Hey Zoners! Yes, it’s me again. I’m enjoying a little “staycation” this week, which is giving me plenty of time to
pester everyone catch the Colbert news as it lands in my inbox and get it up on the blog in pretty quick fashion.
Thanks to Jennie for bringing this one to my attention: a new book about the first fifty years of Second City, and the talented alumni who have had such an influence on the entertainment we see on the big and small screens today. The Second City Unscripted: Revolution and Revelation at the World-Famous Comedy Theater, written by Chicago Sun-Times journalist Mike Thomas, is the result of 170 interviews and provides an unvarnished look at Second City both onstage and behind the scenes. The Sun Times is featuring an article about the book with excerpts from some of the interviews, including Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris.
I was very actorly, because I had gone to theater school. And I was very controlled. I was all about planning. And Paul [Dinello] was sort of a wild, chaotic, impulsive energy comedically. Much sillier, much stupider behavior. And I’m happy to say he won that battle. He said my tie was tied a little too tight, and he was absolutely right. And he opened me up to a little bit of a wilder side, and so did Amy [Sedaris]. And then the three of us became pretty inseparable, and I was very lucky and grateful to have those two people to love and be loved by, for the next few years, because it’s not easy to be a lady-in-waiting there at Second City, while you’re on the road all the time. You get to be on the road, which is great, but waiting for your work is an exhausting experience. Even waiting for a touring company. They keep you hungry.
(A keen observer of mortal foibles and life’s grotesqueries, Sedaris had a penchant for getting ugly. Playing it pretty, she decided early on, just wasn’t her thing.)
I just don’t find it interesting. I think there are enough girls out there who can do that, and look the part. I just didn’t pay any attention to it. I don’t remember wearing makeup onstage. I could do the different characters and wouldn’t have to worry about that. I wanted a blank slate. You can just add one thing and you become that character, but if you’ve got cat-eye eyeliner on, then you’re going to look like Sophia Loren in every scene.
It looks like a fascinating book. We all know how much Second City meant (and still means) to Stephen, but there are so many other talented, funny, creative people who benefited from their time spent there and went on to successful careers in film and television. The number of Saturday Night Live cast members alone who started out there is almost mind-boggling. The article also includes a link to a photo gallery: Second City: Before they were stars. At the end of the gallery is a 1987 picture of Stephen looking very cute and ridiculously young (although the pic itself isn’t the best quality).
The book’s official publication date is tomorrow.