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The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater (book with 2 audio CDs)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Second City, The: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theate, by Patinkin, Sheldon
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Sourcebooks MediaFusion (first published 2000)
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Mar 26, 2013 Anne-Marie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!! unless you're humorless, in which case get out of my life
Recommended to Anne-Marie by: Meee
Shelves: humor
GREAT book for any comedy fan! We have to go to a show this summer, guys! Plus it comes with a bonus CD containing old recordings of Second City comedy shows from the 1950s onward to the present. I especially loved when John Belushi tried to avoid the draft by failing out of college. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend.

Here's some coolish background: Second City was founded by a bunch of theater fans at the University of Chicago. It sounds like they were a group of kids who were kind of "anti-estab
Jun 29, 2014 James rated it really liked it
A nice history of Chicago's famous improv comedy troupe. The book does a good job delving into Second City's origins, calling up Chicago's theater scene in the early 1950s as well as the acting "games" that inspired the group's original approach.

From there, author (and longtime Second City creative director) Sheldon Patinkin takes us to the present day, pausing to catch up with famous alumni, notably the Murray-Belushi-Ramis core in Chicago and the Akroyd-Candy-Radner glory days in Toronto. Ther
Dustin Hanvey
Jul 06, 2015 Dustin Hanvey rated it it was ok
As a big fan of improv and The Second City/ Whose Line?, I am disappointed to say that this book did not live up to my expectations. It often feels like a series of Hollywood style bios with credits instead of a inside look into this very influential club. I was amazed at the amount of talent SC has produced in the last 50 years and the influence on American (and Canadian) comedy is undeniably deep. The book should have been structured differently. The two CDs, however, are worth the price of th ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Patricia rated it liked it
Interesting and easy to read chronicle of The Second City. I appreciated the breakdown by decade, highlighting how the tone and content of the comedy changed as the country's social and political landscape evolved. The quotes and bios from famous Second City alumni were also fun. Listening to the audio CD was revelatory; so many sketches seemed like they were in tune with their time period, but the comedy fell flat to my modern ears.
Oct 28, 2010 Linda added it
The start of this book is the history of the beginning of Second City in Chicago. Not only are memories of the comedians familiar the book tells of current history of the times and how reality and news influence comedy. The two CD's are a thrill to laugh at!
Jan 17, 2010 Skinnypeterm rated it really liked it
An excellent coffee table book, especially for anyone who has seen anything Second City has produced. Especially good with the included CDs.
Jan 09, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
Recommends it for: improvisation artists
I loved SCTV and this is a very different animal. Most of the SCTV and SNL performers got their start here and TSC has quite a history.
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Stuart Gilkison
A great history of the troupe. A must read for any comedy fan.
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