Exercises and Games for Improv Comedians

If you and your circle of comedians are looking to spruce up your improv game, look no further. To improve your stance on stage and make a long-lasting impression, you must master coordination amongst yourself. These exercises will not only help you all gel well but also promise a super fun time. So get ready to raise the hilarity of the atmosphere.

Actor switch

Three players should come forward and the rest of the group will assign a character to each of them and provide them with a situation they must enact.

After starting the scene, the group has the liberty to yell ‘Switch!’ at any point and all three players have to switch characters.

This game requires the players to listen to each other so when the time comes to switch, they can fluently transition into a different character without it seeming abrupt. The scene should come together cohesively despite the characters continually jumping from one player to another.

Action and justify

This exercise requires two people. One improviser will do any random physical action and the other player has to justify whatever they are doing. From there, they can continue the scene or end it there.

For example,

Improviser 1: *bends down to touch his hands to his toes*

Improviser 2: And that’s the end of our Suryanamaskar, guys. You did well!

Story death

Five improvisers must come forward and tell a story. The rest of the group will decide a topic for them and the players have to come up with the title of the story. The appointed conductor of this exercise will point to any improviser anywhere in the middle of the narration of the story, they have to pick up wherever the previous improviser left. The story should come together like a well-rounded one with seamless transitions between the players. If at any point, any improviser hesitates, stutters, repeats or freezes, the group yells ‘Die!’’ and that player has to stage their imaginary death.

Now, there would be only four players left and the game goes on until there is only the winner standing.

Group environment

To take off, one improviser takes the front stage and mimes an action which sets an environment for the rest of the scene. As soon as someone in the group decodes the mimed action, they enter the space while performing actions that are complementary to the already defined environment. One by one, all the players enter the scene doing actions that are relevant to the environment. No player should at any point introduce another environment or even actions that do not sit well with the original one. This game is all about deciphering the actions of your fellow improvisers and keeping yours coherent so they can decode them too.

Late for work

This is a fun game where one player is asked to leave the room. The rest of the group comes up with why they were late, how they got there and what kind of a job they have. Then that player comes back in acting like they are late for work and apologize to their boss. During this time four other players assist that player through actions from behind the boss. They are cluing him in on why they were late and what their job is.

The scene goes on until the player has cracked their job and the reason behind their tardiness.

Famous quotes

Each player has to write on paper three famous quotes from movies/TV/literature/people. Then players come forward in pairs and start a conversation. They have to incorporate the famous quotes they have on paper into their conversation somehow, but what they have to pay heed to is that the quote should not stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of their conversation. They must focus on the meaning of their quotes and how best they can slip it in their talk without it seeming strange.


Four improvisers take the stage where one is sitting on the floor, the one behind them sitting on a chair, the next in line standing and the last one standing on a chair. This is how the players have to orient to seem like an Oracle. The rest of the group will toss a serious life question at the Oracle, something like “Is there a God?” or “What does the afterlife look like?” To this, the Oracle consisting of four players will reply one word at a time. The answer will either be super meaningful or make absolutely no sense at all. It is a fun game where the four players collaborate to form an answer, taking one word at a time.

Online comedy classes with Johnny Lever

Improv comedy is serious business. It is much harder to improvise on stage, to think of something when the spotlight and the entire room’s eyes are on you. But it will all seem a lot easier if you have a teacher guiding you through the process of comedy. Learn comedy online from the man himself – Johnny Lever, one of the frontline comedians of Indian cinema. He is available with his valuable tips, hacks, tricks and lessons on the craft of comedy only on unluclass. Check our website for more information on Johnny’s online comedy course.