In the current issue of Wired Magazine, tech book publisher Tim O’Reilly states “The myth of innovation is that it starts with entrepreneurs, but it really starts with people having fun.” The recognition that fun and play is at the source of great creativity is at the core of improv, from the early insights of Viola Spolin regarding childrens’ games as a venue for self-discovery and community building to today’s ultimate compliment from one improviser to another – “It was fun playing with you.”

Stephen Colbert honed his comedy chops through studying improv. Watching him interview guests on The Colbert Report is like watching a game being played. The main improv game on display with Colbert is called “status” where the fun comes in playing high or low status to another player. Colbert plays high status to the most brilliant and celebrated people on the planet and – it’s intellectually stimulating and always funny. Here’s a recent example of Colbert’s incredible skills for “high status” play with author Jonah Lehrer. With Colbert injecting the comedy, Lehrer makes the important point that everybody can learn to be creative. That’s exactly what we experience with all our outreach projects at Laughter for a Change.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jonah Lehrer
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