Second City comedy rids DeKalb of blues

By Gary Schlueter

On Nov. 15, Second City sent one of its three National Touring Companies to set up stage in the Duke Ellington Ballroom and from their first greeting of, “DeKalb!?,” the six-member troupe never missed a chance to comically entertain the 1,700-plus enthusiastic crowd.

This third annual performance, once again organized by the local Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, kept the audience laughing in the name of rollicking fun and, more importantly, charity.

Proceeds from this event were doled out equally to the Special Physical Education Clinic and the Campus Child Care Center.

Dr. Garth Tymeson, director of S.P.E.C., said, “Of course, the money is very helpful. It is used to purchase equipment for children and adults in the area with motor disabilities.”

Aside from the obvious Second City graduates: the brothers Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner (all of whom would later give the award-winning Saturday Night Live its biting Chicago flavor), the list of Second City alumni will surprise many. Members have included Alan Alda, George Wendt, David Stienberg, Shelly Long, Valerie Harper, Robert Klien, and Ed Asner.

The as-of-yet unknown Charlie Hartsock, one of the six players here earlier this month, said college crowds are always fun and very adaptable.

“We’re there to have fun and so is the audience,” he said. “It’s really nice when we can do something like that (performing for charity). It adds something special.”

The cast ended one skit with the quote, “Inside every good time is a bad time fighting to get out.”

Any ‘bad time’ I could have experienced didn’t have a fighting chance against this skilled comedy troupe.