This page refers to the UCB Theater's Harold Night in General. For a history of rosters go to the specific theater's pages. For Harold Night at UCB New York go to Harold Night Rosters (New York) and for Harold Night at UCBT-LA, see Harold Night Rosters (Los Angeles).
An improv show held every Tuesday night at the UCB Theatre where The Harold is performed by UCB house teams, also referred to as Harold Teams. It was initially modeled on Harold Nights at IO in Chicago.
A staple of UCBT shows since the theater was founded, Harold Night is the showcase for most of the house teams of that theater. Free for students, it's one of the most consistently large audiences for long-form improv in NYC. It's also one of the social centers of the UCBT community. For many up-and-coming improv performers and students, going to UCBT Harold Night, and then to McManus afterwards to hang out with other students and players is one of the ways to feel a part of that community.
Most of the well-known players to come out of the UCBT system spent a tenure on Harold Night, including: NYC Theatre performers Jack McBrayer, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Andrew Daly, Bobby Moynihan, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Ellie Kemper, Aubrey Plaza, Zach Woods, Chris Gethard, Adam Pally, Ben Schwartz, Jason Mantzoukas, Brett Gelman, and Kurt Braunohler, and LA Theatre performers Wyatt Cenac, Casey Wilson, Jake Johnson, June Diane Raphael, Jordan Morris, Jen Kirkman, and Harris Wittels.
Getting on a Harold Team has always been an immensely competitive process. A great many students audition for only a few spots, putting immense pressure on auditioners, those who make it, and those who choose who makes it. For those who come through the training program at UCBT, Harold auditions may be their first (and quite valuable) improv audition experience.
The pressure doesn't stop for those on a team. Each team has a coach, who gives them notes after each show. Teams must rehearse, and those who are absent are reprimanded. Teachers watch Harold Night, and rate each performance. Teams are then awarded a number of shows based on those ratings.
Harold Night was originally Thursday night. Two teams performed at 8pm and two more at 9:30pm. Newer teams tended to perform earlier, with more veteran teams closing out the night. When Cagematch started, it followed Harold Night.
In 2003, Harold Night moved to Tuesdays. In November 2003, the theater declared the closing spot to be the "anchor spot" -- whichever team had done the best in the previous month got to close out each week the following month. When Mailer Daemon was named anchor team in March 2006 the team wrote the playfully obnoxious phrase "Anchor's Away!" on the back of the second issue of their newsletter, The Monthly Daemon. However cooler heads prevailed and they pulped the printined and printed a new version the next week without the phrase written on the back cover.
UCBT-LA, which opened in 2005, holds Harold Night on Mondays, at 8 PM and 9:30 PM.
In February 2007, Harold Night started featuring 5 teams, starting at 8pm. The fourth spot was declared the new anchor spot.
In May 2012 Harold Night started featuring 6 teams. To accommodate this it now begins at 7pm, and the house is cleared after 3 Harolds. The second 3 Harolds begin at 9pm. The anchor slot was moved to the the slot, and a new secondary incentive of the now slot is the 3rd slot of the night. So in effect each 3 Harold set has an anchor.
On April Fool's Day 2008, all the Harold teams participated in an all short-form night officiated by the striped-jersey wearing Anthony King.
Every year around the winter solstice (December 21st), all the Harold teams participate in the so-called Longest Harold Night of the Year.
There have been many Harold Teams, not to mention Lloyd Teams, and weekend teams. And there are currently theaters on both coasts of the United States. And these rosters get changed fairly often. If you want to see a history of those rosters, they have been spread out over a few pages as detailed below.
Harold Night Rosters - these links
Harold Night Rosters (New York) - all the Harold Teams, and their various rosters that have performed at the UCB in New York
Harold Night Rosters (Los Angeles) - all the Harold Teams, and their various rosters that have performed at the UCB in Los Angeles
Lloyd Night Rosters - Lloyd teams also perform the Harold, but they are the house teams at the UCBEast Theater in NY's Lower East Side.
Weekend Team Rosters - A number of house teams perform on Friday and Saturday. Their rosters are located here.
House Team Rosters (Los Angeles) - UCB LA non-Harold house teams that perform every week. Unlike in New York, these shows are scheduled throughout the week and not just confined to the weekend.