Improvisation in comedy can be a very good thing—unless it's the only thing, then it ceases to be "Comedy" and becomes "Improv," and as anyone who has ever seen a troupe called Citizen Laffs or Mixed Nutz struggle to "create a scene" based on the audience suggestion of "celery" knows, improv is rarely funny by itself for very long.
But what about comedy that is scripted to look like improv?
Take, for instance, this kinda repetitive, seemingly rifftastic teaser for Kevin Smith's upcoming movie, Zack & Miri Make A Porno, the script for which seems to consist of three words: "[Insert riffs here]." However, since Smith has a reputation for keeping his actors on a short leash, the script probably just included helpful directions like, "[said in a riffy way]" and "[said casually, as if spitballin']" in order to give the appearance of improv. Unfortunately, it works a little too well. In the teaser, it's very easy to imagine Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as Mixed Nutz, the audience suggestion as "Porn casting session," and Smith finding the whole thing so funny that he decided to use it all, and only edit out the parts where he's yelling, "'Dickwise?' Ha ha! Gold! That's gold!" from the behind the camera.
On hiswebsite, Smith is very adamant about this being a teaser not a trailer:
There ain't a frame of footage in this puppy that's in the actual flick, so feel free to watch it without fear of "spoilers". This is just a little something to give you a bit of a feel for the flick.
Whew! So the actual movie will be a series of completely different scripted-to-seem-like-riffs about porn, body parts, and movie-making strung together in long, barely edited chunks that all together form a muddy mass of tepid comedy? Good to know.