Stacking the deck: Comedy improv group Card 53 celebrates 10 years

Stacking the deck: Comedy improv group Card 53 celebrates 10 years

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s not easy, but somehow they’ve been doing it for ten years, and people seem to enjoy it. Card 53 has been bringing improvisational laughs to East Texans for a decade.

Well, I thought I’d try starting the interview with Card 53 improv member Jamey Whitley a little differently:

“And begin,” I said to him. He replied with a laugh.

Jamey has an infectious laugh, which can sometimes cause him problems on stage, but they do try to crack each other up.

“Whatever they say I’m going to agree with, I’m going to go with. We call it: Yes and, but you never know what they’re going to say,” Jamey said.

They started with three UT students in December of 2009, but have increased in numbers over the years to:

“Fifty-three,” Jamey laughed.

“That’s what you’re aiming for,” I said.

“Eventually. We hope; we’ll see what happens,” Jamey grinned.

“Do you enjoy playing smaller venues or do you want to get bigger?” I asked Jamey.

“Well, I mean we’re very fortunate with Liberty Hall. I mean there’s so many people that I’ve talked to that are in the industry, they see pictures of our show and they’re like, your venue is just incredible. And they’re jealous of where we get to play,” he replied.

And the eight members do play and are content playing Liberty Hall and corporate venues like Christmas parties.

“You’re jumping up and making stuff up and making people laugh on the spot and it’s just a massive exhilarating thrill ride,” Jamey said.

The audience feeds the troupe skit ideas. But they like to keep it clean; no blue humor though they do walk the line.

“I like to call it maybe like a teal; almost blue but not,” Jamey revealed.

He thinks they have good crowds because people don’t want the same old thing.

“People want something new to do, they can come here and get the same kind of quality entertainment you get in a large metropolitan area,” Whitley said

And he knows why they have been around for a decade.

“It’s completely because of our returning fans that we’re able to keep doing what we’re doing,” Jamey added.

And that’s just the hand Card 53 was dealt, although they might all be bluffing.

Card 53’s ten year anniversary is Dec. 10. Saturday, Dec. 14 they are holding a show at the Liberty in downtown Tyler. Tickets are 15 dollars, and Whitley recommends buying them online since the shows do sometimes sell out.

By the way, they’re called Card 53 because that card is the joker.

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