What do Mike Myers, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and Chris Farley all have in common?
Before Saturday Night Live, they were all cast members of The Second City. A traveling team of comedians, The Second City's National Touring Company will perform at Hope College on Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.
The Second City is composed of six to seven actors who create and perform comedy segments much like what is seen on Saturday Night Live. The actors use improv comedy to brainstorm for ideas, creating a series of short comedy scenes, or sketches. The actors then polish these improv-ed "scenes" in practices and later perform them in front of an audience, using very few props or costumes.
Through sketch comedy, The Second City spoofs and lampoons current events and American cultural figures. They have been so influential that the "New York Times" has written, "The entire recent tradition of American Theatrical Satire can be summed up in three words, 'The Second City.'"
The Second City has also been the starting point for legends like John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, Joan Rivers, Robert Klein and Catherine O'Hara.
The Touring Company's current show, "The Best of Second City," features the favorite songs, sketches and improv shorts from The Second City's 35-year-old repertoire. The group is also offering a Saturday morning comedy workshop for Hope College and area high school students, which is being arranged through the schools.
Tickets for The Second City are $10 for the general public and $5 for Hope students, and will be available beginning Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and can be called at (616) 395-7890.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland.