No trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to The Second City
, our world-famous comedy club and full-time training ground for Saturday Night Live
and just about every show on TV that makes you laugh.
HISTORY & FAMOUS ALUMNI
The Second City came out of the Compass Players (Mike Nichols and Elaine May) back in the 1950s. Alan Arkin and Ed Asner were good friends, too. During the 1970s, John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner were performing skits on Wells Street. Then came John Candy, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy with perhaps the funniest comedy series ever, SCTV.
From a fledgling company grew a reputation for developing the finest comedic voices of each and every generation. The Second City churned out even more famous comedians throughout its legendary history, and this tradition continues to this day. Some modern day alums include big name entertainers from Mike Myers to Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert to Tina Fey.
THE SECOND CITY EXPERIENCE
What's it like to see a show at The Second City? Founder Bernie Sahlins once described the place as "a theatre producing short comic scenes about contemporary events and ways of life." As you sit huddled around a cocktail table filled with drinks, you'll laugh your heart out at jabs made at today's infamous politicians and social issues. Plus, there's a good chance you will see parts of a new show being worked on while you're watching some of the nation's big comic stars of tomorrow.
The Second City has three different stages: there's the Mainstage and e.t.c. Stage putting up sidesplitting sketch theater and improv revues, plus a new space UP Comedy Club, which features headlining stand-up acts every weekend and signature shows for weeknights and weekend matinees. If one's sold out, then check the show calendar and make plans to attend another – you can't go wrong with this roster of talent.
Be aware that it's generally first come, first served for seating. However, you're never too far from the stage, and many scenes often have cast members in different parts of the room. But the earlier you get into line, the more time you'll have to look at all the photos of previous cast members and recount all the laughs these amazingly talented people have brought into your life.
That's worth the price of admission any day.
2014 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
- The Second City's 102nd Revue "Depraved New World" takes you on a wild ride to see what's happening behind the eyes of the beholder — musical orgies, blind dates and the innocent beginning of an international email scam. If you've ever wondered what people are really thinking, this show covers the gamut, from positive and sweet to weird and dirty.
- The Second City e.t.c. presents "Apes of Wrath" embraces the dark and light sides of our human devolution. This is your ticket to unitard sporting performance artists, an intimate encounter with robot culture and hilarious insight into the primal effects of downsizing.
- The Second City's Neighborhood Tour is your chance to get 90 minutes of comedy, a dose of history, and some glorious Chicago breezes. Taking the fun outside of the theater setting, this guided walking tour both entertains and informs while highlighting the architecture and development of the surrounding Old Town neighborhood. Stop by various Second City alumni haunts and hear the legendary stories that go with them.
Get the full schedule of performances and tickets online at secondcity.com or call the box office directly at (312) 337-3992.