I first encountered The Reduced Shakespeare Company — in the person of Austin Tichenor, Reed Martin, and Matt Croke — about 15 years ago when they played the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I was doing mornings at DC101 at the time, and after seeing their second production, The Complete History of America (abridged), invited them to join me in the studio.

We had a great time, as they recreated scenes from their show and improvised a whole bunch of material for an hour or so. They had an extended run at the KenCen, then were nice enough to return to town to appear at one of my Comedy Concerts For Children’s Hospital. Since then, the RSC has comedically abridged The Bible, Western Civilization, All The Great Books, and Completely Hollywood — each of them original and funny and clever and now in production in various form around the US and other nations, too.

Their latest reduction is The Complete World Of Sports (abridged), which the RSC is workshopping this summer before its official launch this fall. I’m looking forward to seeing it, once they announce a schedule that will hopefully include St. Louis.

In the meantime, Austin continues to produce a weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast and, on the latest show, called upon me to answer the question, “Is poker a sport or a game?” You can listen to that podcast here. And when any of the touring RSC companies is performing any of their shows anywhere near you, get some tickets, go have a good time, and thank me later.