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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]