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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Madison host to Second City Saturday evening

The Second City, a premier comedy troupe based in Chicago, is a verified comedian-machine.  With the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Belushi and Mike Myers as alumni, their tendency to produce top-of-the-line comedians is undeniable. On March 24, the current members of Second City took the stage at the Overture Center with their Laugh Out Loud tour, and gave audiences a glimpse into the future of comedy.

 

The cast—Shad Kunkle, Kate Lambert, Eddie Mujica, Nick Rees and Emily Walker—kept the crowd laughing throughout the two-act performance of sketch comedy, improvisation and musical numbers. With biting wit and a dash of cynicism (as a college student I was less than enthused by the sketch of two women with PHD’s working at Arby’s), the actors catered to the politically savvy, well educated and atheist.

 

Some crowd favorites included a sketch of an after-hours Wal-Mart escapade, an incredibly awkward first date and a camping trip gone awry. The act that got the most unanimous response, however, was an improvised Walker-recall speech (the actors even jested that the bar was set too high.)

 

One of my personal favorite moments of the performance was when the University’s improv group, the Titantic Players, joined The Second City on stage. The group of UW students seemed incredibly at ease with the professionals, and brought out plenty of laughs on their own.

 

At times, there seemed to be a disconnect between the performers and the audience, which caused the joke to fall flat (a couple cracks at the expense of backwoods Wisconsinites were lost on the rather urban Madisonian audience). Despite these minor tripping points, the actors were undoubtedly talented, kept people laughing and act as promising prospects for the future of comedy.

 

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