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What Others Are Saying About The Second City Unscripted...

Some amazing praise for The Second City Unscripted from Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune cultural critic Julia Keller.

"Much of the humor here emerges naturally, as it should... when things gel, it's like listening to these people swap stories on grungy backstage couches....The Second City Unscripted is a worthy second act." — New York Times

"Funny, sentimental and hopeful, making this a winning collection for any fan of comedy’s last half-century." — Publishers Weekly


Mike Thomas is an author and staff writer for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has interviewed numerous renowned comics and comedic actors including Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Carl Reiner, Bill Cosby, Tom and Dick Smothers, Chevy Chase, Sarah Silverman, Richard Lewis, Phyllis Diller, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jon Stewart.

Thomas’s national magazine work has appeared in Esquire, Smithsonian, and Playboy and on

Phil HartmanBooks

Coming Soonest from Mike and St. Martin's Press:

You Might Remember Me — The Life and Times of
Phil Hartman

Featuring memories and insights from Phil's siblings, closest friends and many colleagues.

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The Second City Unscripted

In 1959, a group of like-minded Chicagoans joined forces to open a hip new venue dedicated to coffee, cigarettes, conversation, and comedy. The result, a nightly cabaret featuring a troupe of inventive young actors skewering everything from politics to popular culture in witty, rapid-fire, improvised scenes, not only made delighted audiences laugh, it made history.

In this unvarnished, unexpurgated, and unprecedented account, what happened onstage, backstage, and offstage at Second City isn’t staying there anymore. From the smash hits and near misses to the love affairs and the bitter feuds, from the showbiz politics and pitfalls to the inspired tomfoolery and heartbreaking tragedy, The Second City Unscripted is part memoir of a cherished era, part time capsule from a comedic renaissance, and part valentine to the exquisite art of being funny. It captures like never before the history of the men and women who caught lightning — and laughter— in a bottle.

Take a look inside The Second City Unscripted...


Jenny From The Block
After a South Side childhood, Jennifer Beals is back on the hometown beat in a new Chicago cop drama — Chicago Sun-Times

Standing in Shadow of an Idol
Mr. Bowersox waits for his big break — Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago's Next Hub of Hilarity?
The Laugh Factory braves a city where many clubs fell — Chicago Sun-Times

The Whole Food Experience: Fergus Henderson
London Chef shows how to enjoy every last bit — Chicago Sun-Times

The Sodfather
Major-league teams are turning to third-generation groundskeeper Roger Bossard to give them a winning edge — Smithsonian Magazine

Ghost Writers
Scaring up a friendly ghost; Take someone else's word for it -- the famous are getting plenty of assistance from professional writers in crafting their memoirs — Chicago Sun-Times

Bruce Wolf Howling to get Back on the Air
Court jester of local broadcasting hits a rare dry patch — Chicago Sun-Times

Basic Training in the World of Opera
The odds of becoming a professional opera singer are akin to those of playing
AAA baseball: not good, but not soul-squashingly slim, either. — Chicago Sun-Times

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Photo: Rich Hein/Chicago Sun-Times

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