Iconic Second City acquired by New York-based ZMC

0 This is no laughing matter. New York-based private equity firm ZMC announced today that it has acquired The Second City, the world’s premier brand in improvisation and sketch-based comedy entertainment and education. Founded in Chicago in 1959, The Second City is an iconic brand that has become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the … Continue reading “Iconic Second City acquired by New York-based ZMC”

Second City, ‘SNL’ announce scholarship recipients

0 Legendary comedy institution The Second City announces the recipients of a new scholarship for diverse comedic talent in partnership with Saturday Night Live. The creation of the SNL Scholarship, announced in October, was designed to grant comedians at varying levels of experience the opportunity to further their professional development at The Second City. In addition to receiving performance and … Continue reading “Second City, ‘SNL’ announce scholarship recipients”

‘The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth’

2+ Topic, the streaming service from First Look Media, announced today that they are partnering with legendary comedy force and improvisational theater troupe The Second City for a half-hour sketch and variety limited series event called The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth. The limited series event will stream exclusively on Topic … Continue reading “‘The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth’”

Former SNL writer, Second City vet McCarthy passes at 61

3+ Chicago has lost a beloved writer, actor, comedian, teacher, husband and father. Former SNL writer, Michael Clayton McCarthy, who was also an active member of The Second City, iO Comedy and DePaul University faculties, passed away peacefully after a two-year bout with a debilitating form of cancer on April 8, 2020.  He was 61. … Continue reading “Former SNL writer, Second City vet McCarthy passes at 61”

Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63

3+ “I guess I learned how to take the lights out at the right moment. You just have to always be looking for the right end.” –Craig Taylor Not all of Second City’s stars appeared on stage. Some of the biggest ones were behind the scenes. This past weekend, Second City announced that longtime stage manager, … Continue reading “Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63”

UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual

3+ When audiences and comedy lovers think Improv, they usually think Chicago, home to popular destinations like the infamous The Second City and iO Comedy.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that the closures of all schools, theaters, and public venues has also hit the improv world hard.  Not only has the COVID-19 Pandemic forced these popular … Continue reading “UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual”

Second City alums help launch ‘Studio B’ web series

4+ Genre-bending music web series that’s “so Chicago it’s basically deep dish pizza” will be released October 22 (Chicago — 16 October 2018) What happens when a group of talented Chicago musicians, actors, improvisers, stand-ups, songwriters, and DJs collaborate on a web series? You get STUDIO B, the three-episode workplace comedy of a struggling Chicago … Continue reading “Second City alums help launch ‘Studio B’ web series”

DePaul, Second City to offer comedy film degrees

3+ No Joke: DePaul collaborates with world’s largest school of improvisation to offer degrees in comedy filmmaking (Chicago — 3 May 2018) The Second City and DePaul University today announced a collaboration designed to expand comedy education. Starting in fall 2018, DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts will offer comprehensive new undergraduate and graduate degrees in … Continue reading “DePaul, Second City to offer comedy film degrees”

Second City classes to aid improvisers with film work

Classes starting June 23 at the Second City Training Center will include a new program on TV, film and digital to give improv actors a place to hone their on-screen skills in Chicago.

“That’s the need that we see and I think that it’s long overdue,” Jack C. Newell, who heads the program, told DNAinfo. 

Second City helps the Lyric change its marketing tune

Circa 2012, it’s a whole new world at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The city’s world-renowned opera company has over the past couple of years begun to completely transform its approach to marketing. And just in time, by all accounts.

Lyric no longer is an island unto itself where the powers-that-be in the marketing department can readily assume a new season will come close to selling out as soon as tickets go on sale.

Second City training pioneer Jo Forsberg dies at 90

Chicago improv legend Josephine Raciti Forsberg passed away at age 90 on Oct. 3. Forsberg was present at the birth of what became the Second City, working with its earliest predecessor, the Playwrights Theatre Club.

She taught workshops with Viola Spolin; produced and directed the Children’s Theatre at the Second City for decades; and also taught at the Players Workshop, a forerunner of the current Second City Training Center.
 

Second City’s 300 seat UP Comedy Club bows Nov. 17

Ever since Tony and Tina finally blew town on that long-delayed honeymoon, there’s been a vacancy at Piper’s Alley. But Second City is saying “ciao” to the interactive wedding crowd and hello to UP Comedy Club.

The cozy new 300-seat venture is slated to open in previews on Nov. 17, with a grand opening on Dec. 1.

Second City goes digital: Partners with L.A.’s MRC to create short online pieces, bowing next month

The Second City is getting into the short film content business online, according to Andrew Alexander, Second City’s executive producer.

“We had been talking about it for at least two years and had been searching around for what we felt would be the right mix of partnership,” he said.

Second City will partner with Los Angeles-based Media Rights Capital (MRC), an independent film/television and digital studio, to create short pieces specifically geared for online distribution.

Second City made the connection with MRC through the Gersh Agency in New York.

Jeff Garlin’s feature directorial debut, a comedy based on Second City show, bows at Tribeca

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” co-star Jeff Garlin premieres his feature directorial debut, Chicago-and-L.A.-shot “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With,” at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 25-May 7.

Garlin based “Eat Cheese” on his one-man show at Second City.

Mercury theatre building set for March auction; Second City etc cast developing sitcom for Sony

The decade-long partnership between producer Michael Cullen and restaurateur Joe Carlucci has come to an end, and apparently not amicably. The two are co-owners of the choice property at 3741-47 N. Southport that houses Carlucci’s Strega Nona Restaurant and Cullen’s Bar & Grill, separated by the 300-seat Mercury Theatre operated by Cullen.

Second City actors star in new video thriller from Sorelosers Productions

Richard T. Celenza Jr. grew up in a family of gamblers. As a young man he ran small-time card games and worked as a bookie “before the Internet took over the industry,” he said.

“Being involved in gambling makes you build up confidence in yourself, makes you willing to take chances that would be too overwhelming for others, which you need to do to succeed in film,” said Celenza, who is wrapping post on his second feature. “Being a bookie is all about keeping control, balancing things out, keeping trust going both ways, which is a lot like being on a shoot.”