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Posts tagged as improv

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:

Watch Michael Keaton Improvise with Dave Thomas and Catherine O'Hara in 1988

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.

Between his Oscar nomination for Birdman and interest in a possible Beetlejuice sequel, Michael Keaton is certainly off to a busy 2015. This week's Second City clip comes from the Toronto theatre's 15th anniversary show in 1988 — the same year Beetlejuice was [...]

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.

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 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]