UP Comedy Club

An improv performance at The Second City is a must-see for every visitor to our fair town. That said, it's sometimes deliciously raunchy shows and late night show times make it a no-go for families with kids under 18-years-old. But the new Improv Extravaganza Explosion--which hits the UP Comedy Club--opens up the world of improv to families with kids of all ages by offering outrageously silly (but squeaky-clean) improv every Saturday at noon.

My son, age 11, has been studying improv in school. Thanks to my son's school, for adding this precious art! He was thrilled when I announced that we were going to catch a show at the Second City this past Saturday.

The UP Comedy Club, located on the 3rd floor of the Second City complex, welcomed us with high-energy pop music and a typically darkened comedy club atmosphere--minus the usual crowd. Families with kids ranging in ages 4 - 15 filled up the seats, everyone stirring their kiddie cocktails and munching on snacks (nachos, hummus, chicken fingers) or lunch (in fact this is the perfect place to kill two Chicago birds with one stone: you can both grab a burger and check out some of comedy's rising stars).

The performers worked with the audience to come up with some of the themes, encouraging the crowd to shout out their favorite songs, sounds, household chores, video games and marine animals. I know that my son was amazed at how the actors were able to dream up hilarious skits in an instant. Many kids were called up onstage to join the improv game, and perhaps the most laughs were earned by the lone Dad called up onstage, who was asked to don a wig and hone his Sleeping Beauty skills.
Best of all, since it's improv, this G-rated show is new and fresh, created on the spot--so you can catch a new show each and every week.

The Improv Extravaganza Explosion, now playing at Second City's UP Comedy Club every Saturday at noon. Order your tickets at secondcity.com/performances/chicago/calendarandtickets/