38. 'Upright Citizens Brigade'
Before UCB became known as one of the nation's premier improvisation schools, before Saturday Night Live scooped up Amy Poehler and Parks and Recreation made her a star, before Matt Walsh became a go-to Vice-Presidential whipping boy in Veep — there was this demented Comedy Central show. Playing an underground terrorist organization dedicated to wreaking havoc, the Upright Citizens Brigade's core quartet — Poehler, Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts — would essentially be monitoring loose sketches featuring the foursome playing girl scouts, cyborgs, Jesus and an infant who keeps saying "Shut up" in a robotic monotone. Each episode would end with improvised interactions with people on the street, an extension of the Chicago-based group's stage shows; for three seasons, you almost felt like you were at those early gigs, watching four comedians hone their craft and find their comedic voices.—DAVID FEAR