Watch Robin Williams Improvise at Second City Santa Monica in 1989

Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy’s biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.

This week’s unearthed clip comes from Second City’s short-lived Santa Monica location back in 1989, in which Chris Barnes takes a suggestion for a phrase from the audience — “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” — and transforms it into nearly ten minutes of electric improvised goodness, with the weight on Robin Williams (with some help from the audience) to guess the phrase by the end of the scene. Williams and Barnes are periodically joined by supporting players Richard Kind and Mike Hagerty, who make brief appearances to guide Williams to the right answer. Check out another performance from the same group (alongside Robin Duke, Ryan Stiles, and Andrea Martin) here.

From Our Partners