Disney's Comedy Warehouse
Warehouse alumniwhere are they now?
Friday, March 26, 2004
By Sue Holland , staff writer
Photo by Sue Holland.
Since opening in 1989, Disney's Comedy Warehouse has been home to a
number of very talented performers. Several of them eventually moved on
to follow a career path in other locations, leaving room for talented
new people to join the cast. Fortunately, almost everyone who has left
ends up returning to fill in on an occasional basis, to the delight of
the guests who enjoyed that actor's work. This article profiles five such
Comedy Warehouse alumni. We'll learn what they have done since leaving
the cast, and where you might find them today. Combined, they represent
36 years of experience at the Comedy Warehouse and they were all very
popular with audiences during their tenure.
Greg Triggs was a member of the Comedy Warehouse cast from 1992 until
2003, when he moved to New York City. During his years at the Warehouse,
Greg performed in more than 9,000 shows! Prior to moving to Orlando he
worked at the Brave New Workshop, a sketch comedy and improvisation club
in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While at Disney, Greg worked as a show director,
writer and performer. He worked on the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom
and was both associate show director and scriptwriter for the Super Bowl
XXXIV 2000 halftime show, Tapestry of Nations. He also created
ABC Super Soap Spin, a soap opera trivia game show hosted by Walt
Willey (from All My Children) during Super Soap Weekend at the
Disney-MGM Studios, and served as audience co-host at the Linda Dano
Talk Show during the soap opera events.
Greg has directed several shows in the Orlando Theatre Project, and his
Fairy Tales was the winner of Best Production at the Orlando Fringe Festival
(description) in 2002. He has also taught
improvisation and creativity seminars all over the world,including Yaounde,
Africa with Mary Thompson Hunt. For
the past two years he has taught annual programs (Jcoreyography)
in Nashville with fellow Comedy Warehouse alumni Jennifer Bascom. In case
being an accomplished director, scriptwriter, performer and teacher is
not enough, Greg is also a journalist. His What Would Greg Do?
column appears in publications in Orlando (Watermark) and Nashville,
Tennessee. (Out and About).
Since moving to New York, Greg has continued his busy professional schedule.
He wrote and directed a show in the Tribeca Film Festival, has written
for All My Children and General Hospital, and is writing
a new show for Carnegie Hall is called How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
and Greg will also serve as emcee. At the Philadelphia Zoo, Greg has written
and directed both Safari Quest (2003) and Jungle Trek (2004).
He was the star of a recent episode of The Pros and the Cons on
The Learning Channel, pretending to be a professional wedding planner.
The bride and groom selected him to plan their wedding, not knowing Greg
had no prior experience. Finally, he recently started performing improvisation
and stand-up comedy at the New York City Comedy Club. He also appears
at the Comedy Warehouse from time to time, as his schedule permits, and
works each year on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.
Whether he's writing, performing, directing or working in any other capacityif
a project has Greg Triggs associated with it, you can be certain it will
Jennifer Bascom. Photo by Sue Holland.
Jennifer Bascom was a member of the cast from 1999 until 2003, when she
moved to Los Angeles. She was part of the opening cast of the improvisational
comedy clubs on board the Disney Cruise Line ships (the former Off
Beat on the Disney Magic and Barrel of Laughs on the
Disney Wonder), which made her transition to the Comedy Warehouse
a logical move. Jennifer has performed in a number of off-Broadway shows,
independent films and television commercials. She went on a national tour
for Disney and performed at the Freestyle Repertory Company. After moving
to central Florida, Jennifer also worked doing improvisational comedy
at SAK Theater Comedy Lab in downtown Orlando, on nights she was not scheduled
to appear at the Comedy Warehouse. In 2002 she appeared in the wonderful
musical Fairy Tales, directed by Greg Triggs.
Since moving to Los Angeles, Jennifer has busy teaching improvisation
and filming commercials. She can currently be seen in a national commercial
for Healthy Choice. She also appears at L.A. Comedy Sportz, along with
several other improv performers who have worked at the Comedy Warehouse.
Future projects include the potential West Coast premiere of Fairy
Tales. Jennifer acts, sings, is terrific at improv and most certainly
has a bright future ahead of her.
Jen Kober. Photo provided by Jen Kober.
Jen Kober worked at the Comedy Warehouse from 1999 until 2002. Prior
to her years in Orlando, Jen worked as a stand-up comedian, did a national
tour of her one-woman show (Subcity) and was an improv performer
at ImprovOlympics in Chicago. She currently lives in Lake Charles,
Louisiana, and has a schedule that would leave most of us exhausted. She
still tours the country doing stand-up comedy, and headlined at the Las
Vegas Comedy Fest, where she won Best of the Fest in both 2002 and 2003.
In 2002 she also was named Houston Comedy Games Champion in stand-up.
Jen also has her own band, called The Wicked Funny Hella Cool Band, which
won the Houston 2002 group competition.
Jen recently opened her own comedy club in Lake Charles called Jen Kober's
Big Brick House. A former grocery warehouse, Jen has converted the building
into an 800-seat theater. The venue books nationally touring comedians,
and dinner theatre-style shows are performed once a month. It can also
be booked for special events, and is definitely worth a visit if you're
in the Lake Charles area.
Jen Kober hosting Schmeopardy at the Comedy Warehouse. Photo
by Sue Holland.
Last August, Jen had a small character role in the John Goodman film,
Home of Phobia, which received great reviews at the Sundance Film
Festival. It is expected to be released during the summer 2004. Each weekday
Jen can be heard on her morning radio show on B104 in Lake Charles from
6 a.m. to 10 a.m. She also has a local cable TV show on Cox Channel 8
called Jen Kober's Big Fat TV Show, which airs five nights a week.
Understandably, Jen's busy schedule prevents her from returning to the
Comedy Warehouse too often, but she's been thrilled to see so many of
her fans show up at her performances in Lake Charles. Additional information
on her radio show and performance schedule can be found at JenKober.com.
Mark Lainer (photo provided by Mark Lainer).
Mark Lainer probably has the most unusual educational background, with
a degree in neuroscience, graduating magna cum laude. Luckily for us he
left the world of research biologists and accountantshe also worked
as an accountant and taught accounting at a college on an island off the
coast of Kenyato pursue what has ended up being a very successful
career as a performer. His Comedy Warehouse experience spanned from 1990
until 2001, and he currently appears there on a part-time basis.
Mark has numerous film credits, including a starring role in the Academy
Award- and Emmy Award-winning Florida State University student film Slow
Dancin' Down the Aisles of the Quick Check, which was screened at
the Cannes Film Festival and won several prizes. He appeared in a recurring
role on the syndicated series The Cape and was featured in Episode
Five of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He also
had featured roles in the syndicated television show Sheena, Queen
of the Jungle, ABC's Second Noah, Fox's Fortune Hunter
and NBC's SeaQuest DSV, to name a few. Mark has also appeared in
numerous television commercials, and is currently seen in ones for Middleton
Pest Control, Florida's Natural Orange Juice and Publix Supermarkets.
Mark Lainer takes a turn hosting Schmeopardy. Photo by Sue Holland.
Mark's theatrical experience includes working at several venues in New
York City, Massachusetts, central Florida and Los Angeles. He was a member
of the Resident Company, on the board of the Orlando Theatre Project and
has also written and performed in many special events. Mark was one of
the founding members of the Who, What and Warehouse Improv Company at
the Comedy Warehouse and has performed improv in New York City. He also
writes, directs and performs in many special corporate events and leads
training seminars in the application of improvisational techniques to
the business world. For more information on Mark, visit MarkLainer.com.
Steve Purnick. Photo by Sue Holland.
Steve Purnick started at the Comedy Warehouse in 1991, and was the first
actor to appear on stage during the first show I attended. He spent eight
years in the cast before moving to Los Angeles, and his many talents have
kept him very busy. Before joining the Comedy Warehouse Steve had extensive
improv experience in New York City. He appeared with Chicago City Limits,
Unexpected Company and the All-Star Improv Jam.
While he was in Orlando he performed improv at SAK Theatre Comedy Lab
downtown (review) and was a series regular
on Nickelodeon's The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. In addition,
he created and produced a live sketch-comedy show called Trendy Britches,
and was executive producer/creator of a sketch-comedy series pilot called
After leaving Comedy Warehouse Steve performed improv in Hollywood with
The Houseful of Honkeys, and currently can be seen most weekends at Comedy
Sportz. He went on tour with Wayne Brady, doing improv in Wayne Brady
and Friends. He also appeared in BOO!an improv and sketch
comedy show at the New York New York Casino in Las Vegas. Steve appeared
with Rita Rudner on her syndicated series Ask Rita, in the film
Project V.I.P.E.R. and has done several commercials. Steve has
sold a screenplay and is now an official member of the Writer's Guild
of America. He tours the country performing at corporate events and, fortunately
for us, has managed to make several visits back home to work
at the Comedy Warehouse.
Steve Purnick creates a scene with Matt at the Comedy Warehouse. Photo
by Sue Holland.
Although Comedy Warehouse fans hate to see any of the actors leave the
cast, they ultimately wish them success and take comfort in the fact that
these performers all return to visit, and will get themselves on the schedule
to work during those trips. When Greg, Jennifer, Jen, Mark and Steve return
for a few shows, it's a real treat for everyone. No matter how long it's
been since their last visit, they are as terrific and funny as they were
when they were here full time. Regardless of when you visit the Comedy
Warehouse you can expect to have a great time, and if you happen to see
any of these five people on the stage you'll know you are there on a special
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Sue here.
Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since
her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning
more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.
After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in
1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at
the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.
She takes many of these trips on her own, but
she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly,
and people with disabilities.
She works as the Administrative Services Division Head
for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children
and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.
Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers.
Read her trip report archive here.
You can contact Sue here.
Get the latest info about the resort at Park
Update: Walt Disney World.