What is the Del Close Marathon?

The Del Close Marathon is the largest improv festival in the world, and was founded by the Upright Citizens Brigade in 1999. The first DCM had 36 shows in 30 hours at one venue. In its 19th year DCM has grown to 3 days, 10 stages over 700 shows and panels. Over the past 19 years DCM has slowly turned into a festival not only celebrating the man responsible for turning improvisational comedy into its own art-form, but DCM is also now an inclusive celebration that embraces and brings together voices from around the country and world all in one weekend through the use of the art form of comedic improvisation.

Who is Del Close?

Del Close is generally considered the father of Improv. He was the driving force behind improvisational comedy in Chicago for over 30 years, influencing Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, to name a few. After Del's passing in 1999, the UCB started the Del Close Marathon to celebrate their mentor and keep alive his name and teachings for future generations.

UCB on Del Close

"He just challenged you to be better." - Matt Besser

"The best advice Del ever gave me was to be fairly close to yourself. Let your performance come through the rules so it was organic." - Ian Roberts

"He lived his life to make improv an art form unto itself," - Matt Walsh

"He was a comedy genius who had taught all of my heroes," - Amy Poehler

Why should I attend?

Because you are performing. Because it's the only place where you can see a high school improv team, a new team from Kansas, a reunited team from Chicago, a famous team from Los Angeles, and the hottest new team from Australia in one weekend. Because it will probably change your life. Because your roommate said so?

AND these people also think it's cool.

"The DCM is the closest thing I've experienced to Woodstock" - Nick Kroll

"I feel like this is comedy comic con a little bit, but for me it's just a reunion. I get to see all my friends that I haven't seen in a while and that's the best." - Bobby Moynihan

"Three Days of Peace, Love, and Improv Mania" - Brooklyn Vegan

"DCM has become a glorious 56-hour improv binge where comedy celebs mingle with the little people, everyone laughs and nobody sleeps." - Huffington Post

"During DCM, dedicated comedy nerds stay up all night waiting for hours to see some of the funniest people in the world perform,' - Buzzfeed

How can I attend?

Purchase a General Admission Pass, Performer Pass and or purchase Individual Ticket(s) (to our premium shows) or become a DCM Volunteer!

If you are a DCM Performer you can purchase your weekend Pre-Paid Performer Pass ($33) starting June 1st or if you want to wait, you can purchase your Performer Pass ($40), at the UCB Training Center starting June 22nd at 2PM. If you are NOT a DCM Performer, you can purchase a weekend General Admission Pass for $40 starting Friday, June 23rd, 3:00pm at UCBT Chelsea, and 30 minutes prior to the first daily show time at all other theaters.

Please Note: Shows are set up back-to-back with no breaks in between, except for individual ticketed shows (premium shows). We do not clear the theater after each show, but instead clear it during the scheduled "Theatre Cleanings" or at the end of each night. If you want to see a specific show at one of our 24-hour venues, you should be prepared to wait in long lines. Unfortunately, we are not able to tell you when to get in line to see a specific show, as it changes every year. Some venues do not have theatre cleanings and you can go in and out of them based on capacity. Instead of setting your sights on one show or performer, a better approach is to see any shows you can and fall in love with something new. Follow @dcm_lines for the most updated info on line length and seat availability.

Festival Passes grant access to all DCM theaters throughout the festival (Friday - Sunday), except to individual ticketed shows at SVA Theatre and FIT Haft Auditorium (standby only). Festival Passes include General Admission Pass Holders, Performer Pass Holders, Pre-Paid Performer Pass Holders, and Working (Volunteer) Pass Holders.

General Admission passes DO NOT grant access to the Podcast Lounge.

Please go to the the Tickets + Passes and Venue pages for more information about our ticketing procedures and venue locations.

Does my weekend pass get me into the individual ticketed shows?

There will be a standby line to get into individual ticketed shows (AKA premium shows) for people with Festival Passes. However, to guarantee entrance to premium shows, you must buy a ticket. Some of these shows will definitely sell out and the standby line of wristband pass holders will be let in on a first come first served basis.

If I am performing and my friends just want to see my show, do they still need to purchase a General Admission Pass?


How can I perform?

Submissions are now closed, but check back next year. Submissions usually open March 1 and close March 31st.

How do I sign up for DCM19 Improv workshops?

Workshops are being scheduled, check back later or HERE!

DCM19 Staff

  • Alex Sidtis - UCB Managing Director
  • Shannon O'Neill - Artistic Director NY
  • Nancy Melchert - Festival Manager / Facilities Manager
  • Andy Nagel - IT/Systems
  • Bill Sharp - Controller
  • Bridget Holmes - Artistic Assistant
  • Dave Murray - Chief Administrative Associate
  • Denise Dumper - Box Office Manager
  • Erik Tanouye - Training Center Manager
  • Meredith Paul - Social Media Manager
  • Jenna Barron-Ewert - Venue Staff Manager
  • Jim Lester - Bar Manager
  • Kevin Hines - Academic Director NY
  • Meena Sajwani - Executive Assistant and Hospitality Coordinator
  • Morgan Hill - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Nate Russell - Creative Director, UCB Comedy
  • Pat Baer - Technical Director
  • Alex Adan - Assistant Technical Director

About The Artist

Symin Adive is New York based artist and designer. She taught herself to code websites at age 11 due to having a childhood devoid of both sun and fun. In her free time, she enjoys writing, contemplating life's mysteries near a body of water, playing sports where she can hit things, watching an arguably unhealthy amount of film/tv and composing bios about herself in the third person. Keenly aware of the catastrophic state of the world, Symin likes to distract herself by drawing pretty pictures. Check them out won't you at the creatively titled syminadive.com

Thank You

Beth Appel, Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, Susan Hale, Charlie Mihelich, Brian Uretta, caffeine, marijuana and alcohol.

Credit Card Processing Services

Special thanks to Rob Appel ([email protected]) and Automated Merchant Services for providing card processing hardware and services for the marathon.

Contact us

If you have questions about the website & tickets please email: [email protected]

If you are a performer and have questions please email: [email protected]