The Second City is one of the shrines of American comedy—an instantly recognizable brand name with decades of history turning out legendary talent. Bill Murray, John Candy, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Dan Aykroyd, and Joan Rivers are just a few of the hundreds of notable alumni who have passed through The Second City theaters in Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Thankfully, they captured some of the work of these people on tape before they blew up into huge stars. Here are a few that The Second City has made available through their YouTube channel.
1. CHRIS FARLEY AS AN EARLY MATT FOLEY.
Bob Odenkirk (a.k.a. Saul Goodman) stars as the father who hires Chris Farley’s iconic motivational speaker character Matt Foley. This sketch probably seems familiar because it later appeared on SNL.
2. STEVE CARELL AND STEPHEN COLBERT SINGING.
The star of The Office and the new host of The Late Show fill two roles in a quartet singing “The Obvious Song.”
3. TINA FEY AND RACHEL DRATCH CONNECT.
The two SNL stars play a classic improv game. (You might also recognize Scott Adsit of 30 Rock fame.)
4. RYAN STILES GOES TO PRISON.
Ryan Stiles is a visitor in this prison scene. Now you know why he is so good on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
5. MIKE MYERS GOES TO THE POST OFFICE.
The man who later would be Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers, and Shrek takes a trip to a post office in this scene from the 1980s.
6. JANE LYNCH GOES TO BASIC.
Long before she was Sue Sylvester on Glee, Jane Lynch was a star on the Chicago improv scene.
7. JASON SUDEIKIS PLAYS AN IMPROV GAME.
A few years before he joined the cast of SNL, Jason Sudeikis participated in this improv game about a superhero.
8. ROBIN WILLIAMS IN HIS ELEMENT.
Robin Williams treated every day like one big improv game, so he’s perfectly in his element sitting in with The Second City in Santa Monica back in the 1980s. Technically, he was already famous at this point, but it’s still a fun one to watch.