Here Comes the Funny

Second City alumni in Chicago for 50th anniversary

A laugh-packed flight of 140 Second City alumni arrived in Chicago Friday on a chartered plane from L.A. for this weekend's 50th anniversary celebration.

Old Town will be Ground Zero for star sightings as the former cast members gather for shows, screenings and panel discussions.

The SC graduates include bonafide stars such as Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Martin Short and Eugene Levy.

"Anything in show business that holds up for 50 years is pretty extraordinary, Second City president Andrew Alexander said. "It's still the hottest ticket in town.

In fact, tickets to see the stars at Saturday night's Second City alumni reunion show sold out immediately, but some seats remain for a few of the other shows and panel discussions. But be warned -- they ain't cheap.

"Now they're coming back to see what they left behind. You hope that you've kept house and kept everything in order," said current cast member Christina Anthony, who has never met any alums, but is constantly reminded of the hallowed history.

"When you're in the touring company, you'll get scripts and they're still in their original form. So you'll be reading a script and it will say Colbert, or Dratch, or Fey, and you're just like, 'this is awesome,'" Anthony said.

It seems the current crop is doing a fine job of upholding the legacy left by their predecessors -- names like Murray, Farley, Belushi and Willard. 

"There's no other theater that I know of that can say that you're going to be working eight shows a week for the next two or three years, Alexander said about Second City's staying power. "You might get a Broadway run where that may happen, but very rare in Chicago."

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