R.I.P. Noah Gregoropoulos

Noah Gregoropoulos, a celebrated teacher of improv comedians from Chicago, has died from cancer. He was 63.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Gregoropoulous taught comedians and comedic actors at improvOlympic (iO) since the early 1990s, and fully took over when Del Close died in 1999. Which meant he helped shape and mold the careers of so many funny actors and actresses you know today. Many of them posted tributes online over the weekend.

The Chicago Sun-Times recalled that he offered advice back in 2000 about what to do as an improviser when you get a hack suggestion from the audience, such as, say: Proctologist.

“If you’re irritated by the suggestion because you’ve gotten it too much, you’re a lazy improviser and you’re probably an idiot,” he said. “What you should be doing is getting a book about proctology and — before the next time you get the suggestion proctology — knowing more about proctology than anyone in the room, and playing the most knowledgeable, incredibly competent proctologist anyone ever saw. Then you’re doing your job.”

Here he was in 2016 talking about the early days of iO:

You can hear him more in-depth in his own words on this podcast:


He played “Father Andrew” in the Adult Swim series, Joe Pera Talks With You, wrote on the sitcom Dharma & Greg, and also appeared in episodes of other shows that shot in Chicago, such as Early Edition, and My Boys.

May he rest in peace.

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.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →