I have to admit: I didn’t know who Del Close was. On the same token, you don’t know who many of my inspirations or teachers were. But they shaped my growth in life. That is what Del Close did. He shaped people such as Harrold Ramis, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Bob Odenkirk, John Candy and many more. While he died in 1999, many have still worked to preserve his name and ideals, which is why the documentary “Thank You Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon” was created.
While at SXSW, I got to sit down with director Todd Bieber and Executive Producers Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade) and Matt Walsh (UCB, Veep) on the making of this documentary. In it, we find out how Del started in various improv troupes, but made more of a name as a teacher to other improv artists.
But don’t be fooled: If you’ve seen TV and movies such as American Graffiti, the Untouchables, Get Smart, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, then you have been introduced to Close. Playing smaller roles in each show, it really hid the big roles he did to the other actors around him.
Directed by Bieber, this documentary pays homage to the guru of improv. In it, you see many known comedic actors give their praise, along with up and coming comics still being inspired by Close’s teachings.
The Del Close Marathon is a yearly improv event which you can find out more at DelCloseMarathon.com