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Second City, Chicago

1616 N. Wells Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 337 3992's insider take:

If you only go to one comedy club in your life, this should be it. Yes, you'll find Second City franchises scattered about the country, but there's no matching the original. A perusal of the framed photos in the foyer is a who's who of funny: Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Mike Meyers, and Amy Sedaris are just some of the comedians who started their careers here. The casual main theater—officially called "The Second City Mainstage"—seats 290 and is as classic as comedy clubs get; you'll likely be seated randomly at a table and plied with drinks and appetizers until the show begins. Big names and alums still perform here periodically, but both the Mainstage and Second City e.t.c. (a smaller, second stage) have resident troupes that write and perform original comedy revues.

Performance times vary; call ahead.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.