Party Earth Review With a list of alums that includes everyone from Bill Murray and Jon Belushi to Steve Carell and Tina Fey, Second City is undeniably one of the most influential comedy theaters in the country. Founded in 1959 by a small... ... read full review
1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Brown, Purple Express Lines: Sedgwick
Show times: Mainstage Tu–Th 8pm, F–Sa 8pm and 11pm, Su 7pm
E.T.C. (smaller stage) Th 8pm, F–Sa 8pm and 11pm, Su 7pm
Best of Second City M 8pm, Sa 4pm
Old Town, Chicago –
With a list of alums that includes everyone from Bill Murray and Jon Belushi to Steve Carell and Tina Fey, Second City is undeniably one of the most influential comedy theaters in the country.
Founded in 1959 by a small group of University of Chicago students, the prolific club and its nightly menu of comics, laughs, and drinks still attract a varied crowd of young professionals, college students, out-of-towners, and laid-back couples looking for a roll-in-the-aisle good time.
Theater lovers, hipsters, and newbies alike settle into the larger Mainstage space for beer, snacks, and a mix of scripted and improv performances, which feature the resident performers poking fun at Chicago and making political – albeit politically incorrect – jokes.
Patrons who like a more intimate experience head to the slightly smaller E.T.C. stage, where the club’s resident cast covers a somewhat broader range of topics, though the format is usually the same.
All year round, the theater puts on a “Best of Second City” show featuring well-versed actors performing some of the club’s most famous and popular skits, while summer months draw post-grad couples and girlfriends out for walking tours of Old Town, led and narrated by one of the comedy club’s resident actors.
One of Chicago’s most recognized hotspots, Second City is sure to tickle anyone’s funny bone.
Mix of young professionals, hipster couples, artsy types, theater fanatics, actors, upscale finance types, well-dressed business people, older couples, and families, early 20s to 40s+.
Live comedy shows nightly. Check website for details. For first-time visitors, The Second City recommends catching a Mainstage performance.
Light bar fare available in the theater during shows. Dinner & Show packages available at a number of nearby restaurants, including Bistro Margot, Fireplace Inn, and Marcello’s. Reservations can be made through the Second City Box Office.
Mainstage and E.T.C. shows $22–$27, Best of Second City $16–$22. Small bites $6–$10, sandwiches and pizza $7–$15. Beer $5–$9, wine $6–$9, cocktails $6–$12.
Casual to business casual: suits, slacks, blouses, jeans, t-shirts, polos.
Anytime there’s a show of interest, Thursdays through Saturdays for the Mainstage performances, summer Sundays and Wednesdays for walking tours, and various nights for touring company shows.
Other nearby performance venues include Red Orchid (1531 North Wells Street) and Tony ‘n' Tina's Wedding (230 West North Avenue).