The 17th annual Del Close Marathon weekend kicks off with a press conference at 4:00p on Friday, June 26th at the UCB Theatre, Chelsea location, hosted by UCB co-founders Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser and will continue that evening and non-stop through the weekend ending June 28th in the evening. There will be 575 improv shows at nine different stages in NYC. Groups from all over the world will perform including teams from NY, Chicago, LA, Boston, DC, Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Alaska, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa City, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Poland, Canada, Australia, Amsterdam, Bogata and more. You can see the full calendar here. Del Close was the driving force behind improvisational comedy in Chicago for over 30 years influencing Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley and the Upright Citizens Brigade to name a few. After Del’s passing in 1999, the UCB started the Del Close Marathon to celebrate their mentor and keep alive his name and teachings for future generations. The festival has grown from a weekend event to include special shows that happen all week leading up to the “official” Friday afternoon opening of the Marathon.