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Posts tagged as Second City

Watch Bob Odenkirk and David Pasquesi Face off in a Heated Political Debate 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.

With Election Day right around the corner and Bob Odenkirk now on a nationwide book tour, there's no better time to unearth this clip from Second City's 1990 revue Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only or Censorama featuring ensemble performers Chris Farley, Tim [...]

Watch Keegan-Michael Key and Nyima Funk in a 2002 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 2002 E.T.C. revue Curious George Goes to War, which featured ensemble performers Samantha Albert, Jean Villepique, Andy Cobb, Nyima Funk, Peter Grosz, and Keegan-Michael Key. In the above sketch, Key and Funk play two very different Chicago [...]

Chicago Comedy and Theater Great Sheldon Patinkin Dies at 79

The Chicago theater and comedy community lost a big name yesterday with the news that Sheldon Patinkin, who mentored countless performers and directors and was an icon of the Second City community, died at age 79. Patinkin worked as the chair of Columbia College Chicago's theater department and as an artistic consultant at both Second City and Steppenwolf Theatre. He is regarded as a beloved mentor, teacher, and pioneer of the city's improvisational community for over 50 years and also chronicled the history of Second City in the 2000 book Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater. Here's an official statement from Second City [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Bill Oakley Breaks Down 'SCTV's "Dr. Tongue's Evil House of Pancakes"

Welcome to our new column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For our very first installment of Sketch Anatomy we reached out to Bill Oakley, whose television work extends from TripTank to Portlandia back to serving as writer and showrunner for classic '90s Simpsons episodes like "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" and "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy." Oakley chose an old sketch from SCTV starring Joe Flaherty, John Candy, [...]

Let's Talk About SNL's Diversity Problem

Kenan Thompson has been taking a lot of heat this week for a comment he made in a TV Guide interview about SNL's lack of a black female cast member, despite the recent hiring of six white performers. Following Jay Pharoah's rather blunt remark to theGrio that "They need to pay attention" and cast a black woman like Darmirra Brunson, Thompson had a more ambiguous response:

Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels or the series, which currently only employs three actors of color out of 16 cast members (Thompson, Pharaoh and the Iranian Nasim Pedrad), Thompson blames the lack of quality black female comedians. "It's just a tough part of [...]

Watch Mel Gibson Give Birth to a Wood Nymph at Second City 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.

This week we're taking a break from highlighting comedic legends to unearth an old Second City clip you never knew you wanted — a 41-year-old Mel Gibson giving live improv a shot back in 1997. According to Second City, this performance took place during [...]

Watch Mike Myers Speak French with a Scottish Accent in 1986

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 Toronto's 1986 revue Not Based on Anything by Stephen King, which included ensemble performers Dana Andersen, Bob Bainborough, Linda Kash, Bruce Pirrie, Deborah Theaker, Mark Wilson, and a young Mike Myers. In the clip, Myers takes [...]

Watch Robin Williams in Three 'SCTV' Sketches from 1982

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.

To pay tribute to the passing of comedy legend Robin Williams, this week Second City has released three exclusive sketches from his appearance on SCTV in 1982. First up is the above sketch "Movie of the Week: The Bowery Boys in the Band" costarring [...]

Watch Tina Fey Tell an Awful McDonald's Commercial Audition Story

Here's Tina Fey talking about a bad experience auditioning for a McDonald's commercial in Chicago in the '90s for an episode of The Tonight Show's web series My Worst Audition. It didn't work out, but at least Tina Fey didn't get really into being a commercial spokesperson instead of becoming a great comedy writer/performer.

Second City Co-Founder Bernie Sahlins Dies at 90

Comedy pioneer Bernie Sahlins passed away Sunday in his Chicago home at the age of 90. Sahlins, who co-founded Chicago's Second City theater in 1959, had a vast influence on the careers of the dozens and dozens of brilliant comedic minds that passed through the theater's doors during his tenure there and upon the American comedy landscape as a whole. Sahlins spent three decades at Second City before selling the theater to Andrew Alexander in 1984 and stepping down as artistic director in 1988. During his time at Second City, Sahlins hired a long list of iconic performers that includes Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, John Belushi, Dan [...]

Watch Bill Murray's Very First Performance as Nick the Lounge Singer

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 news that Bill Murray plans to sing us Christmas carols in a Sofia Coppola-directed TV special this year, what better time to celebrate Murray's most memorable singing character ever, Nick the Lounge Singer? In this week's unearthed Second City clip, Murray [...]

Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris Talk Insomnia in a Second City Sketch from 1993

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.

Following up last month's video from Second City's 1993 revue Take Me Out to the Balkans starring Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, and David Razowsky, here's another sketch from the same show starring ensemble performers Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris as a [...]

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch's Old Second City Show 'Dratch & Fey' Is Now Online

Before they broke into SNL stardom, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch starred in a two-woman show together called Dratch & Fey that ran at Second City and New York's UCB from 1999-2000, and a couple days ago an old VHS copy of the entire show showed up on YouTube. The quality isn't the best, but considering it's nearly an hour of vintage Dratch and Fey in their element, a few VHS bugs shouldn't hold you back. (via)

Harold Ramis's 'SCTV' Legacy

In his obituary, published yesterday by his hometown paper The Chicago Tribune, Harold Ramis was described as leaving behind "a reputation as a mensch and all-around good guy." There's really not much more one could ask for when your life is being summed up. But as it turns out, Ramis was a lot more than that. He was a comedy pioneer, a trailblazer, and a visionary. Without Ramis, Ghostbusters would have been about "ghost smashers" that travel through time with magic wands. Without Ramis, we might not have the "serious" phase of Bill Murray's career that we're all enjoying now. The man co-wrote Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, and [...]