Founded in 1981, iO (Formerly ‘ImprovOlympic’) is the world famous flashpoint of comic creativity that spawned an entire generation of America’s best and brightest entertainers. Thousands of people have have trained and performed at iO’s Chicago and Los Angeles theaters, including some of the most recognizable names in show business like Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler, David Koechner, Adam McKay, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows and many, many more.
Charna Halpern held a belief that improv was capable of more than the short games and competition-style shows that dominated the scene through the 1970s. It was then that she met legendary director and improv luminary Del Close. Their shared vision for a deeper, more robust form of improvisation based on trust and agreement would be rounded into shape and set in motion when they developed the Harold at iO (then ImprovOlympic). With Del serving as the mentor and Charna the guide, longform was born and the two would change the face of improvisational comedy.