Big Reactions vs Natural Reactions

Nathan [Fielder] had made a lot of pieces at This Hour Has 22 Minutes in Canada, and I think one of the things he found out, and it made such a big difference in Nathan for You, is just to really not ever force anything and not try to create a reaction. Like if a person is in a real situation, their reactions might be very small, but that’s still the real reaction of that person in that situation. As much as I like, you know,The Three Stooges or Bugs Bunny or something, it’s really funny just to see how a person actually behaves in a really awkward situation, and sometimes people being small and polite is just as funny. If it was written, a lot of times there’d be a really big reaction because you want the audience to feel something, so it’s really cool when people — especially when it’s actors and you’re banking on your actors being funny — that you just let them be natural and accept that people watching this will get that it’s a truthful reaction.
Michael Koman on letting audiences find the funny from truthful reactions – something that applies to improv as much as the written material he’s talking about. More comedy theory in a really great interview with Splitsider here.