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The Second City

Comedy, Comedy clubs Lincoln Park
5 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
The Second City
Photograph: Courtesy Second City

Time Out says

Even if you know nothing about improv, chances are you've heard of Second City. This is the place that put both sketch and improvised comedy on the map while launching the careers of many distinguished comics including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Joan Rivers, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Mainstage revues are occasionally stodgy, but most shows are still top-notch.



Address: 1616 N Wells St
Cross street: at North Ave
Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Sedgwick. Bus: 11, 22, 36, 72, 156.
Price: Average price: $20–$30
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Users say (9)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening

The Second City has had a lot of very famous comedians go through it such as Tina Fey and Steven Colbert. This place has lots of shows and classes. I took the Sunday night drop in $20 improv class here recently and the teacher was very knowledgable. The class was so fun. 


I took my acting classes here! Best decision ever and worth every penny. The instructors were very knowledgeable and guided me every step of the way. They all have a background in acting and are currently still acting in local projects and commercials as well. I felt comfortable and very well trained by the time I got to my last acting course. The one thing I really loved is that the individual who created the entire acting course is also an instructor who was amazing!

My major problem with Second City is the inconsistency.  I have been to many shows, and I have enjoyed about 50% of them.  The main stage is definitely better than the smaller ones.  The most recent one I attended, FANTASTIC SUPER GREAT NATION NUMERO UNO, was mediocre.  I had only a few good laughs.  I recommend asking more than one person before buying tickets to a show.


This it the activity to bring friends to when visiting Chicago. It is always a great time and a very comfortable venue. You can also take classes here.

I try to make it to a show a least 2 to 3 times a year and i always have a great time when i go. it is the spot to bring out of town friends and family and everyone always enjoys it. they have a small selection of food you can order during the show which is nice. definitely recommend out of towners to make this a pit stop!

Went to see an improv show and it was by far the best live comedy show I've seen. They also offer a wide variety of shows for all kinds of tastes. Would love to come back here again.


This is always at the top of my list of things I tell people to do when visiting Chicago for the first time. It can be expensive, but I've never, ever had a disappointing time at Second City. It's worth every penny. I usually laugh until my face hurts. And chances are, someone in the cast you see will go on to perform on SNL very soon (I saw Aidy Bryant there!). There's not a bad seat, either, as it's a pretty small theater. This is improv at its very best. 

Of course visiting a Second City show was tops on my to do list for my first ever visit to Chicago. I worship at the altar of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and had to make a pilgrimage to see where these two hilarious, intelligent women began. Most friends familiar with the city recommended Mainstage, but timing and tickets just did not work out. A friend and I watched the #DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment show at UP Comedy Club instead. The show was poignant and very funny, though it did end on a bit of a dark note. Overall great experience and I hope to get back for a more improv-based show one day!