Category: Chicago

Fame Costs...

“You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here’s where you start paying… in Sweat!” – Debbie Allen The newly revamped Chicago Tribune published a great article on what (if anything) an improviser (or comedian) can expect to make in Chicago. Check it out here. A nice companion piece is one of the first blogs... Read more »

A Chicago Guide for the Intense

It’s June! When an improv school makes the completely altruistic and noble move of creating a Summer Intensive program. People (mostly young folks) come to Chicago for weeks at a time to study for hours a day. No matter which institution you attend, the program is, well, intense. We could go on and on debating... Read more »

Famous People Doing Funny Things

The third Chicago-based Just for Laughs Festival comes roaring into town June 14th! The Festival began in 1983 all the way up in Montreal, but in 2009 a Chicago Festival was added and with the added financial and broadcast capabilities of the TBS network it has grown very fast. What I personally like about the... Read more »

Happy Birthday, Tina Fey

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born 41 years ago this day!  She was hired for the Second City Touring Company while still in classes at Second City. She started dating Jeff Richmond then, who is now her husband, father to her two children and executive producer of 30 Rock. So, uh, get on that, you slacker.... Read more »

Comedy is Top Heavy

This past weekend we were graced by the presence of Maya Rudolph and Darrell Hammond on SNL. And is that a good thing or a bad thing? While it’s great that those people come back to reprise their characters and use their prodigious talents again (and maybe, just maybe surreptitiously plug their upcoming movie), couldn’t those parts... Read more »

Happy Mother's Day, From HITLER

From the Del Close archives: Years ago, Del said he wanted to have a line of greeting cards for when you were obliged to give a card but secretly hated the person you were giving the card to. He wanted have to lovely watercolor paintings of landscapes, flowers and houses on the front, with the... Read more »

Einstein vs. Hawkings: Epic Rap Battle

Einstein vs. Hawkings: Epic Rap Battle
In the annals of rap battles, Einstein vs. Hawkings is only bested by Justin Bieber vs. Beethoven. Chicago improv ex-patriates Peter Shukoff (“Nice Peter”) and Lloyd Ahlquist have created a series of YouTube shorts called “Epic Rap Battles of History” and pitted some very unlikely foes against each other. I was a fan of the... Read more »

2011 is Year of the Nerd

Nerds never realize that they’re nerds. They have it pointed out to them by their classmates, and usually not in an affectionate manner. When I was lonely kid my father (to his everlasting regret) dragged home three large boxes of comic books (a store on his way home was closing up shop and he asked... Read more »

My Friend Martin

Here are some random, out-of-date, and seemingly incongruous news items. The Second City Mainstage opened up a new show this week called “Southside of Heaven” to great reviews. The Trib’s Chris Jones called it a “ groundbreaking, richly textured and deliciously dark new revue.”  Pretty nice. Nice work, guys. And, I think (and this is completely unresearched) this may... Read more »

If the Federal Gov't. Shuts Down...

Having learned from past mistakes, our fearless representatives will grow wise and prevent this from ever happening again. Just like they did in 1995.