John Candy Pays Tribute to Bad Improv for Second City Chicago’s 25th Anniversary

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 Chicago’s 25th anniversary special from 1985. While he couldn’t make it to Chicago for the taping, John Candy sent in the above video from Toronto featuring Joe Flaherty, Don Lake, Deb McGrath, and Kathy Laskey. Instead of celebrating Second City’s talent and legacy, Candy decides to honor one of the things improvisers dread the most — a scene that just doesn’t work: “There are those rare nights on stage, and I mean they’re rare, that the magic just isn’t there. It never really happened to me — I think the magic was always there when I was on stage. At least that’s what my family keeps telling me. With that in mind, we’d like to pay tribute to those nights where it just didn’t have it.”

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