J Names started as a trio on a cage match improv show, Friday Night Fights (FNF). The original “J”s consisted of Jake Michels, Jenn Hunter, and Jay Flewelling and, honestly, they were just trying to have a good time.
However, the team kept winning and winning and a sense of “oh, there is something special here” started to grow. With the inevitable schedule conflicts of an ongoing show, the team needed more players. Necessity is the mother of all invention and the team quickly realized that Portland was full of amazing improvisers who also had a “J” name. Thus, the J Names Improv Society was born. J Names moved on from FNF and produced their own shows at the Brody Theater, The Siren Theater, and their current home, Curious Comedy Theater. Soon, J Names was being invited to perform at improv festivals around the country and Canada. These travels also meant meeting more “J” named improvisers at festivals who, after a rigorous screening process, were inducted into the J Names Improv Society. The philosophy of this society is that every player on stage is a veteran improviser who is 100% ready to click into group mind for fun and fast play. The society now consists of a core Portland cast with many satellite members joining us in Portland or on the road. Our founding principles are performing good comedic improv and using our comedy as to speak truth to power. Resistance is Hilarious.