Chicago’s Second City is one of the most renowned and critically acclaimed improv troupes in the country, whose famous alumni include Mike Nichols, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, John Belushi, and John Candy, to name but a very few of the glittering comedic notables.
The Best of Second City is an uproarious greatest-hits collection of some of the troupe’s funniest sketches from the stage since its inception in 1959. This is a tremendous treat for anyone who likes Saturday Night Live style humor and those who appreciate the true craft that is improvisational comedy.
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"Offers decades of hilarity in one brilliant package." (AudioFile)
"Showcases the humor and talent of Chicago's Improv Theatre...Non-stop laughs. It's the next best thing to sitting front-row for a live performance." (Midwest Book Review)
Given Second City's larger than life reputation, perhaps I was expecting too much. Or maybe the magic of improv (and this is improv style, and I think the scenes may have started as improv, but they're basically all scripted) lies in being in the room. Either way, I'm disappointed. And yes, a lot of the cultural references are from the 90s, but I don't think that's the problem either (unless you're too young to remember the 90s). It's just not very funny. The fun part is hearing the voices of people who went on to make it big, notably Stephen Colbert. The unfun part is that it's really not very funny.
A few of these skits are laugh out loud funny, but it really is just a few. Several are really vulgar, and a few are dated and completely inappropriate in our present culture. There is nothing funny about a teacher who gets frustrated when his students don't know the answers to his questions and starts shooting them one by one. This is no classic.
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