|KVN (a.k.a. KBH, KaBH) is a form of intercollegiate improvisational comedy theater team competition. Historically, this “Humorous Acting Game” has been the primary extracurricular activity of college students throughout the former Soviet Union.
KVN the Russian humor game show first appeared on TV in the former USSR in 1961. The name of the show can be translated into English as the Club of the Quick Minded, Witty and Resourceful. KVN is a team competition combining intellectual improvisational ability with a satirical variety review under a given theme. Both carefully rehearsed sketches and instant improvisations make this game enormously popular. It is like having Comic Relief, Politically Incorrect, Mad TV, and Saturday Night Live all under one roof. The most famous KVN segment is called Razminka (Warming Up) when the teams fire humor questions at each other, requiring answers that have to be equally funny and witty – all within 30 seconds. The game is judged by a panel of celebrities from various fields, including writers, actors, scientists, doctors, journalists, etc.
During the past fifteen years, this essential part of the Russian culture has spread, along with the flow of emigration, to numerous countries worldwide, including Israel, Germany, Australia, and of course the United States.
Currently KVN America Organization unites more than 30 teams across the United States. Each year a championship is held and the winner is determined through a play-off system. The games are conducted in different cities throughout the country. They are covered by the press and often televised by local TV stations and on the Internet. Besides the regular championship games, every year there is a number of special events organized by KVN America locally and internationally. These events include friendly matches, festivals, and guest appearances.