Second City Defines Quick Wit & Cleverness

Second CitySecond City recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and continues to retain its success both on the road with its touring troupe(s) and at home in its stationary troupes in Chicago and Toronto.  The half-century old laugh factory prides itself on impromptu comedy as well as rehearsed skits.  Television fixture Saturday Night Live has pulled much of its talent over the years from Second City, including the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey and the late Chris Farley.  Other famous standouts are Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, The Office’s Steve Carrell, Ghostbusters’ Harold Ramis and comic Ryan Stiles (Whose Line Is It Anyway?).

On March 6th, the tour stopped in Cleveland, Ohio to grace the North Coast with their talents.  With a group of five comedians/actors, the quintet plays out a one-hour (roughly) first act with material mostly comprised of written sketches.  These range anywhere from a 60-second bit to a 10 or 15 minute-interaction amongst the company.  The performances deliver a fair amount of laughs, but the performers truly shine after the intermission.  The second act offers a barrage of spur-of-the-moment comedy with the troupe members feeding off of their own light-speed wittiness.  The one-liners, silly songs, and full skits that audiences experience are nothing less than spectacular, driving some to tears and belly aches from the intense laughter (admittedly yours truly). 

Unscripted acts consist of just about anything.  There is some interaction with the audience, but for those who shy away from the spotlight, don’t worry.  If you’re not sitting in the first row or two, chances are you are not going to catch the performers’ notice, get asked what you do for a living, what your name is, or if you’ve ever been charged with a misdemeanor.  The recent Saturday night show in Cleveland saw the troupe closing out with a fun-poking homage to one of their own.  This encore was a tip of the hat to a touring co-worker who also performed that night; a Cleveland area native who is soon to graduate from the production after four and a half years.  A piece like this that lives in the moment and is born out of thin air only validates how gifted the show’s performers truly are.

I will say the humor of the second act eclipsed that of the first.  Overall, however, the show was a grand display of comedic talent and it’s no wonder SNL plucks names from the Second City hat.  For $30 a person, you really can’t beat the price for the top notch comedy you get to experience. 

For more information on Second City performances as well as its history, please visit their website at http://www.secondcity.com/.


Second City




3 Responses to “Second City Defines Quick Wit & Cleverness”

  1. Brian White

    I had no idea Steve Carrell came from this. Wow!

  2. cna

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  3. Gregg

    Thanks for your input, cna! We always like to hear what our readers are looking for. Live performances will be featured on here.