The Immediate Gratification Player of the Year award recognizes comedians who have a background in improvisational theater and who The Immediate Gratification Players deem to be hilarious. It is a recognition both of the honoree’s comedic ability and appeal to college students like those at Harvard University.
Award recipients become honorary members of IGP by receiving their very own signature red-and-yellow necktie, for which the group is known. The Player of the Year also performs a guest monologue at an improvised comedy show with the Immediate Gratification Players and has the option of performing in scenes as well.
Jeff Garlin, of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was the first recipient of the Immediate Gratification Player of the Year Award, receiving the honor in March 2010.
Jeff was a natural choice for the award, as he is a multi-talented comedian who has found success in writing, producing, directing, acting, and stand-up. He honed his skills at Second City in Chicago, the renowned improvisational comedy theater. Jeff is perhaps best known for his work with the critically acclaimed HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” where he both co-stars and executive produces. The show has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy.
During the Q&A portion of the event, Jeff announced to the hundreds in attendance that he would wear his IGP tie in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” True to his word, Jeff sported the red and yellow stripes on the first episode of Season 8.
In March 2011, improv all-star Wayne Brady came to Harvard to be recognized as the second annual Immediate Gratification Player of the Year.
Recognizing Wayne Brady as the Immediate Gratification Player of the Year was a no-brainer. He began his theatrical career performing improvisational comedy when he was in his teens, and went on to perform on both the British and American versions of the hit television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” where he delighted fans with his improvisational skills and musical talents. Since then, Brady has found success on other television programs, hosting “The Wayne Brady Show” and “Let’s Make a Deal,” and making memorable cameos on many others. For his efforts, he has received multiple Emmys. Off the screen, Brady has performed on Broadway, released two albums, and received a Grammy nomination. Wayne Brady is a highly successful actor, singer, comedian, and performer, and is undoubtedly one of the most talented television and entertainment personalities of his generation.
In March 2013, Jason Alexander, renowned for his work as George Costanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld, shared the stage with IGP and received his award as the 2013 Immediate Gratification Player of the Year.
Beyond TV, Alexander has won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Alexander was also featured on the improv comedy series Thank God You’re Here and has published a how-to guide for musical improv. Alexander now is a proud owner of a signature IGP red-and-yellow tie. Thank you to all who came to the Science Center and filled the house, sat in the aisles and made for an unforgettable night.