Rolling Stone magazine recently published a list of the country's top 50 funny folks. And guess what? A slew of Chicago-born, Chicago-bred and/or Chicago-schooled comics are on it.
Second only to top dog Louis C.K. is Northwestern University alum, erstwhile Second City standout and iO Theater star Stephen Colbert ("The Colbert Report"). Coming in at #3 and also a Second City big shot is Tina Fey ("30 Rock"). Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), a pupil of improv oracle/mad genius Del Close who was part of Second City's touring company, takes the #6 spot.
Then (at #23) there's the hilariously bizarre Chicago-born/bred standup Hannibal Buress, once a mainstay at Zanies on Wells and a bunch of other joints around town before he moved to New York for short-lived gigs at "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock." Evanston-born, Northwestern schooled Seth Meyers ("Saturday Night Live") follows Buress, at #24. Besides his work with NWU's improv troupe Mee-Ow, Meyers trained at iO (then ImprovOlympic) and traveled abroad with Boom Chicago.
Number twenty-eight belongs to Chicago-born St. Ignatius College Prep alum John Mulaney ("Saturday Night Live"), #32 to Wilmette's own Bill Murray, who prowled Second City's mainstage and studied with improv guru Del Close in the 1970s, and #33 to former Chicago resident and Defiant Theatre co-founder Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation").
Slot #42 is occupied by School of the Art Institute graduate/former instructor/current bestselling author David Sedaris, whose humor writing was first showcased by the once Chicago-based public radio host Ira Glass. Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids") makes the grade, too, and we'll claim her here even though she's from Plainfield and went to school in Joliet. Last and perhaps most tenuous is Joan Rivers, who finishes at #49. Back in the early 1960s, Rivers was part of the then-fledgling comedy theater Second City. She didn't much like it there, though, and soon split for New York.
Here's the complete list: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/lists/the-50-funniest-people-now-20130124