Toronto, Canada (TMD) Ignoring the advice of several leading industry professionals, Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement announced today that the Harper Government would be instituting sweeping changes to Canada’s longform improvisation process. Chief among these changes are shortening the length of longform sets (from the usual average of 25 minutes), restricting the number of allowable “tag out” edits, and outlawing the “Harold” format entirely.
“We’ve been listening to our constituents, and they have consistently voiced their displeasure over the longform improv they are subjected to in this country,” said Clement at a press conference in Toronto. According to the minister, the main complaints concern:
- The excessive length of longform improv shows (often more than 25 minutes, with multiple sets).
- The prying, invasive nature of many improvisers questions to the audience, which often have little bearing on the improvisation that follows.
- The unfocused, unconnected, often meandering content of the shows.
- The coercive tactics that many improvisers employ to get people to attend their improv shows, including repeated and invasive Facebook invitations, calling in of favours, and insistence that their new improv team “is really starting to gel”.
- The public’s confusion over “what the hell is a ‘Harold’, anyway?”
Clement was quick to credit the excellent information the government was able to use to make this decision. “Yeah, we had some really great census information that helped us make this decision. Age breakdowns, demographics, this information was really great. Two points, Stats Canada!”
Since the announcement of the changes to Canada’s longform improv, improvisers from across the country have been united in their opposition to the changes. “These changes were made without any industry consultation whatsoever” said Cara Leblanc, member of the all-girl longform “Armando” team Crimprov. Speaking from the back of a Shoeless Joe’s sports-themed bar and grill where Crimprov’s show was about to begin, Leblanc was vociferous in her outrage. “These changes are being made to reflect Conservative ideology, and do not reflect the will of the majority of Canadians,” Leblanc explained before drawing boos from the scattered crowd after she shut off the projection television showing the Blue Jays/ Yankees game. “Seriously, without the government’s full support of longform improv, where are teams like the Golden Graham Greenes, Marmot Genocide, California Shriveled Grapes, and Team Edward Kennedy going to perform their art?”
“By the way, this show is gonna be okay, but I’m doing a wicked tournament-style improv show next Tuesday. It’s only $5 – I’ll get you a flyer.”