Theater Review: Second City’s Incomplete Guide to Everything


I found “Second City’s Incomplete Guide to Everything” by accident. I was recently looking for last minute tickets to the mainstage show but it was sold-out every night that week. It had been a few years since I’d been to the famous theater at North and Wells and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many different shows they have running.

With a stroke of luck and because of the name, I picked out “Second City’s Incomplete Guide to Everything” currently running at UP Comedy Club in Piper’s Alley. It turned out to be the best show I’ve seen at Second City and the only sketch and improv show I’ve seen where not a single skit fell flat.

The show is made up of best-of sketches from Second City’s history and jumps through time while exploring the theme of connections in history (and pop culture), in a humorous manner. If you’ve kept up with pop culture (especially in the last ten years) you will get most of the references. The night we went, the cast was trying to show how Justin Bieber’s arrest led to the apocalypse. It has yet to be proved that Justin Bieber’s arrest won’t cause the apocalypse.

Some of the standout sketches were a woman who befriends a serial killer in her building’s laundry room, an improv sketch about the typical American family in different years and a woman who discovers her therapist hasn’t been listening to her at all and doesn’t even know her name. Every sketch was funny and had a few lines where the audience laughed out loud.

All of the performers were quick on their feet during improvisation and had outstanding comedic timing. I highly recommend this show if you’re heading to Second City.

This show is currently an open run at UP Comedy Club at 230 W North Ave, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit Second City’s site.



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