Seminal moments since SC's founding in 1959
Dec. 16, 1959:
Founded by a former U. of Chicago improv troupe, The Second City Theater opens its doors at 1842 N. Wells St., Chicago. In 1967, it moves a few blocks south to 1616 N. Wells, where it remains to this day.
Debut comedy album, “Comedy From The Second City,” is released. Among the album’s performers is a little-known thesp named Alan Arkin.
Company goes international with the opening of The Second City Toronto in the Old Firehall on Lombard Street. Among the performers who get their start there are John Candy, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.
Oct. 11, 1975
“Saturday Night Live” debuts on NBC. The Second City alums dominate the show’s cast for its first two seasons, including John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray.
A year after “SNL” debuts, The Second City launches its own variety show, “SCTV,” throughout Canada. A year later, skein airs in 55 U.S. markets as well.
Sept. 19, 1982
Nominated for seven Emmys, “SCTV” takes home a statue for best writing for a variety show.
The Second City Training Center founded, teaching the club’s brand of comedy through workshops. Alums include Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Today, training centers operate in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.
“Pinata Full of Bees” debuts, a fast-paced revue that breaks the structure of past productions. Featuring cast members such as Rachel Dratch and Adam McKay, production goes on to become a landmark show for The Second City.
June 8, 2004
The Second City gains placement on DVD shelves across America with the release of “SCTV: Volume One.”
Humor hits the high seas when The Second City forms a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The agreement places full-time companies on seven ships.