Alia Shawkat shares memories at Upright Citizens Brigade improv show

Katie Walsh and Cat Cardenas

Sunday night Arrested Development actress Alia Shawkat took the stage at Esther’s Follies and confessed that in high school, she filled a condom with her best friend’s dad’s pee to pass a drug test.

Weeks later, when her parents sat her down to share the test results, she learned that not only did she fail the drug test, but the results showed the highest rating of methamphetamines they had ever seen.

From Shawkat’s anecdote, sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade had everything they needed to begin their improvised performance.

In their show ASSSCAT, the UCB invites a celebrity guest to share a story they can center a skit around. Sunday’s show included comedians Anthony Atamanuik, Drew Tarver, Jon Gabrus, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Shannon O’Neill and Zach Woods.

The group ran with Shawkat’s drug test memory, setting up a scene where two parents (Besser and Atamanuik) sit down their child (Woods) and inquire why his drug test showed signs of elephant tranquilizers.

Rather than defend himself, Woods proclaims to his parents that he’s actually an elephant, which they would know if they paid any attention to him.

“Why do you think I liked ‘Babar’ so much as a kid?” Woods said.

Atamanuik runs with the joke, revealing that Woods’ father was an elephant she met on a weekend trip to Brussels. In the end, as the storyline developed with the comedian’s added jokes, it’s revealed that the original skit was actually the plot of a failed Dr. Seuss book.

The comedians jump from storyline to storyline as ideas pop into their heads, sometimes cutting sketches off in the middle of a line. When a certain storyline is tired out, Shawkat gets called on stage to rehash a new memory and spark the comedian’s imaginations.

Throughout the show, the comedians returned to jokes from previous sketches, always greeted by waves of laughter from the audience. A grim reaper from a previous skit returned to a Donald Trump rally to take the candidate’s soul, but instead becomes one of his supporters.

Trump (Atamaniuk) celebrated his endorsement by making hilariously grim promises to his audience.

“I promise you I am going to bring so much death into this world,” Atamanuik said.