Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

High-Status Characters

How the Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed a City, Started a Scene, and Changed Comedy Forever

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


By the early ‘90s, comedy was no longer cool. The stand-up bubble had burst, sitcoms had become more formulaic than ever, and Hollywood studios were pumping out soulless, star-driven schmaltz. There were signs of hope in shows like Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and The Larry Sanders Show, all of which favored cranky hard-truths and giddy pop-culture references over glib punchlines. But for the most part, anyone looking for a laugh had no choice but to wade through hours of predictable, risk-averse corporate comedy. Things just weren’t that funny anymore.

Enter the Upright Citizen’s Brigade: a sketch-and-improv collective born in early-‘90s Chicago. When the group relocated to New York City in 1996, its core members—Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh (a.k.a. “the UCB Four”), brought with them a punk-meets-Python comedic sensibility unlike anything found on TV or in stand-up clubs. Shortly after their arrival, they’d turn an abandoned Manhattan strip-club into a hot downtown theater, attract big-name fans like Conan O’Brien, and amass a legion of eager students; many of whom would go on to create (and populate) a kinetic new wave of TV shows, movies, and stand-up comedy.

For more than twenty years, the UCB has been at the forefront of a slow-burn comedy coup—one that hasn’t been documented until now. In High-Status Characters, Brian Raftery chronicles UCB’s evolution from a down-and-dirty D.I.Y. comedy playground to a highly vaunted (if still scruffy) institution, drawing on interviews with more than 80 of the theater’s founders, alumni, and friends, including Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien, Ed Helms, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Seth Meyers, Aziz Ansari, and Janeane Garofalo. The result is a giddily exhaustive insider’s look at a genuine artistic revolution, replete with on-stage meltdowns, off-stage hook-ups, and some unexpected celebrity cameos. It’s a comedy with no shortage of drama.

High-Status Characters
View in iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Performing Arts
  • Published: Aug 09, 2013
  • Publisher: Megawatt Press
  • Seller: Jud Laghi Agency, LLC
  • Print Length: 165 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

More by Brian Raftery