In the summer of 1994 twelve wannabe comedians took a course in improvisation based on the Improv Olympics and Second City teachings. Ten managed to survive the rigorous eight weeks and joined forces to burst upon the Knoxville, TN comedy scene as "Einstein Simplified". Starting out by opening for an open mic night they were allowed fifteen minutes and maybe they would be asked back. Seconds after stepping off stage they were invited back and given thirty minutes. After the next week they were given one full hour and opened for every open mic. After the club switched ownership they negotiated with the new owners for their own night and two hours. Which is how it has been ever since, even with temporary switches to other venues such as: Patrick Sullivan's, Amigo's, back to Manhattan's, back to Patrick Sullivan's, The Square Room, Side Splitters, The Well, and even the street corner (which is now a business) in The Old City. They are now at Scruffy City Hall on Market Square every week ever amusing and ever vigilant. Only one of the original ten members is still with the group; with the groups current accounting at seven.
Originally the group performed long form improv Chicago style with "The Harold". This was intially well received, and then required adjustment as they had longer shows and needed to keep the audience engrossed. They began to do more short form with the occasional "Harold", and then after several months, dropped the "Harold" completely. Since then they have been a short form group. They can select from over one hundred different improvisational games and even offer up the challenging Give us a game title game where the audience will give them a game title and they will provide the rules and play a round of the new game.
The group has held a wide variety of personality types over the years: students, a writer, performers, lawyers, a computer scientist, a CPA, a salesman, a photographer, waiters and waitresses, an ad executive, a real estate agent, and even a mascot. Even more diverse is the age span of the group. The greatest age difference at one time was 32 years. The math is left as an exercise for the reader.
Not only has the group performed at their regular weekly gig since 1994, but they
have also done a great deal of additional shows. The list is below:
The future is wide open for "Einstein Simplified". They continually expand their game and venue list without regard for personal safety. Come, see a show and bathe in the wonderment of brilliant entertainment.