Behind the scenes of Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse was created in 2010 by Claymore Productions founders Peyton Brown, Brian Hurwitz, Josh Segovia, and Tyler Smith. Collaborating with other talented comedy writers, performers, and filmmakers in Chicago, the group has written 14 original critically acclaimed sketch shows, performing at numerous world-renowned comedy theaters, including the Annoyance Theatre, iO, Chicago Sketchfest, and Stage 773. It has also produced over 20 web videos, including The Tool T-Shirt, recipient of the Christopher Wetzel Independent Short Comedy Film Award, which was screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center as a part of the 2011 Just for Laughs Festival.

In 2013, Claymore Productions produced its first television pilot Exquisite Corpse. The pilot presents an absurd, interconnected world with fat camps, vengeful janitors, a quest for the perfect lover, murderous eagles, dream dance fantasias, deity murder and much more. Exquisite Corpse was an official selection of the 2013 New York Television Festival (NYTVF) and winner of NYTVF's Award for Best Actor in the Independent Pilot Competition.

Here is what the press has had to say about Exquisite Corpse:

  • "[O]ne of the most surreal and memorably weird comedy shows you'll see this summer."
    - Matt Byrne, Chicagoist [Full review]
  • "The boisterous, sometimes absurdist bits [...] connect with clever, unexpected transitions: from punching an eagle (don't ask) to stuffing a turkey, for example. And then the bits come back to meet each other again, in the style of HBO's 'Mr. Show.'"
    - Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune [Full review]
  • "[A] technically exhilarating spectacle, and ingenious lighting adds fuel to the fantasy."
    Chicago Reader Recommended
    - Jena Cutie, Chicago Reader [Full review]
  • "[E]xcellent idea."
    - Kate Dries, WBEZ
  • "I was impressed by their level of commitment and attention to detail..."
    - Jason A. Heidemann, TimeOut Chicago
  • Recommended If You Like Portlandia.
    - Matt Byrne, A.V. Club Chicago
  • "Must see..."
    - Jenna Marotta, Chicago Magazine

payton brown

Payton Brown

Dropped out of college. Co-founded Claymore Productions. Made funny web videos. Started a show every week at Playground Theatre called "The Free Improv Show." Got on a Harold team at i.O. called The Burnham Plan. Etc.
james chase

James Chase

James started writing and performing sketch comedy in college, and kept it up after moving to Chicago in 2007. He has been a part of Exquisite Corpse since its tender inception, and he's quite pleased to have found such a talented group of coattails to ride to inevitable fame and fortune.
jared jeffries

Jared Jeffries

Jared Jeffries is 1/9th of Inkling (named Best New Improv Group 2011 by Chicago Magazine) at the iO theatre, where he also directs a Harold team called Doctro. Additionally, he performs with a team called Meow Meow Ruff at Chemically Imbalanced Theatre, with Jeff Rukes as Jeffrey Jeffries on special occasions, and has an on-again/off-again relationship with Emily Harpe in a show called Boyfriend/Girlfriend. He also writes and wears most of the hats on his comedy detective serial podcast, Trouble's Up in Alphabet Town.
brian hurwitz

Brian Hurwitz

A graduate of the University of Maryland and its prestigious improv group Erasable Inc., Brian co-founded Claymore Productions in 2007 and soon after moved to Chicago with his fellow founders. He is a graduate of the iO and Annoyance Improv Training Centers and the Second City Advanced Writing Program. Brian produces and headlines the weekly show "Claymore presents: The Free Improv Show (Admission $5)" at The Playground Theater.
josh segovia

Josh Segovia

Josh Segovia was supposed to be a writer, that's what his parents wound have liked. Josh wanted to be a performer, this is what he liked. The tension growing up was palpable. "If only a forum existed where i could do both," Josh would write and then act out behind closed doors. He watched Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show and The Upright Citizens Brigade with bated breath. He knew his time would come. Now is that time. With ink on his hands and a funny hat on his head, Josh through the power of Claymore's Live Internet Sketch Comedy Show, quiets the demons of his youth.
tyler smith

Tyler Smith

Tyler co-founded Claymore Productions in 2007. Since then, he has written, directed, acted in, and produced several Claymore videos and sketches. With Claymore, he produces and headlines "Claymore presents: The Free Improv Show (Admission $5)," a weekly improv show at The Playground Theatre that has been running for over a year. Tyler is also a member of Gandergoose, a sketch group that recently performed at the 2010 Chicago Sketchfest. Tyler is an alumnus of the iO Training Center, having trained with Noah Gregoropoulos, Craig Uhlir, Rachel Mason, Bill Arnett, Greg Hess, and Jason Schotts. He has also trained with Mick Napier, Susan Messing, Joe Bill, and Mark Sutton.
Junella Gabriel

Junella Carla Gabriel

Not being able to speak a lick of English when she landed on Ellis Island did not stop Junella from achieving a BA in Religious Studies and a minor in Theatre from George Mason University. After 7 arduous years of indentured service to higher education and hours of District of Columbia traffic, she liberated herself and began the life-changing journey to the land of deep-dish comedy; Chicago. Here, she hopes to continue experimenting with all mediums of the entertainment field in any creative capacity. Since arriving, she has assistant directed, lighted, appeared in, and stage managed several stage productions, as well as crewed numerous independent film productions. She looks forward to directing her first Exquisite Corpse episode this season. She also loves gyros. And you too.
matt rice

Matt Rice

An unintended side effect of the Large Hadron Collider, Matt Rice walks the earth in search of his bizarro twin (rumored to have survived a plane crash on an island in the South Pacific). When not sleuthing, Matt is planting evidence and bearing false witness...thus ensuring future generations of the Curious and Misled a hobby. Speaking of hobbies, Matt has but one: you. Sometimes he considers it a full time job, but after a good night's sleep he is able to put things into a better perspective.
steve sullivan

Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan has not yet begun to fight, and is progressively becoming more beardlike each day in order to do so. He mires his rampant cowardice in literary and filmic renditions of steam and clock punk narrative. His hobbies include coffee, general fun, exceptional fun, sidling, and Whiffleball®. He has been assured, by varying forms of modern entertainment, that technology (robots) will handedly usurp man's control of life's most common interactions sometime in the near future. His epitaph will read: "Whatever, I told you so".

Watch the Exquisite Corpse TV Pilot Online!


  • Phil Meister
  • Erin Baxter
  • Josiah Jenkins
  • Robin and John Sullivan
  • Seth Cramer
  • Brian Gresehover
  • Lisa Witmer
  • Jonathan Howard
  • Alaina Brown
  • Allison Goldberg
  • Natasha Rothwell
  • Barry Schneiderman
  • Tom and Pat DiSilvio
  • Junella Gabriel
  • Jim Hinchliffe
  • Jeff Conlin
  • Peyton Tattoo
  • Little Justice
  • Boodong
  • Josh Ryan
  • Nicholas Schaefer
  • Ashlee Evans
  • Jessica Mahoney Natonick
  • John Wefler
  • Marc Muszynski
  • Kate Segovia
  • Kelly Ann Chicoine
  • Rebecca Silber
  • Amelia Crabtree
  • Jill Bockes
  • Kathleen Bockes
  • Cara Clifford
  • Scot Reese
  • Joshua Morgan
  • Martin Albl
  • Vance Wallace
  • Katie Featherston
  • Katie Keenan
  • Claire Smith
  • More Naked Peyton Please
  • Gwynn Fulcher
  • Jonathan Rivlin, CPA
  • Boner Petite
  • Bill and Betty Adams
  • Annie Kelchner
  • Marty Oconnell
  • Louis Echevarria
  • Maureen Allen
  • Wacky News w/ Jeff & Joey
  • Ben Hanes
  • Tracy Marie Taylor
  • Jeff Hanes
  • Justin Purvis
  • Peter Scott
  • Stephanie Walters
  • Adrian Ma
  • Zachary Hanes
  • Amy Whittaker
  • Michael Grew
  • Marlene & Louis Hurwitz
  • Jane Allen
  • Holly Prindle
  • David Puglia
  • Fish Family
  • Janice Brower
  • Linus Lee
  • Dave Penndorf
  • Joe Williams
  • Jordan Good
  • Peyton and Lisa Brown
  • Jon Markland
  • Daniel Strauss
  • Sarah Doyle
  • Jeffrey Smith
  • Annie
  • Courtney Smith
  • Jo Ann & Larry Purcell
  • Denise Purcell Smith
  • Sarah Devillier
  • Mango
  • Malinda Ellerman
  • Erin Elmore
  • Caitlin Barlow
  • Jean Johnson
  • Sharon Smith
  • Genevieve Sullivan
  • Julia Kobos
  • James Chase
  • Brian Wohl
  • Patrick Rowland
  • National Headquarters