Monday, May 22, 2006

Win a book/CD set set from The Second City!

Last year TBPAC brought the legendary improv group The Second City and their 45th Anniversary Tour for two performances in our Ferguson Hall. The performances were a big hit complete with full houses for what was essentially a "Best of" evening of sketch comedy.

Little did I know at the time that The Second City has a whole theatrical division which tours many shows - new and old - across the country. So it wasn't much of a surprise when I saw we were going to bring them back this season with their musical Sex & The Second City, which is here June 2-3.

There was once upon a time when I fancied that I might go on to the Windy City in the footsteps of idols of mine like Belushi, Aykroyd, Myers and Murray with the hopes that it too might lead to a spot on Saturday Night Live. For those not in the know, The Second City has been the primary feeder company to SNL since the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players hit the air in 1975. Even today's stars like Tim Meadows, Horatio Sanz, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch got their start there. There's also Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who's made quite a name for himself recently with his show The Colbert Report (not to mention his recent White House press banquet appearance).

To really date myself - those of you over the age of 30 may also remember a show called SCTV featuring the likes of Martin Short, Joe Flaherty and John Candy among many others - well, it was after all Second City TV.

It's pretty impossible to have a discussion about American sketch comedy over the past 50 years without it revolving around The Second City. Did I say 50 years? You may have noticed most of the folks I've been talking about started there as of the '70s, but you can go back to the late '50s and you would have found the likes of Kevin Kline, Alan Alda, Joan Rivers or Alan Arkin.

A neat local tie-in: resident company Jobsite Theater's own Kari Goetz-Keller is an alumni of The Second City's LA company (there are also companies in Las Vegas, Detroit, Denver and Toronto).

So, gentle readers, give me your best Second City memory or bit of trivia. Who is your favorite performer or character? What's your favorite sketch? Comment away. I have a nice new shiny book and double-CD set waiting on one lucky entrant, which I'll do a random drawing for at the end of this week.

My favorite? It's hands-down, bar-none with no room for any exceptions under any circumstances one Mr. John Adam Belushi. If you're looking for a good book on him, I highly recommend BELUSHI, a biography written in quotes from friends, family and colleagues and put together by his wife. My dad used to let me stay up late at nights as a very small child to watch SNL, and as an early teen I watched old repeats relentlessly. Sometimes I'd watch Animal House two times a day. By the time I was in high school the dean of students even called me Belushi from sophomore year on. To this day I keep a Samurai action figure at my desk at work, and a portrait of Wild Bill next to my computer at home. God, I love that Albanian.

Now it's your turn!

- David J.


R2K said...

: )

Turtle said...

One of my all time favorite sketches, apart from Belushi's Samurai, was the very first sketch that ever aired, with John and Buck Henry as an English tutor. The student (Belushi) repeats everything the teacher says, including the groaning as he has a heart attack....

I run a coffee shop, and had an funny episode occur regarding this sketch. A friend's nickname is "Badger". He came through the drive-thru one day and asked, through the speaker, if we "served badgers". I replied, "I'm sorry, we are out of badgers..." to which my 18 year old employee, who wasn't even born when the sketch aired, replied, "Would you like a wolverine?" It is amazing to think of the audiences they touched....

playwrong said...

Saw this show in Sarasota. Best piece of theatre I've seen in a long time. Don't miss this show!!!