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“The Second City: Laughing Matters” Showcases the Talents of Five Comedians at The Carolina Theatre


The N.C. Comedy Arts Festival and The Carolina Theatre will present The Second City: Laughing Matters, a no-holds-barred live performance the by up-and-coming comedians from the legendary Chicago-based improv-based sketch comedy troupe, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb 8th, in the 1,016-seat Fletcher Hall at The Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, NC. Second City alumni include John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Gilda Radner, and more than 500 other comedians.

According to the press kit for The Second City: Laughing Matters:

“… The Second City: Laughing Matters will [feature] some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from The Second City’s [53]-year history. The Second City is truly a Chicago landmark and a national treasure.

“With economic uncertainty, political gridlock and a seemingly endless supply of Kardashians clogging up our televisions, laughing has never mattered more; and The Second City is here to bring some well needed silliness and hilarious spontaneity to a world in need of some comic relief. The Second City: Laughing Matters puts comedy first in a wickedly funny revue that skewers and celebrates in equal doses.

“The Second City celebrates over 50 years of cutting-edge satiric revues, and continues to deliver the leading voices in comedy while touring the globe. [The Second City: Laughing Matters includes] scripted and improvisational elements, [and] audiences always enjoy being part of the show and playing along with the next generation of comic legends.

“Whether it’s ripped from the morning headlines or a classic gem from their 50-year archives, The Second City is always a laugh-out-loud hit….”

According to the program for The Second City: Laughing Matters appearance at The Carolina Theatre, performers will include:

SHAD KUNKLE: “Shad Kunkle has been touring and performing with The Second City for the last four years. He has been improvising in Chicago for over eight years and would like to thank iO Chicago and ComedySportz Chicago for giving him the opportunity to perform and learn the craft of improvisation. He currently performs with Carl and The Passions and the Armando Diaz Experience. He is a proud coach of Chicago’s best Harold team, The Reckoning, at iO Chicago….”

ABBY McENANY: “Abby McEnany couldn’t be happier that she is working with The Second City. She currently performs with the critically acclaimed all-female improv troupe Sirens. This summer, she appeared in A&E, a two-person sketch show (with Erin McEvoy), as part of the Unhinged Series at The Second City. She studied improvisation at The Second City Training Center, iO, and the Annoyance. Last summer, she performed in Maine at lmprovAcadia, Bar Harbor’s improv venue….”

ASHER PERLMAN: “Asher Perlman is delighted to perform with The Second City. A Wisconsin native, Asher can be seen performing with ComedySportz Chicago, Birthday Girl at iO (formerly lmprov Olympic), and his three-person sketch group ATV. In 2012, he sailed the seas as a member of The Second City aboard the NCL Epic….”

TIM RYDER: “Tim Ryder is honored to perform with The Second City. Originally from southern Illinois, Tim is a graduate of Drake University, where he founded the college’s first improv comedy troupe, DICEY. Since moving to Chicago, he has performed with The Second City National Touring Company, Baby Wants Candy, ComedySportz, The Beatbox, Sears Tower (iO Chicago), and The Senate (The Playground Theater).”

SARAH SHOOK: “Sarah Shook is excited for the opportunity to perform with the Second City. She has also performed at Second City with their House Ensembles on Bench Co and Twisty and at the iO theatre with The Adventurers. Sarah is from the Baltimore suburbs, has never seen ‘The Wire,’ loves Linda Ronstadt, has two cats named Velma and Edith, bakes pies, and has climbed an active volcano….”

The Second City: Laughing Matters creative team includes director Ryan Bernier, musical director Mike Malarkey, and stage manager Jayme O’Hara.

The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and The Carolina Theatre present THE SECOND CITY: LAUGHING MATTERS at 8 p.m. Feb 8 in Fletcher Hall at The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan, St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $33.40-$43.65 (including fees).


Carolina Theatre Box Office: 888-241-8162, 919-560-3030, or

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or



N.C. Comedy Arts Festival

The Carolina Theatre:




The Second City: (official website) and (Wikipedia).

The Second City (tour): (official web page).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Review, a FREE weekly e-mail arts newsletter. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Review.

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