Actually being funny is mostly telling the truth about things.
I think improvisation is a technique and a tool. I think that even the best of them fail most of the time, and in the end, the audience is not interested in how you got there but in what you're saying. The more clearly and concisely and artistically you say it, the more effective it is.
I'm a bug on acting, which distinguishes Second City from a lot of other revues. It comes from the character, the behavior, and not from the jokes. I don't think jokes are funny. Humor comes out of character and out of situations the character is in.
My theory is that everything an actor does, from the way he looks at his watch to the way he moves across the stage, is in the service of advancing a story, and in that sense, it's all writing. In that sense we, while acting, write.
If you're talking down to the audience, no matter how brutish it is, they know it and they hate you for it.