Review: “Middleditch & Schwartz” on Netflix

Long-form improv doesn’t have much of a track record onscreen, because it’s so difficult to translate a completely ad-libbed show that exists in the moment and capture it for future audiences.

So Netflix gave Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz three separate episodes to showcase their improv chops.

Two-prov allows the best comedians to shine. Nobody is coming off of the backline to tap them out of a scene or add a new character. It’s just you and your partner, playing off of each other, forced to remain in the moment for the entirety of the show. A more mischievous duo, such as Middleditch and Schwartz, will goad the other into intellectual and physical contortions, just for the sheer silliness of the act-out. Which can lead to confusion, mistakes, or accidental moments of breaking the fourth wall.

Middleditch and Schwartz do all of these things, and embrace it all with enthusiastic joy. Their joy is ours.

Even if it’s pretty sloppy improv, according to the old-timers who teach improv.

Read my full review on

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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