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NO PLAN B


THE ALL-IN ATTITUDE OF JOE ANDERSON


For a while, comic Joe Anderson probably thought he had it made. He’d earned a slot in the famed Second City comedy troupe and was on the definite up-and-up — like walking-down-the-red-carpet-in- the-proximate-future up-and-up. Then, with no backup plan, he walked away and started over.


26 | REVUEWM.COM | MARCH 2011


Second City grew into a one-of-a-kind training ground for the world’s most promising comedy actors. Today, it features schools and theatres in multiple cities across the U.S. and Canada, as well as 11 touring troupes. Its workshops cover every imaginable element of comedy, from “Writing the Sitcom Plot” and “Dialects” to


JOE


“Surviving Singprov” and “Stage Combat.” For those unflappable trainees who can withstand the dual pressures of learning and performing comedy


day-in and day-out, a stint at Second City is like college, an internship and a first job rolled into one. To use a baseball analogy, it’s like the farm system where players progress on their way to the major leagues. Many Second City alums have made it to the bigs, including Chris Farley, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Gilda Radner and Amy Sedaris, among many others.


ANDERSON HAD KNOWN since the ninth grade that he wanted to be some sort of comic performer. Then, in the late 1990s, he auditioned with Chicago’s renowned Second City comedy club and school of improvisation. He not only got accepted, but also was put on a fast track, skipping the normal training process and being farmed to Detroit’s Second City, where he toured and served as an understudy on the main stage. He was all in.


The New York Times has described Second City as “a comedy empire.” Started in Chicago in the 1950s,


FUNNY ISSUE


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SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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