Gagging 

The basic building block of improvisational comedy is known among the form's practitioners as "Yes, and ... ." It's a process when every new piece of information added to a scene by the audience or actors is accepted without question and built upon by the actors, making the scene progressively wilder.

Chicago's Second City, which turns 50 years old next year, is a comedy empire built on the process of "Yes, and ... . " The company, which produced SCTV and inspired TV shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway?, started manufacturing laughter in 1959 in a converted Chinese laundry on the north side of Chicago. It now has branches in Michigan, Toronto, and Las Vegas, with a training center in Los Angeles. To understand its cultural impact over the last half-century all you have to do is scan a list of Second City's famous alums, who include (deep breath): John Belushi, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Murray, Martin Short, Gilda Radner, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, Peter Boyle, Harold Ramis, Alan Arkin, George Wendt, Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Shelly Long, Andy Dick, John Candy, Dan Castellaneta, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Amy Sedaris ... and that's only the tip of a very funny iceberg.

The Second City will perform an evening of music and comedy at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre on Friday, February 29th.

The Second City at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Friday, February 29th, 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 83, USC Upstate 73

Hungry Memphis

Raw Girls Launches Food Truck

News Blog

Candidates Sought For Council Vacancy

Calling the Bluff

Don Trip is a "Man on the Moon"

News Blog

Riverside Drive Bike Lane Named In Top 10 List

News Blog

Memphis' Logan Guleff Wins MasterChef Junior

Calling the Bluff

Starlito Connects with Don Trip, Yo Gotti for New Track

News Blog

Pension Reform Gets Council Approval

Beyond the Arc

Next Day Notes: Grizzlies 105, Warriors 98

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2014

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Memphis Business Quarterly
Powered by Foundation