Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Second City Training Center's Youth Program to host an Open House

The Second City Training Center's Youth Program host an Open House on January 3rd from 9:30am-12:00pm. Free drop in workshops, an open Improv Jam and information on our classes and summer camps!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Second City Training Center will hold auditions for The Music Improv House Ensemble (aka: Infinite Sundaes)

Friday, January 8th from 5-6pm
Saturday, January 9th from 4-6:30pm

The Music Improv House Ensemble performs every Sunday at 8pm in Donny's Skybox. With over 150 performances under its belt, MIHE is a showcase for some of the best singprov talent in the city and the only ensemble dedicated to shortform musical improvisation. Performances are paid (but don't quit your dayjob).

To audition, you must be currently enrolled in or an alumni of the Second City Music Program or Improv Conservatory. Those with significant improv training or professional experience may request permission from the Training Center Music Director to audition.

Call the Second City Training Center for an audition appointment. 312-664-3959

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MSNBC and Brian Williams toast 50 years of The Second City

Brian Williams featured The Second City on tonight's news broadcast featuring interviews with alums Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt and Martin Short as well as CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander. To check out the segment, visit

For extended in-depth interviews with Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt and Martin Short, visit

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Andrew Alexander named Theater Chicagoan of the Year by the Tribune!

The Second City's CEO & Executive Producer, Andrew Alexander, was named Theater Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. For the full story, visit

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Second City Hollywood TC offers new Video Lab!

Based on the success of Saturday Shorts, a weekly short film festival at The Second City Hollywood, a new class has been created - Video Lab. Each week, students get a suggestion from the Saturday night crowd and come to class with short film pitches. Class is part brainstorm, part video shoot. Videos will be screened at Saturday Shorts in front of a live audience. Joshua Funk's section has already filled, but a new section has opened with viral video sensation and Second City alumnus Andy Cobb. Sign up now before this one fills up!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spend New Years Eve at The Second City

2009 is so last year. Come toast to 2010 with your favorite funny people at The Second City!

No more crowded bars and expensive parties. Spend New Years with us for only $55…and you’ll even get your own seat. Talk about value!

Guests at the 10:00pm performance enjoy a champagne toast with the cast. Or check out the show at 7:00pm and get home in time to see the ball drop. It's a guaranteed good time as The Second City has been laughing for 50 years now!

Book your tickets by calling The Second City box office at 312-337-3992 or book online at

Monday, December 21, 2009

Studs Terkel’s Not Working Listed in Top Ten Shows of 2009

The Second City e.t.c.’s Jeff Award-winning show, “Studs Terkel’s Not Working” has been named one of the Top Ten Shows of 2009 by Chicago Tribune Theater Critic Chris Jones.

Additionally, Joey Bland’s portrayal of Rod Blagojevich in this year’s “Rod Blagoejevich Superstar!” was named one of the Top Ten Best Performances of 2009. Joey Bland can now be seen in “Studs Terkel’s Not Working.”

To purchase tickets for “Studs Terkel’s Not Working,” visit

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Backstage with Nia Vardalos at the 50th

Alum Nia Varadalos takes us backstage with her at The Second City’s 50th Anniversary celebration this past weekend.

Check out this gallery and many more at

Chicago Politicians Toast Second City’s 50th

To recognize our 50th Anniversary, Governor Patrick Quinn, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Senator John Cullerton and Alderman Vi Daley honored Second City with a variety of proclamations and plaques proclaiming today, the official anniversary of The Second City, as Second City Day. Happy Anniversary!

Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Andrew Alexander, Richard Daley, Martin Short,
Eugene Levy, Cathrine O'Hara, Harold Ramis

Vi Daley, Andrew Alexander

SCTV Back on the Air!

SCTV Golden Classics, a new public television special featuring some of SCTV's most hilarious moments, premieres Thursday, December 17 at 9 p.m. on New York metro area public television station WLIW21. The special will premiere nationwide on other public television stations beginning March 2010 (check local listings). Visit for a video preview and to support this broadcast. Contact your local station to request the show at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

People magazine sends its intern to The Second City’s 50th Anniversary red carpet

Check out for a great video shot at our red carpet on Saturday night. People's intern asked various alums about their fondest and wildest on stage memories from The Second City.

PUMA and The Second City announce the LOL scholarship program

During the 50th Anniversary Festival, as part of it's long-term commitment to emerging talent and the brand's partnership with The Second City, PUMA announced the PUMA & The Second City "LOL" Scholarship Program, offering ten scholarships to the organization's training center in Chicago and Los Angeles as part of The Second City Outreach & Diversity Program in an effort in increase diversity among the improv community. Check out this great video with clips from our 50th Anniversary and more information about the scholarships. Thanks to Puma for your help in this great cause!

The New York Times salutes The Second City on it’s 50th Anniversary

Check out today's New York Times for an extensive feature on Second City along with a special video highlight from Saturday's anniversary show.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alum Jon Glaser posts Second City memories on his blog

Jon Glaser of Adult Swim's Delocated put some photos and memories from his trip back to Chicago for the 50th Anniversary on his blog. Check it out at the Delocated Blog.

The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa – 24 Hours of Improvisation

Tuesday, December 15 6:00pm to Wednesday, December 16 @ 6:00pm
The Second City e.t.c. 1608 N Wells Street
$15 cash per person – ticket price good for the entire event – as long as tickets are available
Tickets available at the door only

Improvisers including: Second City resident ensemble members, + TJ Jagodowski, Susan Messing, Horatio Sanz, Frank Caeti and many many more –

Special guests include:
Jeff Tweedy 7:00pm
Robbie Fulks 10:00pm
UCB’s Matt Walsh and Horatio Sanz midnight
Flashmob Marching Band – 3:00am
Bonnie Prince Billy – Wednesday, 6:00am and more!

Great raffle prizes from local businesses

Monday, December 14, 2009

50th Anniversary Wrap Up Coverage in the Tribune and Sun Times

The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun Times offer up a pair of terrific wrap up articles on The Second City’s 50th Anniversary weekend. It was an amazing and most memorable weekend, and both newspapers summarize Saturday’s Alumni Reunion Performance perfectly.

Tribune Coverage

Sun-Times Coverage

See the list of Alumni scenes performed at the 50th Anniversary Show on Saturday, December 12

On a Saturday night, December 12th, Second City alumni from all generations returned home to perform classic scenes at our 50th Anniversary Festival. Their performances delighted audiences and helped raise money for The Second City Alumni Fund. Here is the list of scenes and alumni that performed in the 7pm shows at the Mainstage and e.t.c.


  • “The Second City – 1959” - Andy St. Clair, Emily Wilson, Brad Morris, Shelley Gossman, Anthony LeBlanc

  • “Peak Earning Potential” - Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris

  • “Bagpipe” - David Razowsky, Scott Allman

  • “ER” - George Wendt, Tim Kazurinsky, Danny Breen, Bruce Jarchow, Nancy McCabe Kelly, Bernadette Birkett

  • “MSN” - Naomi Sneikus, Lauren Ash, Jim Annan

  • “Phono Pal” - Paul Sand, Stephen Colbert

  • “Rooftop” - David Pasquesi, Mitch Rouse, Tim Meadows, Jill Talley, Holly Wortell

  • “Whitehorse” - Jim Belushi, Rob Belushi

  • “Llama Brothers” - Tim Meadows, Joel Murray, Joe Liss

  • “Brest Litovsk” - Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty

  • “Maya” - Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, David Razowsky, Fran Adams, Ruthie Rudnick, Scott Allman, Rose Abdoo

  • “Funeral” - Harold Ramis, Jim Belushi, Jim Fisher, Joe Flaherty, Judy Morgan, Eugenie Ross Leming


  • “Hall of Presidents” - Tim Mason, Amanda Blake Davis, Tom Flanigan, Beth Melewski, Christina Anthony, Joey Bland

  • “Waiter” - Richard Kind, Dan Castellaneta, Isabella Hoffman

  • “Mary Smith” - Fred Willard, Rachel Dratch

  • “Sermon” - David Steinberg

  • “American Pie” - Neil Flynn, Miriam Tolan, Brian Stack

  • “Bus” - Mike Hagerty, Richard Kind, John Kapelos, Isabella Hoffman, Bonnie Hunt, Rick Thomas

  • “Castanets” - Jack McBrayer, Peter Grosz, Martin Garcia, Jean Villipique, Jen Bills, Rebecca Sohn

  • “Stand Up” - Shelley Berman

  • “Improv Game” - Betty Thomas, TJ Jagodowski, Susan Messing

  • “Your Fault” - David Rasche

  • “Killer” - Brian Gallivan, Molly Erdman

  • “Lucky Deal” - Horatio Sanz, Matt Dwyer, Craig Cackowski, Rebecca Sohn

  • “Army” - Robert Klein, Fred Willard

  • “Wash & Dry” - Nia Vardalos, Ian Gomez

  • “Glass Mamet” - Melody Johnson, Jack Moshammer, Scott Montgomery

  • “Chairs” - Jack McBrayer, Sue Gillan, Martin Garcia

  • “Grandma’s Records” - Scott Adsit, Rachel Dratch, Kevin Dorff, Jenna Jolovitz, TJ Jagodowski, Tom Flanigan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Updates from our Anniversary!

Check out our Facebook Page for photos of the Anniversary, Backstage, the Red Carpet and more!

Special thanks to all the Alumni, Staff and sponsors who have made this possible!

Photo: John McCloskey

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Second City 50th Anniversary Celebration – Panel/Screening tickets still available!

Listed below is a complete schedule of events for the weekend. Throughout the days ahead we will post updates regarding ticket availability.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

  • 7:00 & 10:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "The SCTV Cast Reunion" - Starring Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short and Dave Thomas
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $175-$750)

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

  • 10:00am:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "The Colbert Report" - Featuring Stephen Colbert, writers Peter Grosz and Peter Gwinn as well as co-Executive Producer Tom Purcell
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 10:00am:
    SCREENING: "The First Cast with Bernie Sahlins" - Bernie Sahlins will lead a moderated panel/screening featuring scenes from the 1961 tape and conversation with original cast members including Mina Kolb and Paul Sand.
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $15)

  • 10:00am:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "A Talk with David Shepherd" - Compass Theatre co-founder David Shepherd is interviewed by Jonathan Pitts of the Chicago Improv Festival to discuss the origins of The Second City's work at the Compass
    (Donny's Skybox Studio Theatre - Tickets $15)

  • 11:30am:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "SCTV" - Featuring Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Catherine O'Hara and Dave Thomas
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 12:00pm:
    PANEL: "The Legacy of Paul Sills" - Featuring Carol Sills, Shelley Berman, Paul Sand, Melinda Dillon, Dick Schaal and Richard Libertini.
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $15)

  • 1:00pm:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "Voices of Diversity at The Second City" -Featuring Chicago's own Aaron Freeman, Keegan Michael Key of "MAD TV" and "Gary Unmarried," Angela Shelton and Frances Callier of "Frangela," Suzy Nakamura of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The West Wing" as well as current Second City resident company actors Christina Anthony and Anthony LeBlanc
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 2:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "The Jeff Garlin Combo Platter" - Featuring Jeff Garlin, David Pasquesi and Fred Willard
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 2:30pm:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "Second City and the State of the Sitcom" - Featuring Scott Adsit, Kay Cannon, Liz Cackowski and Jack McBrayer of "30 Rock," Peter Murrieta Executive Producer of "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and more
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 7:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "The Second City Alumni: One Night Only" - Presented in both our Mainstage and e.t.c. Theatres, the revues will feature alumni from every generation performing classic scenes from The Second City archives. The list of alumni slated to return to the theatre is still growing, but currently includes such former Second Citizens as Scott Adsit, Jim Belushi, Danny Breen, Frank Caeti, Larry Joe Campbell, Steve Carell, Dan Castellaneta, Stephen Colbert, Kevin Dorff, Robin Duke, Brian Gallivan, Martin Garcia, Jeff Garlin, Ian Gomez, Peter Grosz, Mike Hagerty, Isabella Hoffman, Bruce Jarchow, Fred Kaz, Tim Kazurinsky, Keegan Michael Key, Richard Kind, Robert Klein, David Koechner, Mina Kolb, Bob Martin, Jack McBrayer, Susan Messing, Colin Mochrie, Jane Morris, Bob Odenkirk, David Pasquesi, Harold Ramis, David Rasche, Horatio Sanz, Jim Staahl, Betty Thomas, Nia Vardalos, George Wendt, Fred Willard and many, many more
    (The Second City Mainstage and e.t.c. Theatres - Tickets $125)

  • 8:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "Women Fully Clothed" - Toronto alumni troupe featuring Kathryn Greenwood, Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood and Teresa Pavlinek
    (Donny's Skybox Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 10:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "All Girl Revue"- Los Angeles based troupe featuring Edie McClurg, Jane Morris, Dee Ryan, Ruth Rudnick, Kathleen Campbell and Mary Wachtel
    (Donny's Skybox Theatre - Tickets $20)

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

  • 10:00am:
    SCREENING: "Second to None" - A newly edited version of the documentary that followed the process of creating the classic revue "Paradigm Lost," featuring Scott Adsit, Kevin Dorff, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Jenna Jolovitz, Jim Zulevic and Mick Napier
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $10)

  • 12:00pm:
    SCREENING: "Improv Legends" - A new documentary by Second City alum Marc Warzecha featuring interviews with Andrew Alexander, Mick Napier, Sheldon Patinkin, David Shepherd, George Wendt, Fred Willard and more
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $10)

  • 1:00pm:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "Second City: From Stage to Screen" - Featuring Jim Belushi, Betty Thomas, Jeff Garlin, Dan Castellaneta and Harold Ramis
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 2:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "Women Fully Clothed" - Featuring Kathryn Greenwood, Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood and Teresa Pavlinek
    (Donny's Skybox Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 2:00pm:
    SCREENING: "From the Vault" - A mixed bag of rare Second City footage featuring such alumni as Bill Murray, Bonnie Hunt, Fred Willard, Mike Myers, Ryan Stiles, Chris Farley and more
    (The Second City e.t.c. Theatre - Tickets $10)

  • 2:30pm:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "Saturday Night Live" - Featuring SNL alums Tim Kazurinsky, Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch and Tim Meadows as well as current SNL staff writer John Lutz
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 4:00pm:
    PANEL DISCUSSION: "Second City in the Sixties" - Featuring Fred Willard, Robert Klein, David Steinberg, original cast member Mina Kolb along with Second City co-founder Bernie Sahlins and Artistic Consultant Sheldon Patinkin
    (The Second City Mainstage Theatre - Tickets $25)

  • 4:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "All Girl Revue" - Featuring Edie McClurg, Jane Morris, Dee Ryan, Ruth Rudnick, Kathleen Campbell and Mary Wachtel
    (Donny's Skybox Theatre - Tickets $20)

  • 6:00pm:
    LIVE PERFORMANCE: "Switchboard" - Featuring Deb Downing, Rebecca Sohn and Jean Villepique
    (Donny's Skybox Theatre - Tickets $20)

All events will be held at The Second City and Piper's Alley complex at North and Wells. Tickets range from $10.00-$750.00 and will be available for purchase at The Second City Theater Box Office in Chicago at 312-337-3992 beginning at 10:00amCT Thursday, November 5th, and online at Performers are subject to change.

Proceeds from the shows will go to The Second City Alumni Fund. The Alumni Fund of the Second City was established by Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, and Martin Short to assist and aid current, former or retired performers, technicians, support staff or other members of the creative and productions teams employed by The Second City theatres and in connection with the SCTV television series.

Sponsors for The Second City's 50th Anniversary Festival Weekend are Miller Lite, Southwest Airlines, PUMA, Hub 51, Cafe-Ba-Ba-Reeba, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Food Life and Lou Malnati's.

Second City Comedy Radio to Launch on Sirius XM

Limited-run channel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Second City theatre’s opening

SIRIUS XM Radio announced today that it will launch Second City Comedy Radio, a two-day channel celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic improvisational comedy theatre.

The limited-run channel will premiere on Saturday, December 12 at 12:01 am ET, coinciding with the weekend-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Second City theatre’s founding in Chicago.

Second City Comedy Radio will be backstage all weekend with access to all of the reunion events held at The Second City theatre in Chicago, where alumni from every generation of Second City will reunite, including Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Jim Belushi, Steve Carell, Dan Castellaneta, Jeff Garlin, Isabella Hoffman, Richard Kind, Robert Klein, Jack McBrayer, Harold Ramis, Horatio Sanz, George Wendt and Fred Willard.

The channel will also feature various sketches from stage shows from the past fifty years, including “Picasso’s Moustache” from 1971, “Peace and Serenity” from 1969, “To the Water Tower” from 1963, “My Friend Art is Dead” from 1962 and “Survival Kit” from 1982. Listeners will also hear contemporary sketches, many of which originated from Second City, including Chris Farley’s “Van Down By the River” bit and Rachel Dratch’s “Wicked” sketch.

Second City Comedy Radio is also set to include performances, panel discussions and interviews from various Second City alumni in attendance at the weekend-long event held at the comedy theatre.

Second City Comedy Radio will air through Sunday, December 13 on SIRIUS channel 105 and XM channel 151.

For more information, please visit or

“Taming of the Flu” gets rave review in Chicago Reader

Justin Hayford reviews the new Mainstage show “Taming of the Flu” and give it high praise in the latest edition of the Chicago Reader.

Visit for the full review!

Fred Willard Talks to The AV Club about Improv

Second City alum Fred Willard sat down with The Onion’s A.V. Club to talk about his time at The Second City and coming back for the anniversary. Check out what he has to say about improv and his fellow alums at

January Adult Immersion Programs now enrolling!

Join us in Chicago from January 4th-8th for an intensive, week-long program in Improvisation and Comedic Writing. Students of all experience/skill levels are welcome! Learn the art of improv and sketch writing, take advantage of the city’s rich theatre scene, and brag to your friends about braving a Chicago winter! Visit the Immersion page for more details and registration information.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More 50th Anniversary Coverage

The press is rolling in on the eve of Second City’s 50th Anniversary Festival this weekend. Check out the following feature pieces from Associated Press, WLS TV, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today Weekend. Included in these articles are stories, pictures, videos, and interviews with Harold Ramis, Bonnie Hunt, George Wendt, and more.

The Onion Lists Their 7 Favorite SCTV Characters

The Onion's A.V. Club takes a second look at 7 great SCTV characters including Count Floyd, Bob & Doug Ricardo Montalban, and Lola Heatherton. For the complete list including video clips, visit The A.V. Club.

Book Signings at Second City during this Anniversary Weekend

Mike Thomas will be signing copies of his oral history, THE SECOND CITY UNSCRIPTED, on Saturday December 12 at 1pm. George Wendt will be signing copies of his new book, DRINKING WITH GEORGE at 3pm. Both signings will take place in the lobby of The Second City e.t.c. at 1608 North Wells Street in Piper’s Alley.

Spend this holiday season with your family at The Second City!

What the Elf and Big Bad Wolf, two great family friendly shows on our Mainstage. Tickets are $12 each ofr $40 for a family 4 pack. Want to learn what Second City is famous for – try a Drop In Improv Class, family-style right after the show! 1 hour workshop, $5 per person. Age 5-100 are welcome!

What the Elf – December 21, 22, 23, 27 12noon
Big Bad Wolf – December 26, 28, 29, 30 12noon
1 hour Drop In Improv workshops immediately following each show at The Training Centre (70 Peter Street)

Second City Toronto Box Office – 416.343.0011
Toronto Training Centre – 416.340.7270

Atlanta production gets another rave review

Second City’s latest foray into the Jewel of the South gets a great notice in the Atlanta Examiner. “Peach Drop, Stop and Roll” has been extended through December 27, 2009. Visit for more.

LA Times features The Second City Anniversary

The LA Times recently featured The Second City’s 50th anniversary, stating that we have “always danced a delicate pirouette between light and dark, polish and heart, business and art, slickness and spontaneity, maternal nurturing and patriarchal practicality.” Read the article here.

Register now for Youth Program December Break Intensives!

Spend part of your winter break at The Second City where you can work out your creative juices in our intensives. Learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy hanging out in the training center during the holiday season. Students are grouped by age and intensives are held at The Second City Training Center, 1608 N. Wells St., 4th floor. Class size is limited so don’t miss out!

Each winter intensive is a three day session, with classes held Monday through Wednesday. You can register for Dec. 21-23 and/or Dec. 28-30. All participating students will be invited to perform at our January meet & greet on the afternoon of 1/3/10. Click here for more details.

Ranjit Souri interviews Second City Training Center graduate Danny Pudi from Community

Chicago Training Center’s Ranjit Souri interviews SCTC Chicago alumnus Danny Pudi, one of the stars of the new hit NBC show "Community" with Chevy Chase and Joel McHale. Ranjit conducted the interview with Danny for India Currents magazine. Among the topics are his days at The Second City Training Center and in the Chicago improvisation scene, and his association with the Farley Scholarship program. Visit for more.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Final Hours to Bid on 50th Alumni Show Performance/James Hotel Weekend Package!

The charity auction for 2 tickets to the 50th Anniversary Alumni Show (Sat, Dec 12th, 7pm) and 2 nights in a penthouse suite at the James Hotel ends at noon today. Make sure to visit to bid on this once in a lifetime event and to support the Alumni Fund of The Second City as well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Amazing 50th Anniversary coverage in the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune has done an incredible job looking at the past and future of The Second City. Through articles, interviews, photo timelines, and more, the Tribune tackles every angle of The Second City – from how The Second City feeds SNL/Hollywood to how we’ve helped shape the Chicago comedy scene. Take a look at all the coverage online at

Musical Director Ruby Streak featured in the Chicago Sun-Times

Our own Ruby Streak is featured in a terrific article on music at The Second City. Writer Mike Thomas also talks to former longtime musical director Fred Kaz about the evolution of musical accompaniment at The Second City. Visit for the full scoop.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A&E to Air New John Candy Biography on Dec. 8

Check out A&E’s new Biography featuring Second City and SCTV alum John Candy airing on Tuesday, December 8th @ 10:00pm ET/CT. For more information, visit

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advanced Sketch Auditions

This (relatively) new writing class is happening for the third time ever, and it needs you!
Advanced Sketch is a class for experienced writers that includes working with actors from the beginning of the writing process. A small group of writers (approximately eight) work in collaboration with their cast to create scenes that are unique to that ensemble. What’s different this time is the writers are also the performers.

Joe Janes will lead the next round of Advanced Sketch, open to graduates of the Training Center Comedy Writing Program (through Level 6.)

Called "Having All The Fun," Joe will guide writers through a process of creating a show and then the thrill of performing their own material. In this class, students learn how to best write for themselves and their ensemble. They will also learn when to focus on being a writer and when to focus on being a performer.

There is an audition on Saturday, December 5th from 10am-1pm. Qualified students who sign up to audition need to bring hardcopies of a 3-5 page sketch writing sample and an actor/improv resume to the Training Center. Headshot preferred but not required. The show will be presented in the second half of Term 2, 2010. Stop by the Training Center office or call us at 312-664-3959 to set up an audition appointment.

Joe Janes has over twenty years experience as a writer-performer, from being a stand-up comedian, being a founding member of the WNEP Theater Foundation, generating material for Second City's TourCo, writing and recording material for Jellyvision's "You Don't Know Jack", writing and performing corporate videos and shows for Fig Media and from being the artistic director of Robot vs Dinosaur, formerly known as Teatro Bastardo.

The Second City meets the Pope!

Well, almost. One of the advantageous of cruising as part of a Second City cast aboard Norwegian Cruise Line is the opportunity to visit some great spots all over the world. Today, one of our casts finds themselves in Rome. This photo is of cast member Tim Paul way too close to the pontiff.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Second City Hosts Annual 24-Hour Improv Benefit To Wrap Up Anniversary Weekend

The Second City is proud to announce the 8th annual event: "The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa" - 24 consecutive hours of improvisation by Second City performers and alumni featuring a variety of special guest artists - a tradition that provides presents for needy children during the holiday season and this year wraps up a weekend of events around The Second City 's 50th Anniversary.

Doors will open at 5:45pm. The show will begin on Tuesday, December 15th in The Second City e.t.c. (1608 N. Wells St, 2nd Floor of Piper's Alley) at 6:00pm and will conclude on Wednesday, December 16th at 6:00pm.

An ensemble of Chicago's best known improvisers (along with alumni of The Second City) will take the stage for an entire 24-hour period. Improvisational games, scenes, songs, monologues and random acts of weirdness inspired by sleep deprivation will accompany performances by such artists as Robbie Fulks, Jeff Tweedy, UCB's ASSSCAT, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Mountain Goats and The Blisters.

Listed below is the current performance schedule. For schedule updates, visit

Performance Schedule:

12/15/09 - 7:00pmJeff Tweedy
12/15/09 - 10:00pmRobbie Fulks
12/16/09 - 12:00amUCB's Asssscat with Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz and Chicago friends
12/16/09 - 3:00amFlash-mob Marching Band
12/16/09 - 6:00amBonnie Prince Billy
12/16/09 - 7:30amBabyCo
12/16/09 - 12:00pNina Nastasia
12/16/09 - 2:00pmThe Mountain Goats
12/16/09 - 4:30pmThe Blisters

Tickets for "The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa" are $15.00 for the 24 hour period and can be purchased at the door. The event is open to all ages. Alcohol will be available to those 21 years and older from 6:00p-2:00a and from noon-6:00pm.

In addition to raffle prizes offered during the event, there will also be an auction to win a private performance with Jeff Tweedy.

Check Out Second City Alum Michael McCarthy’s Hilarious New Video

Second City Alum Michael McCarthy presents us with this hilarious new video treat that gives an insider’s glimpse into life working your way through The Second City. From aspiring TourCo member all the way through to illustrious alum, Michael’s video captures life at The Second City perfectly in this classic video short.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Second City Training Center Names New Artistic Director

The Second City Training Center, the training division of the world renowned improvisational theatre company, The Second City, has named award-winning director, Matt Hovde, to the position of Artistic Director. Hovde's appointment comes in a year of explosive growth for the Training Center, which now numbers more than 3000 students studying improvisation methods, acting, and writing in classes taught by working professionals in the field. The Training Center, with classroom facilities in Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles, is the world's largest improv-based school and is now considered Chicago's largest independent theater program.

"Matt Hovde is The Second City at its best — an award-winning director to further shape our training programs with practical experience from professional stages — the very combination that students flock to The Second City for," according to Andrew Alexander, Co-Chairman and CEO of The Second City. Hovde won a prestigious Jeff Award as director of The Second City's current hit show, Studs Terkel's Not Working. He has also directed several other productions, including America: All Better!; Campaign Supernova; Between Barack and a Hard Place; Rod Blagojevich Superstar!; How I Lost My Denverginity; In iPod We Trust; The Second City National Touring Company. Hovde did advanced training at The Second City and he is a 1998 graduate of the company's Conservatory Program. Additionally, he is a founding member of the Galileo Players, a sketch troupe inspired by science.

The Second City celebrates its 50th year in December 2009 and the Training Center facilities at the company's Chicago headquarters have undergone a massive expansion to meet a burgeoning demand for its innovative improv-based programs. The company just completed construction on a new facility featuring a suite of new classrooms, performance spaces, offices, and the new de Maat Studio Theater. The popularity of Training Center classes is best measured in the dramatic increase in students over last year. Each of the 8-week class terms for 2009 have seen an enrollment increase of 20% over 2008 levels.

The New York Times reviews The Second City Unscripted

Check out this great New York Times review of the new Mike Thomas book "The Second City Unscripted." The book, containing interviews with many Second City alums, is an oral history of The Second City from 1959 to present day.

You can purchase the book on our website.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Second City e.t.c. cast to be celebrity employees today at the new PUMA store

The e.t.c cast will be celebrity employees today at the new PUMA store, located at the corner of North State and Randolph Streets. PUMA has plans for an opening event on Tuesday, December 1 from 4 pm to 8 pm, enlisting local celebrities, athletes, and other public figures to work the floor with our retail team. Their "wages" will be donated to the Chicago Red Stars Charitable Foundation. The evening's "employees" are set to include members of the Chicago Red Stars and current Second City performers. The usual celebratory fixings will also be on-hand, including sweets, prizes, and other goodies. The night concludes with Chicago favorites the Jump Smokers performing live from 7 pm to 8 pm. Come join us and help celebrate the opening of our 50th Anniversary partner, PUMA.

Global sport lifestyle brand PUMA® will debut a unique new retail concept with the opening of their second Chicago store, located in the highly-anticipated Chicago State Street development. The PUMA Store State Street stocks everything from soccer cleats and performance running sneakers, to high-fashion collaboration projects with Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro. This store will also house essential PUMA collections such as PUMA Archive and PUMA Denim.

Exclusive Interview with Andrew Alexander @ TimeOut Chicago

CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander sat down with TimeOut Chicago Editor-in-Chief Frank Sennett for a very candid and extensive discussion about the ups and downs of life at The Second City. Check out the complete interview at