You don’t have to be a Murderino to enjoy a set by Murder, She Joked, but it would certainly be a bonus.
The five-woman improv team from Nashville, Tenn., creates a podcast-style live show based on true crime.
“Not everyone in the group likes My Favorite Murder or has listened to it, so it’s been interesting,” explains comedian Dana Daniele. “We’re using the form of a podcast to inspire the improv, but not everyone is a podcast person. We all like true crime, but we have all attached onto different forms of true crime, whether it’s a TV show or podcasts. It’s nice that we’re not all into podcasts, because the shows take weird directions. It’s always surprising to see where it goes.”
The five comedians –Daniele, Cortney Warner, Libby Genz, Katy Hennan, and Rachel Wilson— while taking improv classes in Nashville.
“We were thinking about doing more with improv—we all had fallen in love with the art form,” remembers Daniele.
When one of the members suggested a true crime show, they all agreed and started moving on the idea.
“Pretty much within a week or two, we hired a coach and were working on the form,” says Daniele.
The five members all get along really well, which is important in an improv group because it helps build trust for show time.
“It helps us understand the types of jokes somebody might make, or where they might take a scene,” says Daniele, “so it makes it a lot easier to go into the shows without nervousness. We have a lot of trust in one another and know we have fun together, so I think that makes the whole thing quite joyful.”
Another joyous part of the group is the friendships the women share.
“As adults, it can be hard to make friends, especially as you get older,” shares Daniele, who’s new-ish to Nashville. “For me personally, it’s been a great way to build a friend group.”
Murder, She Joked is comprised entirely of female comedians, which was a conscious choice.
“We bring in guests from the community and create a space for other women improvisers to perform,” Daniele says. “Outside the true crime part, it was intentional that we’re a group of all women. Just having this space where we can celebrate other women improvisers has been a nice benefit as well.”