Chicago City Limits

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chicago City Limits
Formation 1977
Type improvisational comedy troupe

Chicago City Limits (CCL), is an improvisational comedy and sketch comedy troupe in New York City, New York.[1][2]

Chicago City Limits was founded by George Todisco and first performed on Labor Day 1977 in Chicago. It is New York City's longest-running comedy revue,[2][3][4] with a run of over 10,000 performances.[5][6]


Chicago City Limits is New York City's seminal improvisational theater and was founded in 1977 in Chicago by George Todisco with a group of actors participating in the workshop program at The Second City, studying under Del Close. Among the players were Todisco, Linda Gelman, Bill McLaughlin, Carol Schindler, Paul Zuckerman, Rick Crom and Christopher Oyen, all founding members of the NYC company, years later. Oyen served as The Second City's stage manager, and Todisco, McLaughlin, Schindler and Sandy Smith (an early member of the troupe), all appeared in "The Del Close Farewell Salute to Chicago" in 1978. In 1979, Chicago City Limits relocated to New York, performing regularly at Catch a Rising Star, the Improv, the Duplex, Folk City and other notable NYC clubs. It established its own theater in the summer of 1980 on W 42nd Street , thus creating NYC's most successful improvisational theatre to date. After setting up the theater on 42nd Street (1 year), the troupe relocated to the Jan Hus Playhouse at 351 E 74th St. (14 years) and, later, at their own theatre, once again, at 1105 1st Avenue (9 years), at The Broadway Comedy Club on E 53rd St. (9 years) and returned to the Jan Hus Playhouse (2 years), before suspending their run in 2016. The group is still active for touring gigs, corporate events and improvisational training.

CCL was a three-time recipient of The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award. The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company received the first MAC Award given for Best Comedy/Improv Group in 1987 and again in 1988. The New York Company won again in 2008. In 2011, Top 10 New York City by Eleanor Berman rated it one of New York City's top 10 comedy clubs.

Resident Company alumni (NYC) (listed chronologically)[edit]

  • George Todisco (Founding Member) ø
  • Linda Gelman (Founding Member) †ø
  • Bill McLaughlin (Founding Member)
  • Carol Schindler (Founding Member)
  • Paul Zuckerman (Founding Member) ø
  • Rick Crom (Founding Member/Musical Director))
  • Christopher Oyen (Founding Member) ø
  • David Regal
  • Eddie Ellner (Musical Director)
  • Judy Nazemetz
  • Terry Sommer
  • John Cameron Telfer
  • Rick Simpson
  • Judith Searcy
  • Harry Prichett
  • Wayne Barker (Musical Director)
  • Wendy Chatman
  • Carole Buggé
  • Carl Kissin †∆
  • John Webber
  • Leslie Upson
  • Gary Adler (Musical Director)
  • Andy Daly
  • Frank Spitznagel (Musical Director)
  • Denny Siegel
  • Sean Conroy
  • John O'Donnell
  • Joe DeGise II ƒ
  • Victor Varnado
  • Joe O'Brien
  • Rob Schiffmann π
  • Tara Copeland
  • Mike Leffingwell
  • Eugene Cordero
  • Morgan Phillips
  • Kimmy Gatewood
  • Travis Ploeger (Musical Director)
  • Annie Schiffmann, née Figenshu
  • Canedy Knowles
  • Kobi Libii
  • Stefan Schick
  • Rick Hip-Flores (Musical Director)
  • Malachi Nimmons, Jr.
  • Julia Young
  • Assaf Gleizners (Musical Director)

ƒ- Co-Director

ø- Co-Producer

†- Director of The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company

π- Musical Director (Touring Company)

œ- Accompanist

∆- Head Parody Writer

National Touring Company alumni (listed alphabetically)[edit]

  • Pete Aguero
  • Jessica Allen
  • Larry Bell
  • Tony Carnevale
  • David Chernicoff
  • Jeff Clinkenbeard
  • Claudia Cogan
  • Mike Colasuonno
  • Colton Dunn
  • Jamie Denbo
  • Brian Finkelstein
  • Jason Fletcher
  • Sharon Fogerty
  • Adrianne Frost
  • Danny Glover
  • Alison Grambs
  • Wendy Herlich
  • Suzanne Hevner
  • Sharon Jensen
  • Lisa Jolley
  • Anthony King
  • Rachel Korowitz
  • Annie Lebeau œ
  • Meg Sweeney Lawless
  • Beth Littleford
  • Simone Lutz
  • Jono Manelli œ
  • Michael Martin
  • Andy McCann
  • Robert McCaskill †
  • John McMahon π
  • Caitlin Miller
  • David Miner ø
  • Jim Mironchik œ
  • Julie Mullen
  • Jen Nails
  • Doug Nervik π
  • Susan Peahl
  • Eddie Pepitone
  • Steve Purnick
  • Joe Perce
  • Molly Prather
  • Ian Prior
  • Mary Purdy
  • Deb Rabbai
  • Amy Rhodes
  • Charlie Sanders
  • Michael Sansonia π
  • Celia Schaefer
  • Ben Schecter œ
  • Paul Scheer
  • Jeff Scherer
  • Rory Scholl
  • Ann Scobie
  • Danielle Schnieder
  • Joe Schwartz
  • Ges Selmont ø
  • Eliza Skinner
  • Rich Sommer
  • Chris Tallman
  • John Ten Eyck
  • Peter Tolan ¥
  • Greg Triggs
  • Nelson Walters
  • Amy Wilson

ƒ- Co-Director

ø- Co-Producer

†- Director of The Chicago City Limits National Touring Company

π- Musical Director (Touring Company)

œ- Accompanist

¥- Hired, no performances

Some past revues[edit]


He She It

Blizzard of ‘81

Chicago City Limits in Sensible Shoes

Chicago City Limits in 3D

Chicago City Limits with Clam Sauce

Nancy Get Your Gun

Choice Cuts

X: The Roman Numeral

Current Jam

Taking Liberties

Taking More Liberties

10 of Inequity

The Best of Chicago City Limits

Everything Kills

Scandals of '89

Saddam You're Rockin' the Boat

Power of Suggestion

The Official Comedy Team of the Olympics

Unconventional Wisdom

Generation Ecch

Let Loose the Dogs of Improv

Two Johns Kissin Leslie

That's What You Said

Right to Laugh Party


Subpoenas Envy

Y2K You’re OK

Lame Duck Soup

Chicago City Limits Gets amBUSHed!

America Idles

Unconventional Humor

Chicago City Limits on Ice

Hus on First


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Vincent Frontero (1991). What's free and cheap in New York. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Rosenberg, Martin Dunford (2011). The Rough Guide to New York. Penguin. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Martin Dunford, Jack Holland (2002). Rough guide to New York City. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ Lisa Mulcahy (2002). Building the successful theater company. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ Mulcahy, Lisa (2002-01-01). Building the Successful Theater Company. Allworth. ISBN 9781581152371. 
  6. ^ "Chicago City Limits will reach AG". Times Press Recorder. April 29, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.