“Dying is easy,” Groucho Marx once said. “Comedy is hard.” For more than 40 years The Second City comedy club has made cutting-edge satire and seat-of-the-pants improv look easy. The club is a boot camp, backbone and template for American comedy.
It launched the careers of dozens of top-shelf comedians – from John Belushi to Mike Myers – and continues to spawn endless comic scripts for stage and screen. Second City started as a refuge from the safe and stale humor of TV variety shows, where “mother-in-law” jokes or poking fun at Eisenhower’s golf game were the norm.
Taking cues from the headlines and the audience, nothing was off limits for a Second City skit: sex, politics, drugs, the highbrow, the lowbrow and everything in between. It was interactive improv as the essential comic lubricant that gave Second City a cultural currency and staying power in American entertainment.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Sheldon Patinkin, Artistic Consultant for Second City
Tami Sagher, current Second City member
Richard Kind, actor/comedian and former Second City member
and Shelly Long, actress and former Second City member.