Russ McBride

August 2, 1971 - December 1, 2012

Russ McBride was a force on and off the stage and even a few years after his passing, he remains a fan favorite.

Russ had a way of connecting with people that is very rare. He made everyone feel like they were not only special, but loved as well. This made its way to the audience who were always made to feel like Russ was doing a show specifically for them.  Even if a particular joke didn’t go over well, he had a way of turning that into an even bigger laugh.

Russ was not only a huge presence on the stage, but his big heart was felt by those off stage as well. He was never shy about lending a hand to anyone he saw in need. And he was always reaching out to check on people. But he always saved the biggest chunk of love for his son Nik. Russ was every inch the proud father of this wonderful boy.

But most will remember the big laugh that could be heard during every Quick Wits show. And audiences will forever recall times when Russ would be playing “Late For Work” and be stuck on a word or phrase, but then have it suddenly hit him.  Those moments are ones that we will forever miss.

There will never be anyone like Russ on stage.  And there will never be anyone like him off stage as well. We are forever grateful for the all too brief we had with him. Russ was a member for about 14 years, but it still doesn’t seem long enough.

One thing about Russ that most won’t know is that he was almost always late for things. But no matter when you called him, or where he was at the time, he’d always say that he was just five minutes away.

We like to think that Russ isn’t gone.

He’s just five minutes away.

Lauren Elyse Bradley

May 5, 1986 - August 22, 2017

Improviser. Actor. Emergency Room Nurse. Adventurer. Camper. Bare foot roamer. Dog whisperer. Voracious reader. World traveler. Wanderlust haver. Video gamer. Zombie slayer. Short order cook. Tattoo enthusiast. Knitter. Laugher. Day dreamer.

These are the words Lauren used to describe herself, but to those who knew her, she was so much more.  

She was a friend.  A better friend than anyone could ask for.  Lauren was always there with a kind word and a funny quip.  She was very protective of those she was close to, and would jump to defend those around her even in the most benign of situations.  What made her an even better friend?  She was willing to give harsh truths to those around her. With some people that would be described as honest to a fault, but with Lauren, it was just the right amount, because she knew how to temper difficult discussions with equal amounts of levity and love.  Lauren had a special talent of making everyone she was close to feel like the most important person in her life

Lauren’s calling in life was to make people better.  Lauren was a sensitive soul and felt empathy for everyone.  She used this in all aspects of her life.  From her ability to bring laughter to the lives of others as one of Quick Wits’ most beloved improvisors, to healing people as an ER nurse, to her humanitarian efforts in Ghana, Lauren was always finding ways to make the world a better place.  Wherever she spent time, she left a lasting impression.

For all of the sweet things we can say about Lauren (and rightfully so), one of her most endearing traits was her wonderfully-wicked dirty sense of humor.  Some people never know what is too much, and they’re dirty just for the sake of being dirty. Not Lauren.  She always knew right where the line was, and how to dance around it without ever quite crossing. She was notorious in all of her pursuits for spicing things up with artistic renditions of male genitals, and after years of practice and all of her training and experience as a nurse, she got pretty good at it, too!  

Whether it was on or off stage, at the hospital, or with her friends and family, Lauren changed the lives of those around her.  There aren’t words to describe how much she is missed or how fiercely she was (and still is) loved.  While it’s hard to believe that she’s gone, the impact she had on us is everlasting.

In her all-too-short time on this planet, Lauren touched us all.

And she would definitely make a dirty joke about that.