Top Banana presents their first improv performance of the year


Improv troupe Top Banana performed their first show of the year on November 11. Photo courtesy of Bao Nguyen (‘23).

Chuck E. Cheese, the family entertainment and pizza restaurant chain, now hosts a meth lab in its back room. At least that was the skit Luther College’s one and only improv troupe, Top Banana, brought to the stage as they hosted their first performance of the year on Friday, November 11. The group played improv games and drew a crowd that filled Olin 102. 


Samuel Scheffler (‘26), one of this year’s new additions to the troupe, was excited to try this type of comedy. He called improv “off-the-cuff” and highlighted the spontaneity of audience interaction. 


“With audience input, you’re thrown into a scenario that you [had] no idea [of] before,” Scheffler said. “There’s zero preparation, and it’s [about] living in the moment.”


Top Banana was founded in 2013 to connect students on campus who had the same passion for improv. Troupe members desire to provide the Luther community with light-hearted performances after long periods of work and exams. Scheffler pointed to the fun that members also get out of the experience.


“There was an individual game called ‘Late for Work’,” Scheffler said. “There’s going to be an employee who’s late for work, and there’s going to be a boss [questioning the employee] and two other employees that are working. The audience decides on what his job is and why he’s late for work.”


The main difference between improv and other types of comedy is its nature. Top Banana specializes in short form, a type of improv theater where short and typically unrelated scenes are done together to make up the show. Another difference is that the audience takes direct control over what the performers create. This audience control often came in the form of character or situation suggestions or in the reading of catchphrases the audience wrote on slips of paper before the show. Dylan Muhlbauer (‘26) found the show interesting and enjoyed seeing his friends performing in the troupe. He intends to join Top Banana next year. 


“My favorite part of the show was just how fun and informal it was, we all just had a lot of fun,” Mulbauer said. “[My favorite performer] has got to be either Tollef [Currell] (‘26) or Elliot [Olson] (‘26).”


Top Banana plans on performing every month. Their Instagram page @top_banana_improv will have more information about the December show.