Why I love the video Ex-Boyfriend by Lil Dicky– in terms of improv


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I recently shared this video with my students.

I know I’m probably late to the game to the ridiculous (and somewhat graphic) genius of Lil Dicky.  But this video made me laugh out loud.  And something about it stuck with me….kind of like a great scene in improvisation.

And I figured out why:  it’s because it has everything a great comedic scene should have.

1)   Right away, we know what Lil Dicky’s want is.  Not only do we know what his want is, we never believe for a second that he doesn’t want what he wants.  So often we improvisers go into a scene knowing that we should have a want but not wanting it enough. Lil Dicky wants to have sex with the woman he loves, Katie, and he wants it to be magical in the most undistracted way possible.

2)   We know why Lil Dicky feels what he feels all the time:  He loves his lady because she’s superhot and cool (she loves to play one-on-one basketball with him, for example); he is excited about their night of sex because he’s been waiting for a while; he’s threatened by the ex-boyfriend because the ex is hot and it turns out he has a huge penis and Lil Dicky knows that Katie has only had sex with one guy and this is to whom he will be compared; and finally, he knows that this comparison will torment him because he won’t be able to stop thinking about the ex being inside her.

3)   Lil Dicky gets specific as shit about everything—from the way he loves Katie to what her ex-boyfriend looks like to how it makes him feel.  He is the king of metaphors and similes.  A lot of his visuals are specific as well—the cartoonish attributes he’s assigned to the ex’s penis and the many ways he’s picturing Katie with him– and everything keeps heightening in a ridiculous way.  The way it heightens is not unlike the way anyone feels when he or she begins to get jealous…the neurosis smolders and enlarges and grows with each passing minute.  We see that evolution with Lil Dicky.

4)   Gotta give it to Lil Dicky bigtime—cuz this dude be vulnerable.  Vul-ner-able.  In the most complex way possible.  His point of view is so wonderfully exposed to us in a straightforward yet artful manner. In the eyes of society, it’s not “manly” to be jealous or neurotic—but Lil Dicky bows to it with every ounce of his being.

Lil Dicky has a new fan…it’s me, the person who loves funny things and teaches improvisation.  He’s got both of these parts of me.

Dina has toured with and directed for The Second City National Touring Company and has taught/performed/directed all over the great city of Chicago. In 2011, Dina was honored to headline the Denver Improv Festival as a representative of Virgin Daiquiri; that same year, iO Chicago graced her with the title of Improviser of the Year. In 2012, Dina executive produced Virgin Daiquiri’s first album FOOD BABY, now available on iTunes. Dina now performs regularly at iO Chicago with Virgin Daiquiri at iO - where she also co-created CUFFS & DBAG. She has also had the honor of working at Steppenwolf and ATC.

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