selling individual tickets to each prime time afternoon/evening show. Many are already sold out but there’s still plenty to purchase. They will also letting some patrons in at the door, but the organizers stress that an advance ticket guarantees a seat (if you arrive 30 minutes prior to show time).

Full schedule indicating what is sold out and what isn’t, can be viewed here. At UCB Sunset (5419 W. Sunset Blvd.) and UCB Franklin (5919 Franklin Ave.); both in Hollywood.

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