August 30, 2005

Happy Birthday ImprovOlympic

When a comedian from Chicago makes it big on "Saturday Night Live" or joins the writing staff of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," it's often the world-famous comedy troupe Second City that gets the credit. But for nearly 25 years, much of the celebrated talent from Second City's live sketch shows, like Mike Myers, Chris Farley and current "SNL" cast members Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, has also trained at ImprovOlympic.

It's a program with a fiercely loyal roster of alums, including actor-comedians Andy Richter, Andy Dick and Tim Meadows, many of whom flocked to Chicago for the chance to perform Saturday at a sold-out 25th anniversary reunion show.

"The ImprovOlympic was where I first started out and it was the petri dish in which all the talent fungus grew," Poehler said. "We all started out here and we're all really good friends so along with it being a great night to perform, it's just a great time for everybody to come back ... kind of like comedy high school."

Casting directors who previously would only visit the Second City stage are now making an effort to check out the talent at I.O. clubs (the group changed its name after the U.S. Olympic Committee threatened a trademark lawsuit) in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood and Los Angeles, said owner Charna Halpern, 53.

Posted by: Lawrenkm at 08:31 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 The 25th anniversary show was a disaster at the Chicago Theater. They didn't do an adequate sound check, and most of the audience demanded their money back because they couldn't hear anything going on on stage.

Posted by: at August 30, 2005 09:17 AM (tNznv)

2 Oh no! That's too bad. Thanks for the info, Anonymous.

Posted by: Lawren at August 30, 2005 09:23 AM (bJB+W)

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