Chicago comedy-hub Second City Theatre comes to Muncie

The Daily News

The Second City Theatre has helped comedic legends Tina Fey, John Belushi and Steve Carell ignite their entertainment careers. And that’s just to name a few. 

At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Second City All-Stars will be coming to John R. Emens Auditorium for a free improv comedy show.

Opening in 1959 on the north side of Chicago, The Second City evolved from a small, cabaret theatre to an improvisational stage that gave birth to comedic prophets. This intertwined theatre and comedy into an exclusive way of performing and creating humor. 

This improvisational theatre chooses its top performers for touring and these elite entertainers are en route for Emens Auditorium. 

Second City All-Stars Producer Joe Ruffner believes this is a fantastic collection with some of Chicago’s best improvisers. 

“Every show is a unique experience,” Ruffner said. “One of a kind.” 

When asked how often Second City All-Stars get placed on Saturday Night Live, Ruffner said there is no guarantee, but he hopes that some make it to the Big Apple. 

“Saturday Night Live is good about coming and watching our shows to replace people,” Ruffner said.

Program Director of the University Program Board Megan Rogers said this is a fun event to show new students what Ball State can offer. 

“People see comedy all the time,” Rogers said. “We didn’t want something from YouTube, this improv show will be the first time these performers have ever done it.”

When choosing between New York’s Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre and The Second City Theatre, UPB chose The Second City for more than one reason. The location, history and comedic celebrities played major roles in selecting this show. 

“More people recognize The Second City because it’s closer to Muncie, an older organization and the legends that come from there,” Rogers said. 

For longtime improv lover and performer, senior theater and telecommunications major Luke McLaughlin, there was no question about attending the show. 

“Chicago’s improv is perfect for people without any background in it,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a cool outlet for people who want to try it.” 

Known for connecting theatre and comedy, The Second City has helped pave the way for different entertainment platforms. 

“The Second City will open students to new and different art forms,” McLaughlin said. “It’s not long and boring, it’s not Shakespeare; improv defies all of that.” 


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