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Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City
Photograph: Lane SavageAbbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City

The best shows to see at this year’s Del Close Marathon

Get all the improv you can handle from top comics at the Del Close Marathon, the biggest comedy event of the summer

Written by
Jillian Anthony
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Running since 1999, Upright Citizens Brigade's Del Close Marathon has become a staple of the best things to do in the summer, bringing together the cream of the country’s improv comics for 72 straight hours of spontaneous comedy shows. Below, you’ll find our picks of the shows you absolutely can’t miss, featuring comics such as Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City.

RECOMMENDED: The full Del Close Marathon guide

The best Del Close Marathon shows

  • Comedy
  • Improv

Each show, longtime UCB improviser Terry Withers tackles a completely made up on the spot mystery with his sidekick Noah Forman. The audience picks how many bodies there are, offers up some props to be used and writes a cryptic note—it's up to Withers, his partner and his estranged family to figure out the rest.

The Upright Citizens Brigade
  • Comedy
  • Improv

The original UCB 4—Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts—were the ones who started it all. See the troupe (minus Besser) perform in the grimy basement space UCB has long called home.

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  • Comedy
  • Sketch shows

This troupe hails from Chicago to bring you an hourlong, fully-improvised musical, with all melodies, choruses and dance numbers brought on from a single word uttered by an audience member. Prepare to be dazzled.

The Mantzoukas Brothers
  • Comedy
  • Improv

Curly-haired wonder Mantzoukas (The League, How Did This Get Made?) performs a set with his “brother” Vincent (Ed Herbstman) that is bound to be delightful and mention mastubration. Mantzoukas loves to rib audience members—you should be so lucky.

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  • Comedy
  • Improv

This show starring the dynamic duo Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson is already sold out—but you should get in the standby line early! The UCB-trained ladies are sure to have on big-time guests that will make you scream, “Yas, kween!”

Nick Kroll & Friends
  • Comedy
  • Improv

After starring in The Kroll Show, The League and major films, you can expect the friends Nick Kroll brings to play will be faces you'll be psyched to see. (Please Jenny Slate, please Jenny Slate.)

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  • Comedy
  • Stand-up

One of the city’s most popular comedy nights sees NYC’s long-form improv royalty (think folks from Saturday Night Live and some adored Upright Citizens Brigade regulars) play pickup-game-style in this famous long-running show. Amy Poehler usually leads the way.

Check out great improv shows

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