Hawkeye Spotlight: Neil Campbell and Paul Rust


Paul Rust (left) and Neil Campbell (right) get ready for their show.

In our first installment of “Hawkeye Spotlight”, Isaiah Scales interviewed natives of Fairfax, Virginia and Le Mar, Iowa; Neil and Paul’s comedy paths would meet at The University of Iowa.

NEIL: “We actually met at a show called “No Shame Theatre.”  I was hosting a set and Paul came and did it and he did a bit that I thought was really funny and told him he should keep doing the show.”

PAUL: “I had seen Neil do about a months’ worth of stuff and I thought it was really funny, so to get encouragement from people that I was admiring at the time, encouraged me to keep doing it.”

The writing duo eventually found their way to Los Angeles still trying to find their niche.

PAUL:  “After moving out to LA, you don’t want to deny yourself any opportunities, so the net is open.  We we’re getting more affirmation doing comedy than trying to make short films.”

Opening in New York in 1997, Upright Citizen Brigade or UCB; opened its doors in LA in 2005.

NEIL:  “UCB is a comedy theatre that has stand up, sketch and improv shows.  It’s also a training center that teaches sketch and improv performance and anyone can take classes.  Every night of the week, there are three or more shows of improv.  On top of that, they have stand up and variety shows; so it’s just a bunch of different things.”

Neil and Paul’s UCB sketch comedy act “Last Day of School” was named “Best Improv Show” by LA Weekly Best of LA Issue 2012.

NEIL: “It was cool to get that award, it’s a nice honor; feels good. The most rewarding is getting to go up with people you love every week, and seeing the crowd really respond to what you’re doing.  Thursday nights are the thing I’m most excited about doing.”

Inspired by “The Simpsons”, “The Conan O’Brien Show” and “Kids in the Hall”, both say college was an eye opener.

PAUL: One of the cool things about plugging yourself into a comedy community is meeting people that have the same interest as you.”

Both offer words of wisdom for those interested in coming to LA or getting involved in comedy.

NEIL: “It can be lonely here, find a community. Get out and meet people, support your friends.”

PAUL: “Plug into a community interested in the same thing as you.  You can collaborate and meet friends.  It’s one of the few things in life, that’s easy to do and beneficial.”

Thursday March 14th @ 11:00pm, join the Los Angeles Iowa Club for a night of comedy at UCB and show your support for our local Iowa Alumni.

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