Snap Impression Live

By Andrew Andrews

We’ll be honest: we attended Snap Impression Live tonight because there weren’t a plethora of other shows running the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The Skint was, well, pretty skint; Nonsense NYC was silent; and none of our other resources listed anything that whet our appetite. In all fairness, though, a $5 show at UCB East is almost always worth more than the price of admission, and host Andy Beckerman and his “bethrothed” Naomi Ekperigin have impressed us before with their show Couples Therapy (formerly In Stereo) at Hi-Fi Bar (we haven’t reviewed it yet, but we will eventually). Then we saw that Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd was one of tonight’s guests, and that clinched it. Off to the East Village!

Before the show, audience members wrote the names of famous people (celebrities, historical figures or fictional characters) on slips of paper and dropped them into a bucket. Then, after Naomi warmed up the crowd with some pre-Thanksgiving humor that had us laughing out loud, Andy and co-host Ramsey Ess welcomed three guest comedians to the stage to improvise snap impressions of randomly-drawn characters in scenarios that are also made up on the spot. In addition to Todd, this episode’s contestants were Laurie Kilmartin and Eliza Cossio, with James Dwyer acting as (very believable) guest judge Ray Rachel, owner of a Famous Robbie pizza franchise in Sheepshead Bay.

Todd started off the impressions with Theodore Roosevelt hilariously painting his neighbor’s house in Auschwitz, Germany, followed by Cossio’s squinty “Pikachu sending back food at Red Lobster.” But the declared winner for the round was Kilmartin’s spot-on impression of Jack Nicholson delivering cookies to his daughter’s friends—she really knows how to pull her hair back! Next up, the contestants debated “toppings” as Jerry Seinfeld (Cossio), Snooki LaValle (Kilmartin) and winning impression Reggie Watts with a rap about pepperoni. In the final round (worth double points), contestants spoke about sexual congress before a senate hearing committee, with Cossio’s Joe Biden and Kilmartin’s Hillary Clinton losing out (again) to Todd’s Strom Thurmond, who spoke about porn store buddy booths with a little too much understanding!

This Thanksgiving, we’re grateful that tonight’s reduced options sent us to UCB East for a great show that we’ll gladly catch again. If we could make only one request, it would be to increase the number of impressions performed by each comedian! The next time Snap Impressions Live shows up on the calendar, make it your first choice regardless of what it’s up against, so you can be thankful, too! 4

Andrew Andrews attended Snap Impression Live at Upright Citizens Brigade East in Manhattan on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 @ 8:00pm to write this review.