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Posts tagged as improv

The 17th Annual Del Close Marathon's Schedule Is Out

The Del Close Marathon is the annual weekend of improv comedy, beer, and sweatiness that the UCB Theatre throws every year. This year marks the 17th iteration, and it looks like it'll be the biggest one yet, with three straight days of non-stop performances spread out across eight different NYC venues. You'll be able to buy an all-you-can-eat wristband for $35 at any of the venues, but there are also a slew of "premium" shows that are now on sale as well, including improv by folks from Broad City, Silicon Valley, Kroll Show, Key and Peele, and tons more. The schedule is completely overwhelming, but you can head over to [...]

Watch Tina Fey, Scott Adsit, Rachel Dratch, and More Prove How Everything Is Connected

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.

Netflix is known for being very secretive about viewer ratings, but yesterday they revealed that some of their new series, including Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, brought in even more viewers than Netflix mainstay hit House of Cards, which premiered to 6.5% of [...]

Watch David Steinberg, Fred Willard, and Robert Klein Create a Second City Late Night Show in the '60s

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 is a vintage look at '60s Second City Chicago featuring Alex Canaan, Robert Klein, David Steinberg, and Fred Willard as host and guests on a late night talk show. After the Library of Congress enacts a bizarre new rule that [...]

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 [...]

Watch Steve Carell as a Rhyming Lumberjack at His Second City Graduation Show

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.

With the Oscars set to air this Sunday, this week's clip is a special tribute to one of this year's dramatic Best Actor nominees who got his start on the Second City stage: Steve Carell. While it's only about two minutes long, this clip [...]

Watch Kay Cannon and Jason Sudeikis Turn into Mathematical Superheroes in 2003

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.

Ahead of Pitch Perfect 2's premiere this Friday, here's a clip from writer Kay Cannon's 2003 revue The Not Ready for $3.99 Prime Rib Players featuring ensemble players Joe Kelly, Seamus McCarthy, Jason Sudeikis, and current Nightly Show writer Holly Walker. In the [...]

Zach Woods, Andy Richter, and Conan O'Brien Play "Give Me Back My Son"

During his visit to last night's Conan, Zach Woods taught O'Brien and Andy Richter about a great improv game he's played to warm up before shows called "Give Me Back My Son" based off Mel Gibson's amazing rage scene in Ransom. It's hard to say who won here, but all three men do a valiant job desperately screaming at each other. Watch some more clips from Woods's interview below:

Watch Jane Lynch Join the Army at Second City 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 Steve Sheridan's final night at Second City Chicago in January 1989. In this scene, Sheridan plays a drill sergeant getting to know a set of Army newbies played by Joel Murray, Joe Liss, Aaron Freeman, Holly Wortell, and [...]

Watch Brian Stack and Miriam Tolan Try Some Role Play at Second City

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 clip comes from the 1995 Second City ETC revue Baby Richard Got Back or It's Not Easy Being Bob Greene featuring ensemble performers John Hildreth, Aaron Rhodes, Dee Ryan, Brian Stack, Miriam Tolan, and Jim Zulevic and 30 Rock/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Jeff [...]

Read a New Oral History of the Upright Citizens Brigade

Uproxx has a brand new oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade out today, and it's a fantastic in-depth look at the theatre founded by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts that's grown into the ultimate comedy institution and home of countless successful film and television writers and performers. The piece features quotes from the UCB Four as well as alums and current performers and is well worth the read for anyone interested in the UCB's roots and lasting influence. Here's a fun excerpt from Horatio Sanz talking about UCB's future:

I'm kind of waiting for someone to go crazy. I don't know if its [...]

Watch Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Paul Dinello as the Tumbleweeds in 1992

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 Amy Sedaris's final show at Second City Northwest in 1992 called Destiny, and How to Avoid It featuring her fellow Second City collaborators and soon-to-be Exit 57 and Strangers with Candy costars Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello. In [...]

How Improv Helps Television's Best Comedy Writers

The best comedy lives in the moment, and improvisation is as in-the-moment as it gets. Improv proves you can create great comedy on the spot by listening, taking big chances, and working alongside a team, which is probably why the writing staffs of most television comedies today count at least a few experienced improvisers among their ranks. Similar to standups, writers of scripted comedy are tasked with conceiving, writing, reworking, and redrafting funny moments that, when at their most successful, land so naturally that an audience can't help but wonder: "Was this scripted or improvised?"

But true improvisation, Whose Line aside, rarely exists on television. Most of today's shows — [...]

Zach Woods Has a Lot of Beefs (Not Really)

Season 2 of the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated HBO series Silicon Valley premieres this Sunday night. As a primer, I talked to actor and improviser Zach Woods, who plays Donald “Jared” Dunn on the series. Woods, who started improv at UCB at the age of 16, has had standout roles as Gabe Lewis on The Office and more recently, as Zach Harper on the USA series Playing House. We talked about the dynamic of the Silicon Valley cast both on and off the set, the expert craftsmanship of Mike Judge and the intricacies of playing awkward characters.

Second City's Finest: 31 Clips of Young Comedy Legends Before They Were Famous

Last year, we teamed up with Second City for a new column called "The Second City Archives," in which we debut a new and never-before-seen clip from the improv theatre's extensive archives each week featuring legendary performers of the past and present, from old-school throwbacks like John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Alan Arkin to today's comedy superstars like Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Bob Odenkirk, and tons more. Together with Second City, we've unearthed over thirty classic clips so far, so this week we're taking a look back all of them: