What do Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Amy Poehler have in common? One obvious answer is that they are successful comedians/actors. Another is that these funny folk all honed their chops as members of Chicago’s famed The Second City improv troupe in the 1990s. Started in 1959, The Second City continues to spit out sidesplitters.
Santa Barbarans have a chance to see what the fuss is all about when the famed institution’s touring group comes through town on their “Happily Ever Laughter” junket. “I just feel honored to be able to work for a company all these great people have come out of,” said Sarah Shook, who has been with The Second City for about 10 months. “[The famous names] also help on the road, because it may spark people’s interest in [attending].”
Part of the fun of attending improv comedy is the audience-participation segment. When asked what is the most common riff suggestion the troupe has gotten, Shook laughed, “The most typical suggestion from audiences, especially when we go to colleges, is dirty suggestions, such as something to do with dildos.”
UCSB’s Arts and Lectures presents The Second City’s “Happily Ever Laughter” tour Wednesday, February 19, 8 p.m. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Tickets: $25-$40 (general); $15 (students). Call 893-3535.