Category: Second City

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 »

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Here are some random, out-of-date, and seemingly incongruous news items.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 »

Happy 77th, Del Close!

March 9, 2011 would have been Del Close’s 77th birthday. There’s a lot of talk about Del and his work in high terms and glowing praise, but some people have had different experiences with him. I took his class almost non-stop for a year and, without hyperbole, I can say that it changed my life... Read more »

Joyce Sloane, Producer Emeritus of the Second City Passes Away

Joyce Sloane, who has been with the Second City for 49 of it’s 50 years passed away on Thursday evening.  In 1997, I was the assistant to the director for the Second City Mainstage. It was during rehearsals for the show that we heard the sad news that Chris Farley has died. Joyce Sloane came... Read more »

Mary Scruggs, co-author of "Process: An Improvisers Journey", passes away.

Mary Scruggs was a gracious, funny, smart lady. I barely knew Mary. She and I both had shows running at the Live Bait Theater many, many years ago and our paths often crossed. We shared our complaints and praise of doing one-person shows there. She was the Head of Writing and Education Programs for the... Read more »

24 Hours of Improv! In A Row.

For the past nine years, Second City has presented “The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa.” It’s an amazing event and features some of the best improvisers and performers from the Chicago area. For the first time, the entire event is available online! You should definitely check it out and maybe, if you... Read more »

Tina Fey: Ever the Twain Shall Meet

America’s sweetheart, Tina Fey, is a comedy legend. What, too soon? Well, not now. Yesterday, (November 9, 2010) Tina was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. (there’s a sentence that names 4 great Americans.) That picture over there <—– is Tina and her husband Jeff Richmond. I... Read more »