The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
Two years ago this month, the world became a little (or a lot) less funny when comedy legend Harold Ramis died at his home in Glencoe at the age of 69. But come September, the world will become a little (or a lot) funnier when a new Chicago institution named after Ramis comes to life.
On Tuesday, Chicago’s famed improv theater Second City announced plans to open “the world’s first film school dedicated to comedy” and name it after Ramis, a Second City alum who wrote (and often directed, produced or acted in) such iconic films as National Lampoon’s Animal House, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.
And in honor of Ramis’ well-deserved honor and contributions to comedy, I thought I’d share with you five things that you might not already know about his fellow funnymen and women spawned from Second City.
Kings & Queens of Comedy
Since opening its doors in 1959, Second City has served as the launching pad for some of the biggest names in comedy. But do you realize just how many stars first cracked wise on its famous stage?
Here are some alumni: Alan Alda (1959), Ed Asner (1959), Alan Arkin (1960), Joan Rivers (1961), Fred Willard (1965), Peter Boyle (1967), Ramis (1969), John Belushi (1971), John Candy (1973), Bill Murray (1973), Dan Aykroyd (1974), Eugene Levy (1974), Gilda Radner (1974), George Wendt (1975), Shelley Long (1976) and Jim Belushi (1978).