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Posts tagged as improv

Watch Jason Sudeikis Play an Apologetic Senator at Second City 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.

This week's clip comes from the 2003 revue The Not Ready for $3.99 Prime Rib Players, which took place at Second City's short-lived stage at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. In the above sketch "Senator," Jason Sudeikis plays a United States senator who gets [...]

Watch Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, and More Improvise an NPR Show in 1997

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.

For our final Second City Archives post of 2014, we're going out with a bang: a full 15 minutes of expert improvised goodness from 1997's revue Paradigm Lost featuring Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Kevin Dorff, Jenna Jolovitz, and Jim Zulevic staging a [...]

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 [...]

Watch a Newly Unearthed Clip from Bill Murray's 1980 Show 'Bill Murray Live from the Second City'

We're excited to announce the start of a new recurring feature called 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.

Our first gem from the archives is this clip from Bill Murray's Second City Chicago show Bill Murray Live from the Second City from 1980 — the same year Caddyshack was released in theaters [...]

Let Thomas Middleditch Walk You Through His Del Close Marathon

Vulture had improviser and Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch keep a journal of his comings and goings during the UCB Theatre NYC's 72-hour improv festival, The Del Close Marathon, last weekend, and it's definitely worth the read if you want to hear about and Improvised Shakespeare, weird cab drivers, and a rude Korean barbecue restaurant.

Second City's Improv Book 'Yes, And' Is Now Available for Pre-Order

Good news for improv fans: The Second City has a new book due out February 3rd, and it's now available for pre-order. Written by Second City executive vice president Kelly Leonard and Second City Works CEO Tom Yorton, Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City will offer a comprehensive breakdown of the Second City improv approach:

The rules of improvisation may sound a little like a recipe for disaster (“dare to offend” “fail in public,” “relinquish power”); in fact, the basic tenets of improv are also those that help groups like nonprofits, schools, apartment coops, and political [...]

How the New Movement Built a Comedy Scene from Scratch in New Orleans

The MC yells, “Please, sound like a million people for…!” and sweeps his arm as he announces the name of the improv group taking over the stage. This exhortation a familiar one to regular visitors to The New Movement Theater, a major player in the ongoing development of New Orleans’ comedy scene. Just that little tweak from the traditional  “Give it up for…” or “Please welcome…” affects audiences’ expectations, whether there are ten people seated or a full house. People respond to it and cheer like a multitude.

Tami Nelson and Chris Trew, the founders of The New Movement (TNM), have shaped their brand by challenging the expectations of what [...]

Finding Business Lessons in the World of Improv

In his book Funny Business, Bill Connolly explores the connection between business and comedy. With interviews from Boston’s powerhouse standup Gary Gulman to the owners of Boston’s Improv Asylum, Connolly explores how his ten comedic principles, if applied, can better any boardroom or office.

For several years Connolly performed at the Improv Asylum in Boston and worked as a marketing analyst. He couldn’t deny the benefit his professional life received from his comedic one, and it inspired him to research the correlation.The result? His book and a new career.

Connolly currently travels for the ad agency iCrossing teaching improv to all its US employees. I caught up with him while [...]

Paul Scheer Is Hosting an Interactive Improv Sketch Show for CC:Studios

Comedy Central's digital wing CC:Studios has greenlit a new improv sketch show that will take audience suggestions via Twitter. Titled CC: Social Scene, the six-episode series is hosted by Paul Scheer and features improv performers from both The Groundlings (Lee Newton, H. Michael Croner) and UCB (Lilan Bowden, Jacob Womack, Jeff Sloniker, Barak Hardley), who improvise scenes based on Twitter suggestions using the hashtag #CCSocialScene. CC: Social Scene will debut a new episode each week, and you can catch the first installment "Worst Breakup Lines" below:

Adam McKay on What He Learned from Working with Improv Guru Del Close

Will Ferrell doesn’t mince words when describing Adam McKay, his longtime friend and comedy collaborator. “He’s kind of a dangerous individual,” Ferrell says. “He’s extremely funny; there’s no doubt about it. But he’s dangerous. I wouldn’t stay in a room with him, one on one, for any longer than I had to. There’s a criminal tendency there. We have a great working relationship because I don’t ask him much about his past. He just frightens me.” Ferrell is joking, obviously. But there was a time, years before McKay found Hollywood success directing and co-writing films such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and The Other Guys (2010), [...]

Opening Remarks at the 3rd Annual Tremendousfest Improv Festival, by Lauren Church

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 3rd Annual Tremendousfest Improv Festival! I am, of course, Randall Howard, Head of the Tremendousfest Committee, and I want to start by thanking everyone here today to help us kick off Billings’ paramount improv experience of the year! There will be plenty of classes and shows and special guests this year so we’re preeeetty pleased with ourselves, ­and we’re sure you will be too!

Now! We’ve really grown a lot since last year’s fest, so let me start by explaining to everyone where this year’s three performances spaces are.

Stage One will be at Tremendousfest Headquarters at the Impact Theatre. This will not only be where [...]

Watch John Belushi, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, and More in a 1972 Second City Sketch

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 Second City's 1972 revue 43rd Parallel or McCabre & Ms. Miller directed by the theater's legendary improv guru Del Close. In the above sketch "Funeral," John Belushi plays the humiliated son of a father who died a less-than-respectable death [...]

Talking About the End of Chicago's Upstairs Gallery

The Upstairs Gallery started in September of 2010 as a small performance space in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. It is now one of the city’s best known comedy theaters. After four years of putting up some of the most exciting and experimental theater in Chicago, it is closing at the end of this month. The Gallery is operated by Alex Honnet, Caitlin Stephan and Walt Delaney. I spoke with Alex and Caitlin about the Gallery’s shift from “performance space” to “comedy theater”, as well as the upcoming second installment of their independent comedy festival, A Jangleheart Circus.

CW Renews 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' for Third Season

The revived Whose Line Is It Anyway? is getting another season on CW. According to THR, the network recently announced that they've renewed the improv game series — with original performers Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles and host Aisha Tyler — for another 24-episode season to premiere sometime in summer 2015. This makes the third season of the revamped Whose Line and the eleventh season overall, counting its runs on ABC and ABC Family from 1998-2007.