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Great sketchpectations

We suss out Second City's latest funny faces.

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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Second City

Following a spate of lineup changes at the Second City, a fresh crop of local writers and improvisers we’ve had our eye on for a while will finally appear at the celebrated theater. Meet the Mainstage’s Allison Bills, Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, who will open a new revue this summer, and the e.t.c.’s Tim Baltz, Brendan Jennings and Mary Sohn, who will appear in The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life, opening Sunday 2.

 

Following a spate of lineup changes at the Second City, a fresh crop of local writers and improvisers we’ve had our eye on for a while will finally appear at the celebrated theater. Meet the Mainstage’s Allison Bills, Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, who will open a new revue this summer, and the e.t.c.’s Tim Baltz, Brendan Jennings and Mary Sohn, who will appear in The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life, opening Sunday 2.

Tim Baltz, 29
Comic heroes “I grew up with W.C. Fields and Fawlty Towers. Locally, Rush Howell, TJ Jagodowski and Pat O’Brien were early influences.”
Comedy style “Kevin Bacon plus a rabbit.”
Funniest moment “In 2004, I mimed a paper cut so well I actually started bleeding. A girl noticed the blood and got sick, so I mimed some flat Sprite, put it in a mime glass, and it mime-made her stomach feel better. I found out later she became a mime.”
Quirky fact “I have 414 Alonzo Mourning basketball cards.”
Can also be seen at Family Tree House Boat Accident (Sundays 10:30pm, iO Del Close Theater)

 

Allison Bills, 33
Comic heroes “Lucille Ball, Lily Tomlin, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, Statler and Waldorf, Amy Sedaris, Stephnie Weir, Scott Adsit, Jack McBrayer… It’s hard to stop.”
Comedy style “Dick jokes. One hundred percent dick jokes.”
Quirky fact “Last year on the way home from celebrating Daredevilry’s first preview at the Annoyance, I suddenly realized I had gotten incredibly drunk after the show. I didn’t want to be the asshole who wrecks a cab, so I somehow found the presence of mind to barf inside my clothes.”

Brendan Jennings, 32
Comedy style “I could never see myself as one of those guys who plays huge, strange characters who are in weird situations. However, according to those who have seen the show at e.t.c., I play a bunch of huge, strange characters who are in weird situations.”
Funniest moment “There was a show where my pants were dropped and showed my Irish pride. It was a feat in that no one threw up.”
Quirky fact “I worked at Disney as furry legends, mainly Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. You see the world in a whole new light once you’ve seen it through the heavy, plastic eyes of a manic-depressive donkey.”
Can also be seen at Cook County Social Club (Tuesdays 8pm, iO Del Close Theater)

Sam Richardson, 26
Comic heroes “I grew up watching Bill Murray movies. Ghostbusters is my favorite.”
Comedy style “I’m a very character-based comedian. Expect to see that and a lot of physicality.”
Funniest moment “In a show called Jerks at Warp Speed, there was a guy heckling us. At the end of the show, I had a speech and I used that opportunity to rail on the guy. I got an ovation. Turned out, it was a friend of my dad who was going through a pretty tough divorce. Oops.”
Quirky fact “When I was in the first and second grade, I lived in Accra, Ghana, in West Africa.”

Tim Robinson, 28
Comic heroes “Jon Glaser [Second City, Delocated] is the funniest dude on the planet, plus he does stand-up as Jim Leyland, manager of the Detroit Tigers.”
Comedy style “A lot of ‘Monster Mash’ jokes?”
Funniest moment “My favorite comedy moment did not happen onstage. It happened one Halloween when I scared my brother Sean O. about 15 times with a wolf mask. He was about 16 at the time. I almost peed myself with laughter.”
Quirky fact “I have an eight-month-old son named Buster. My goal for him is to one day be one of those fat babies on Maury Povich.”
Can also be seen with Cook County Social Club and sketch-comedy group My Mans

Mary Sohn, 29
Comic heroes “Tracy Morgan. I want to be him. I want to go on local Chicago morning talk shows and lie on the news desk with my shirt off.”
Comedy style “Reckless and physical. When I improvise, I don’t care who sees my underwear.”
Funniest moment “I wrote a monologue based on The Vagina Monologues called The Vaginal Monologues Brought to You by Totino’s Pizza Rolls. The audience was silent through the whole thing. At the end of it, one person clapped. Best night ever.”
Can also be seen with Virgin Daiquiri (Wednesdays 8pm, iO Cabaret Theater)

The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life opens Sunday 2 at the Second City e.t.c.

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