How Long Are Second City Comedy Shows?

In the world of live comedy entertainment, the renowned Second City has consistently delighted audiences with their wit, humor, and ability to think on their feet. However, it's not just the adults who get to enjoy the laughter and joy that Second City brings, as they’ve a special treat in store for the younger generation. The Second City's kids' show is a 50-minute interactive extravaganza that’s completely improvised, ensuring a unique and one-of-a-kind experience every time. Tailored specifically for children aged 5-12, this scriptless performance allows the young audience members to actively participate and engage with the talented cast, creating an immersive and unforgettable experience. So, if you're wondering just how long these Second City comedy shows for kids last, rest assured that your little ones will be thoroughly entertained for a delightful 50 minutes as they embark on a hilarious journey filled with laughter and wonder.

What Are Second City Shows Like?

Second City shows are known for their unique blend of scripted comedy and improvisation. Typically, these shows take place in the UP Comedy Club, where audiences are treated to a night of laughter and entertainment. What sets Second City apart is their commitment to constantly rotating material and never repeating the exact same show twice. This ensures that each performance is fresh and unpredictable, keeping the audience on their toes.

A typical Second City revue consists of a series of original sketches and songs. These comedic pieces cover a wide range of topics, from politics to relationships, and are often filled with clever and witty wordplay. The sketches are carefully crafted and rehearsed by a talented ensemble of actors, who bring their own comedic brilliance to the stage.

But what truly sets Second City apart is their renowned improv comedy. Spontaneity is the name of the game, as the performers create hilarious scenes and characters on the spot, based on audience input or suggestions. This element of unpredictability adds an extra layer of excitement to each show, as the actors must think on their feet and rely on their quick wit and comedic instincts.

The comedic powerhouse that’s Second City takes center stage with their riveting production, “Do the Right Thing.” Divided into two acts, this sensational show commands a total running time of 2 hours and 25 minutes, with a well-deserved intermission nestled gracefully in between. It’s awe-inspiring how effortlessly the talented ensemble of performers captivate the audience from the very first moment, drawing them eagerly into the heart of the performance time and time again.

How Long Is Second City Do the Right Thing?

The first act of Second Citys “Do the Right Thing” is a lively and energetic display of comedic talent. The performers waste no time in engaging the audience and setting the tone for an evening filled with laughter. From the moment the curtains go up, the actors effortlessly establish a connection with the crowd, eliciting instant laughter and applause. The rapid-fire delivery and impeccable comedic timing keep the audience on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the next punchline.

As the scenes unfold, the performers seamlessly transition between hilarious skits, showcasing their versatility and comedic range. The writing is sharp, clever, and thought-provoking, tackling a variety of social issues with humor and satire. The topics addressed in the show range from politics and relationships to everyday absurdities, ensuring that there’s something relatable for everyone in the audience.

The second act of “Do the Right Thing” picks up where the first left off, delivering even more laughs and memorable moments. The intermission provides a brief respite for the audience to catch their breath and reflect on the hilarity they’ve just witnessed. It also serves as a teaser for whats to come, leaving the crowd eagerly anticipating the second half of the show.

Throughout the entire performance, the casts energy is infectious, drawing the audience deeper into the world of comedy. They effortlessly adapt to each others comedic styles, delivering seamless transitions and creating an organic flow to the show. The chemistry between the performers is palpable, enhancing the overall comedic experience and leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

With a running time of 2 hours and 25 minutes, including one intermission, the show delivers non-stop entertainment from start to finish. The talented casts ability to connect with the audience and deliver impeccable comedic performances is truly remarkable. Whether youre a seasoned comedy fan or simply looking for a night of laughter, “Do the Right Thing” is a show that’s sure to leave you thoroughly entertained.

Behind the Scenes of Putting Together a Second City Production

  • Scriptwriting
  • Casting
  • Rehearsals
  • Set design
  • Costume selection
  • Lighting design
  • Sound design
  • Props and set construction
  • Tech rehearsals
  • Opening night

Source: “Do The Right Thing, No Worries if Not”

What Actors Got Their Start at Second City?

Kazurinsky, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and many more. These individuals honed their comedic skills and crafted their unique comedic personas during their time at Second City.

Del Close, known as the father of improvisational comedy, was one of the founding members of Second City and played a crucial role in shaping the theaters comedic style. His teachings and mentorship influenced generations of comedians who came after him.

Alan Alda and Alan Arkin both began their careers at Second City. Alda went on to achieve fame with his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the hit TV series M*A*S*H, while Arkin became an acclaimed actor known for his roles in films like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Argo.”

Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Candy, John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd were a part of the iconic Second City troupe in the 1970s. These talented comedians later formed the core cast of the groundbreaking sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” which catapulted them to stardom. Their comedic brilliance and unforgettable performances left a lasting impact on the world of comedy.

Eugene Levy and Catherine OHara, both Second City alumni, joined forces once again in the critically acclaimed mockumentary film series “Best In Show,” “Waiting for Guffman,” and “A Mighty Wind.”. Their collaboration showcased their comedic chemistry and further solidified their status as beloved comedy actors.

The late Chris Farley brought his larger-than-life presence and physical comedy skills to Second City before becoming a beloved cast member on “Saturday Night Live” and starring in films like “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.”. Tim Kazurinsky, another Second City alumnus, became a familiar face on “Saturday Night Live” and appeared in films such as “Police Academy” and “About Last Night.”

Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert are among the more recent Second City success stories. Fey, known for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” created and starred in the hit TV series “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”. Carell gained fame for his role as Michael Scott in “The Office” and has since starred in numerous successful films. Colbert, a beloved late-night talk show host, started his career as a Second City performer before becoming the host of “The Colbert Report” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Second City has been a fertile breeding ground for comedic talent, launching the careers of countless actors who’ve left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. The theaters commitment to nurturing original voices and embracing improvisation continues to produce extraordinary comedic talent to this day.

The salary range for Second City performers varies depending on their roles within the organization. According to reported salaries, managers earn an average of $52,378 per year, while performers earn around $37,699 annually. Other positions such as ushers, cashiers, and box office associates receive an average salary of $31,434, and project managers earn approximately $75,782.

How Much Do Second City Performers Get Paid?

Second City is renowned for producing some of the most talented comedians and performers in the industry. However, it’s often difficult to gauge how much these performers get paid. While specific numbers can vary, the salaries reported for Second City performers give us some insights into their compensation.

In addition to performers, Second City also employs a range of other staff members, including managers, ushers, cashiers, and box office associates. The reported salaries for these positions range from $31,434 per year for ushers, cashiers, and box office associates to $52,378 per year for managers. These figures offer a glimpse into the earning potential for non-performing roles within the organization.

It’s worth noting that these reported salaries provide an overview and may not be an exact representation of what every individual earns at Second City.

Salary Differences Between Mainstage Performers, Touring Company Members, and Understudies at Second City.

The Second City comedy troupe has different salary structures for it’s performers depending on their roles and responsibilities. Mainstage performers, who’re the headliners and featured players, receive higher salaries due to their higher level of experience and prominence within the company. Touring company members, who travel to different locations to perform shows, generally receive slightly lower salaries than mainstage performers. Understudies, who’re part of the ensemble and serve as replacements for mainstage performers when needed, typically receive lower salaries compared to the mainstage and touring company members. These salary differences reflect the varying levels of experience, responsibilities, and prominence within the Second City comedy troupe.

Absolutely! Understanding the different shows at The Second City can enhance your experience when visiting for the first time. The Mainstage, as the largest and most renowned theater space, offers captivating plays that appeal to a wide audience. On the other hand, the etc stage provides an intimate setting for more experimental performances. For those new to The Second City, it’s typically recommended to start with the Mainstage, which promises a delightful introduction to this renowned comedy institution.

What Is the Difference Between the Second City Shows?

The Second City, renowned for it’s comedic brilliance, offers a range of shows to enthrall it’s audience. One notable distinction lies between the Mainstage plays and their counterparts on the smaller, yet equally captivating, ETC stage. The Mainstage plays take place in the largest theater space within The Second City, inviting a larger crowd to revel in their comedic genius. On the other hand, the ETC stage offers a more intimate setting that allows for a closer connection with the performers.

For those venturing into The Second City for the first time, the Mainstage shows often become the go-to choice. Featuring top-notch improvisation and sketch comedy, these productions have earned a reputation for their high energy and impeccable comedic timing. With a larger venue, the Mainstage offers a grander scale for performances, ensuring an unforgettable experience for audience members.

While the Mainstage takes the spotlight, the ETC stage caters to those seeking a unique and more intimate comedic experience. As the name suggests, the ETC stage showcases shows that fall outside of the regular Mainstage season, allowing for fresh and experimental content. This smaller, more cozy space grants the audience an up-close and personal interaction with the performers, fostering an even deeper connection and engagement.

An in-Depth Look at the Process of Creating a Show at the Second City, From Writing and Improvisation to Rehearsals and Performances.

The Second City is a renowned comedy theater known for their hilarious shows. The process of creating a show at The Second City involves a series of steps. It starts with the writers brainstorming and writing sketches, jokes, and scenes that are clever and funny. This is followed by intense improvisation sessions where the cast members bring the material to life and add their own creative ideas. Rehearsals are then conducted to fine-tune the scenes, ensuring that the timing and delivery are perfect. Finally, the show is performed in front of an audience, where the cast members bring their comedic skills to the stage and make the audience laugh. This comprehensive process ensures that the shows at The Second City are entertaining and enjoyable for all.

Once students have completed the necessary prerequisites at The Second City, they can begin their journey towards auditioning for the prestigious Conservatory program. While completing a year’s worth of improv training is essential, it’s also advisable for aspiring Conservatory candidates to enhance their skills further through acting courses.

How Do You Audition for Second City?

To audition for Second City, aspiring performers must first complete the equivalent of one year of improv training at The Second City. This means successfully completing Improv Levels 1-5 or the Improv for Actors 1&2 program. These courses are designed to hone students improvisational skills, introducing them to the core principles and techniques of comedic improvisation.

While it isn’t a strict requirement, it’s highly recommended that Second City students also take at least one acting course before auditioning for the Conservatory program. Acting training can greatly enhance an individuals ability to embody characters and deliver convincing performances on stage. It offers a solid foundation in the principles of stagecraft, characterization, and emotional expression.

Once students have completed the necessary training, they can then apply to audition for the Conservatory program. The Conservatory is an advanced training program that focuses on developing well-rounded performers who’re skilled in improvisation, sketch comedy, and acting. The audition process typically involves a combination of prepared material and improvisation, allowing aspiring performers to showcase their comedic talents and ability to think on their feet.

Auditions for the Conservatory program are usually held at Second Citys training centers in Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Interested individuals must submit an application form and meet the specified eligibility requirements. These requirements may vary slightly depending on the location, so it’s recommended to carefully review the specific audition guidelines provided by Second City.

This intensive program is designed to further refine students comedic skills, expand their improvisational range, and develop their abilities as versatile performers. It provides a unique and invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and immerse oneself in the world of comedic performance.

Opportunities for International Performers to Audition for Second City.

  • Attend Second City auditions
  • Check the Second City website for audition announcements
  • Join Second City mailing list for audition updates
  • Participate in improv workshops
  • Take acting classes to improve skills
  • Network with other performers in the industry
  • Prepare a strong audition monologue
  • Submit an application through Second City’s online portal
  • Consider attending Second City’s international auditions
  • Showcase your talent through online platforms


In conclusion, Second City comedy shows for kids are an exceptional form of entertainment that seamlessly combines creativity, humor, and audience engagement. With a runtime of approximately 50 minutes, these fully improvised performances captivate and entertain young audiences, providing a unique and unforgettable experience for children ranging from ages 5 to 12. Through their interactive and scriptless nature, these shows not only showcase the immense talent of the performers but also encourage young minds to embrace spontaneity and tap into their own creativity.

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