My Life at Second City
As the famous comedy group celebrates its 50th anniversary, alumnus Jeff Garlin hangs out with Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and other comedy legends. Plus, WATCH VIDEOS of Second City in our gallery.
This past weekend, my theater company, The Second City, celebrated its 50th anniversary. The alumni list is crazy rich with some of the greatest comedy writers, directors, and actors of all-time—people like Nichols and May, Alan Arkin, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, John Candy, Amy Sedaris, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert. And future stars like Brad Morris and Jean Villepique. I apologize to the countless other alums that I didn’t mention. Please don’t hold it against me. I listed all of you. The Daily Beast cut it down to these select few.
The reunion weekend was truly wonderful. There were many parties and performances. My highlight was watching the SCTV reunion. The weekend was like a giant high-school homecoming for famous comedians.
The basis for everything I know about improvisation and acting comes from my time at Second City. Curb Your Enthusiasm would not exist if not for Second City. And I’m very proud of the fact that Curb Your Enthusiasm has hired more Second City actors than any other show on television.
I’d like to share with you a Second City memory that has nothing to do with my time on stage there: It’s from my time working in the box office, which is where I started in the late '80s. Whenever a customer called up for tickets and acted like an entitled jerk or gave me crap, I wouldn’t get angry. No, I would have some fun. I would inform them that they were very lucky because I happened to have some seats in the puppet section on the night that they wanted tickets. I told them excitedly that a few times during the show puppets and marionettes would drop from the ceiling. I told them that these were the hardest tickets to get and that I couldn’t believe they were available. They would be thrilled. I would then make a note on the reservation sheet that said “puppets” next to their name, and the hosts would tell us where they sat these doltish customers.
You should know that there is no puppet section. We would roar with laughter watching them look up at the ceiling in anticipation all throughout the show. It never stopped being funny.
I hope Second City keeps going for another 50. I’m planning on going to that reunion, too.
Click the Image to Watch Video of Second City Hilarity