About Harold Night

Every Wednesday night ImprovBoston’s top teams perform the Harold, a classic long-form improv format. Using a single audience suggestion as inspiration, each team creates a 25-minute run of scenes exploring a world of interconnected characters and ideas.

Harold Night: Top Shelf at 7:30 features a rotating selection of our established Harold teams Duchess, Rabbit, and Great Lakes. Each show also highlights a special guest group, either a visiting team from out of town, or a home team experimenting with other long-form improv formats that are guaranteed to delight.

Harold Night: Fresh Blend at 9:30 features our up-and-coming Harold squads honing their skills as they complete their residencies on their way to becoming full-fledged comedy doctors.

AND, if that wasn’t enough, our 9:30 shows include The Longform Jam. Anyone who has completed levels 301 or higher in the IB Comedy School (or its equivalent) can simply sign up to get on stage and play in a ever-changing variety of longform challenges and fun.

Get to ImprovBoston every Wednesday Night at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. The Harold is waiting.

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So... What is a Harold?

Created in the 1960’s by improv guru Del Close, The Harold is the most performed and revered structure in longform improv comedy. The Harold provides a framework for improvisers to explore the full potential of an audience suggestion. It allows the performers to delve into themes, meanings, and relationships that live beneath the suggestion.

The Harold structure is composed of three beats, with beats composed of 3 scenes each, and groups games used as a break between each beat. A goal of the form is to have the scenes in later beats align thematically with the scenes in earlier beats. This 3x3 structure is a challenge for improvisers first learning the form, but in the hands of seasoned performers, the form is consistently entertaining and satisfying.

A written description of the form is a lot to absorb, so for you visual learners, here is a diagram that better describes the structure. The most important takeaway is that The Harold is a cornerstone of modern comedy, and students of the form populate the cast and writing staff in many of today’s most acclaimed comedies in TV and film. So come to Harold Night and experience the Harold for yourself — you won’t be disappointed.