Hi, everyone. I just thought of a new improv game called "Happy Ads." Indulge me and let me know what you think:

Take a personal "happy ad" out of a newspaper (or take a few & have an audience member choose one). Here is a sample from the Exponent:

> My Little q dot!
> Unbelievable! 2 years! Happy Anniversary! and here's
> to at least 200 more! I love you, furry furry mutts.
> Lumpfish

The game is a single scene in which we imagine the life of the people in the ad, with a twist of conflict.

So in the example, we would see Lumpfish and Q-Dot at home (maybe Lumpfish would act extra cute and sweet like the ad). Then they get into some kind of horrible argument that threatens their relationship. You can use the other information in the ad to invent the conflict: possibly their fight would have something to do with "furry furry mutts".

I think any kind of happy ad like this would work. I think the best are the kind that the Exponent has a lot of that are basically messages for people: from a fraternity to a sorority, or one person to another, etc. They tend to be filled with cute nicknames and inside jokes that would be a lot of fun to ridicule. Because they are so cryptic it is easy to put different spins on them: usually the gender and age of the people is obscure (you could imagine that Lumpfish is a grade-schooler writing to her pet dog, or that Lumpfish (Grandpa) is writing to his 2-year old granddaughter (Q-Dot). Etc. Sometimes the Journal & Courier runs birthday greeting happy ads that usually have a lame poem--the conflict in that scene could have something to do with the one person always making up lame poems for every occassion.

Well, let me know what you think. If you try it, let me know how it works!


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