6 Reasons Why Chicago Is America’s Funniest City

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Photo: Guy F. Wicke/Flickr

Photo: Guy F. Wicke/Flickr

Chicago is known as the Windy City, but it’s also known for other things; the Chicago hot dog (hold the ketchup), the Willis Tower, and having produced — and hosted — some of the best comedy around. Let’s put it this way — when it comes to comedy, the Second City is second to none. Here are six reasons why Chicago is the nation’s funniest city.

1. Improv innovations

Though the earliest documentation of improvisational theatre in Western history can be traced back to Rome circa 391 B.C., it wasn’t until the 1950s and ’60s that improvisation came to the forefront thanks to a woman named Viola Spolin — considered the “mother” of improvisational theatre due to her authorship of several texts and her instruction. Specifically, Spolin helped to guide the first generation of improvisational actors through her son, Paul Sills, who co-founded a group called the Compass Players in Chicago. After the group began in the summer of 1955, it later made theatre history for being the first group to practice improvisational theatre. Sills later founded The Second City in 1959.

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