Thursday, October 31, 2013

NBC Picks Up Comedy Series from SC Alum Tina Fey

SC Alum Tina Fey and 30 Rock co-executive producer Robert Carlock will be back on NBC next fall with a new New York-based single-camera series starring another familiar NBC face, The Office alumna Ellie Kemper. The network has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to the untitled project, written by Fey and Carlock. It will center on a woman (Kemper) who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York City. Universal TV and Fey’s studio-based Little Stranger are producing, with Fey, Carlock and 3 Arts’ David Miner executive producing. Read the full story.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bob Derkach Heads up New Horizon Message Initiative

Bob Derkach, musical director alum of Toronto Mainstage with a DVDROM currently on-board the Phoenix Lander in the northern plains of planet Mars, has been appointed to the advisory board of the New Horizons Message Initiative. The aim is to send a global message into interstellar space via the New Horizons spacecraft which will rendezvous with Pluto and its moons in 2015.  Bob invites all Second Citizens to help in this mission by signing a petition to NASA to green-light this amazing project. Please check out the website and sign the petition.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SC Alum Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood Take Comedy On Tour

Fresh off a new season of everyone's favourite TV improv show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Colin Mochrie (a Second City Mainstage alumn) and Brad Sherwood are touring the world with their completely made-up comedy!

Catch their show in Toronto on Wednesday, October 30 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Learn more about the evening here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Second City Student, Michael Bloomquist, Has Pilot Named Finalist For Hollywood Screenplay Contest

Conservatory Graduate and current Skybox Performer, Michael Bloomquist, created a pilot entitled "The Perfect Cover" that has been named a finalist for the Hollywood Screenplay Contest, one of the world's most visible and recognized screenplay competitions, regarded among the leading international awards honoring excellence in screenwriting. It has also been named a quarter-finalist for the Final Draft Big Break screenwriting contest, which represents the top 12% of 6,669 entries. For my category I'm placed in the top 10% so far. Decisions on semi-finalists and finalists are coming the next few weeks.

"The Perfect Cover" is a half-hour mockumentary sitcom about four KGB agents living in Mankato, MN during the Cold War, in 1982. As part of their cover they run a bed and breakfast called The Perfect Cover. It's told completely through hidden cameras set up by the KGB. Interviews are conducted with the characters in present day.

About Michael:
After attending film schools in North Carolina and California, Michael decided to focus on comedy and moved to Chicago to do improv. Improv wasn't his only passion, however. Michael has been writing consistently; putting up sketch shows, writing for live late night talk shows, and writing spec scripts and pilots for TV. Last year, he took a well reviewed two-man sketch show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest open access arts festival in the world.

For more info or to register for classes, call 312.664.3959 or visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicago Live! With Rick Kogan and The Second City - 11.14.13

Rick Kogan is taking Chicago Live! – and the top stories and faces of the Chicago Tribune – back to the south suburbs. Meet Rick on Thursday November 14th at 7:00pm and enjoy a special evening of interviews, musical performances and comedy featuring The Second City.

To purchase tickets, visit the Governors State University box office.

Special Guests Include:

  • Music by The Otis Clay Revue
  • Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey, returning WGN Radio favorites of the "Kathy & Judy" show
  • Glassblower Charles Lotton and more.

Chicago Live! is taped for broadcast on WGN Radio.

SC's Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton Speak at Chicago Ideas Week

Meet Your Favorite Celebrities
And Learn Something New with FREE and Discounted Tickets to Chicago Ideas Week!

Are you a fan of Iron Chef? Want an autographed book from your favorite author? Curious as to what a Sex and the City actress has to do with preserving our planet?

Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) is thrilled to invite you to its seven-day innovation festival where The Second City’s very own CEO Tom Yorton and Executive Vice President Kelly Leonard will be taking the stage at Work: The Remix Master Class. As part of The Second City community, you can snag one of 75 free tickets to the Oct. 16 event by using the promo code CIW2CITY13! Just visit, select your event and type it in.

CIW runs Oct. 14 – 20, and the below are just some of the other speakers and select promo codes for you to take advantage of starting next week.

  • Kristin Davis – Hear Charlotte from Sex and the City share how she’s helping save wildlife, and how you can help at Environment: Conserve and Protect. Save 25% Code: CIW13ENVM 
  • Gary Sinise – You may know this award-winning actor and veterans’ advocate as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump, but listen as he reveals how traditional jobs are changing forever at Work: Fueling Performance. Save 25% Code: CIW1325WORK
  • Elizabeth Smart – This kidnapping victim survived her nine-month ordeal and is using it to help others. Hear more at Instigators: The Good Fight. Save 25% Code: CIW13INSTG
  • Dan Savage ­­– This renowned author found a unique way to make the world a better place. Find out how and join him at Instigators: The Good Fight. Save 25% Code: CIW13INSTG
  • David Gregory – The host of NBC’s Meet the Press has interviewed countless presidents and political movers and shakers. Get his take the status of our country during Politics: State of our Union.
  • Mike Posner – Hear this singer, songwriter and producer share how artists keep their fan base in an evolving music industry at Music: Evolution of the Artist.
  • Marc Geiger – Love Lollapalooza? Meet the guy who started it and heads WME’s music department, which represents everyone from Lady Gaga to Nine Inch Nails, at Music: Evolution of the Artist.
  • Rex Walheim – Hear what it’s like to be in space from an astronaut who has done it all at Next: Tomorrow, Today.
  • Brad Keywell – Be the first to know about the future of business and why entrepreneurship is so freaking exciting from CIW’s founder and the co-founder of Groupon and Lightbank at Entrepreneurship: How I Did It.
  • Terry McMillan – She wrote Waiting to Exhale and left a legacy in the process. Hear what inspired her at Storytellers: The Written Word. Save 25% Code: CIW13STRY
Check out a full list of our events at – we can’t wait to Think Out Loud with you starting Oct. 14!

CANDYBOX CRUNCH: The Improv Elimination tournament is back!

Starting Friday Oct 18th and running every Friday until the winning team is crowned, the John Candy Box will be hosting it’s very own improv battle.

Teams of two, three and four improvisers will be given 20 minutes to wow the audience. Team will include folks ranging from experienced Second City alumni, faculty and students to those who are newcomers to our community. Each show will consist of three teams duking it out head to head in the spirit of friendly competition. Each audience member will be given one ballot and can vote for who they believe is the most deserving to win the night and move on to the next round.

There is a minimum $250 cash prize for the tournament champions. Come on out, vote and get involved in what is sure to be an exciting competition.

Follow all the updates on Facebook !

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Second City Student and On-Air Personality, Brian Elles, Flies With Chicago Air and Water Show Pilot

With support from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with the City of Chicago Mayor's Office, Brian Elles, the Host and Producer of Chi-Town Podcast, was asked to partake in media days for the Chicago Air & Water Show.

The media day resulted in an in air demo flight for himself as well as Chi-Town Podcast Videographer, Steve Bartles. The short video segment of the podcast highlights key Chicago landmarks such as the Willis (Sears) Tower, Navy Pier and Solider Field as well as advanced aerial maneuvers and stunts.

About Brian:
A graduate of The Second City’s Improv for Actors Program, Brian Elles continues to create new content with fresh perspectives. Previously working for network television and radio outlets, Brian combines his past media experiences with his entrepreneurial attitude to deliver a new video-podcast called Chi-Town Podcast. With direct support and access from the City of Chicago Mayor's Office as well as Comedy Central Networks, Brian continues to create unique content with a fresh perspective.

Images and previous videos can be accessed on his YouTube channel

For more info or to register for classes, call 312.664.3959 or visit

The Second City's Improv for Actors Program

SC Toronto Alums Clean Up At Canadian Comedy Awards

Congratulations to a slew of Second City Toronto alums who all walked away winners from last night's Canadian Comedy Awards including: Colin Mochrie, Jim Annan, Naomi Snieckus, Stacey McGunnigle, Jason DeRosse, Jan Caruana, Robin Duke and the folks from "Space Janitors" (Best Web Series), "A Little Bit Zombie" (Best Screenplay) and "Mantown" (Best Improv Troupe).

We couldn't be more proud!

Friday, October 4, 2013

4th Annual Open House celebration on Saturday, October 19

Join us on Saturday, October 19th for our ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE from 1pm-5pm.

There'll be face painting, candy, popcorn, a photobooth, and of course the opportunity to participate in all sorts of awesome workshops and see shows in The John Candy Box Theatre for FREE!


This is an awesome chance for you to try out that class you've wondered about for so long and bring friends and family who might be interested in seeing what happens at The Second City Training Centre!

Spaces in the workshops are limited, so it's first come first served! Hint: *show up early

(45 minutes each)

1pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up

2pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up
All ages Drop In
Musical Improv Drop In

3pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up

4pm – Adult Improv
Stand UpM


3pm- The Second City's Education Company Show: Zombie Bootcamp #NightoftheLearningDead

4pm- Musical Conservatory Show Starring Conservatory 4 and 5!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

John Mulaney's New Series Stars SC Alum Martin Short

FOX has picked up Saturday Night Live alum, John Mulaney's, multi-camera project for at least six episodes. SC Alum, Martin Short, is slated to star alongside John Mulaney. Read on for more details about "Mulaney."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bernie's Memorial: Celebrated by Hundreds

A big thank you to the hundreds of those who came out to celebrate Bernie Sahlins last night. Chris Jones from the Chicago Tribune wrote up a lovely recap of last night's activities. We were also very fortunate to have such friends and alums join us as Colin Mochrie, Bill Murray, John Mahoney, Geoffrey Palmer, Joan Allen, William Petersen, Amy Morton and many more.

Thank you to all. It was a night to be remembered.