The Second City

  • Sketch Comedy Troupe

Always original, hilarious, and daring, The Second City provides an ideal evening of first-rate entertainment and is perfect for a variety of venues: performing arts series, universities, theaters, clubs, conventions, fundraisers, and more. The ensemble also helps organizations approach complex issues, such as diversity and gender inclusion, through creative workshops.  The Second City is truly, as the New York Times calls it, “legendary.” 

 
  

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted The Second City
  • United Jewish Fund and Council
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Funny Business: the Live Customized Comedy show

Our most popular offering, custom shows are clean, one act revues (approx. 50-60 minutes) prepared and customized specifically for your company. A third of the show is made up of original scenes crafted by our writers and based on the day-to-day life of your company and business. Additionally, the r ...

Our most popular offering, custom shows are clean, one act revues (approx. 50-60 minutes) prepared and customized specifically for your company. A third of the show is made up of original scenes crafted by our writers and based on the day-to-day life of your company and business. Additionally, the revue includes equal parts “best of” Second City sketches and improvisation — all carefully chosen to fit your audience. You approve all content and we work hard to make it suitable to your organization.

Creating a Culture of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

All of us are better than one of us.  In this event, the Second City addresses the topics of Diversity & Inclusion and Gender Equality in the workplace. Their business relies on developing the best ensembles, and they know that if you get the right team with various points of view and experience ...

All of us are better than one of us.  In this event, the Second City addresses the topics of Diversity & Inclusion and Gender Equality in the workplace. Their business relies on developing the best ensembles, and they know that if you get the right team with various points of view and experiences together, great things can happen. 

Interactive Talk Show

Our talk show helps you transform what could be a series of podium speeches into an opportunity for your executives to connect with an audience. You get to pick the guests, and our host will tee-up their talking points with light questions and a little fun – we’ll also include “com ...

Our talk show helps you transform what could be a series of podium speeches into an opportunity for your executives to connect with an audience. You get to pick the guests, and our host will tee-up their talking points with light questions and a little fun – we’ll also include “commercial breaks” as live scenes throughout the show. These "commercials" are custom-written sketches that tee-up the topics of the day, generating hearty laughs and a great transition into discussions between our host, the guests on stage, and the audience who we involve via roving microphone (thanks, Donahue). The talk show typically runs 60-90 minutes.

BizQuiz: the Game Show About Your Company

Our customized game show, complete with an over-the-top host and competitive contestants, is a great way to convey some interesting facts and insights about your company, new products, or internal process changes. This 45-60 minute show has an open format & we can even use your executives or gue ...

Our customized game show, complete with an over-the-top host and competitive contestants, is a great way to convey some interesting facts and insights about your company, new products, or internal process changes. This 45-60 minute show has an open format & we can even use your executives or guests to show off their knowledge on the unique details of the industry (think “name that acronym” or “buzzword bingo”).

Improv Keynote

Audiences loathe flat, cookie-cutter monologues posing as ‘keynote speeches’. Our improv keynotes are interactive, funny experiences that encourage your audience to “think outside the box” and become more innovative in their careers. We start with a focus on Innovation, the v ...

Audiences loathe flat, cookie-cutter monologues posing as ‘keynote speeches’. Our improv keynotes are interactive, funny experiences that encourage your audience to “think outside the box” and become more innovative in their careers. We start with a focus on Innovation, the very element that has allowed The Second City to create award-winning productions on stage and television— then we combine presentation, demonstration, audience participation and entertainment elements in a perfect blend. Each keynote contains sharp, funny, hosting supported by hilarious videos to reinforce the learning points. Improv keynotes typically run 45-60 minutes.

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Biography

For almost fifty years, The Second City has been the training ground for a host of famous alumni including John Belushi, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and countless stars of stage and screen. The legendary comedy theater company has resident stages in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, and Las Vegas – entertaining more than one million guests each year, and its touring companies perform in theaters around the world. Part well-rehearsed sketches, part informally structured improv, part audience participatory theater, a Second City performance will satisfy anyone in need of a laugh.

The Second City style is one of elegant simplicity—six actors, a few chairs, and some of the most inventive comedy in the nation. The ensemble creates a slice-of-life environment, lampooning aspects of our modern lives—political, social, and cultural. It compares to Saturday Night Live— only better.

Taking its name from the title of A.J. Lieblings’ derisive profile of Chicago in The New Yorker, The Second City opened on December 16, 1959, in Chicago. Success was instantaneous. Before the startled actors knew it, they were inundated with praise from the press, including Time magazine, which called it “a temple of satire.”

Since then, permanent locations opened in Detroit and Toronto as well, and The Second City developed four touring companies that continue to play to sold-out houses worldwide, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Vienna, Dallas, Montreal, and Miami.

In addition, The Second City has taken the logical step of moving from stage to the television studio. The group transferred their hallmark sketch format to television in 1963 and went on to make numerous specials and the highly successful seven-year series, SCTV. The show garnered 13 Emmy Award nominations and two Emmy Awards for best writing.

Given its stellar reputation, it is not surprising that The Second City has been a starting point for many comedic actors, writers, and directors. Alums include Alan Alda, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, John Candy, Bill Murray, John and James Belushi, Mike Nichols, and Gilda Radner.

Always original, hilarious, and daring, The Second City provides an ideal evening of first-rate entertainment and is perfect for a variety of venues: performing arts series, universities, theatres, clubs, conventions, fundraisers, and more. The Second City is truly, as the New York Times calls it, “legendary.” .