CHICAGO (CBS) — Hope you are ready to laugh!

Chicago’s comedy headquarters, the Second City, is working hard to keep you  smiling.

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2’s Got Your Ticket. Here’s entertainment reporter Vince Gerasole.

As we still try to emerge from a pandemic, and some hefty politics makes many of us uneasy, the Second City has the job of making us forget all about that and laugh. Creative Director Anneliese Toft told CBS 2 figuring that out isn’t always funny business.

So what does it take to be funny in this day and age?

“It’s  hard to be funny in this day and age. This happened a lot after 9/11 and people go ‘too soon,'” Toft said. “The whole right now is experiencing a whole bunch of ‘too soon.’ Figuring out how to be funny while giving enough distance and perspective on the things that are still hurting us has been a real adventure.”

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So, where is the line and how do you know when to step back?

“If you come to see a Second City show, and we’re in the process of creating a new show, you’ll see the first two acts of the show that you paid for, that we’ve developed over months and months. And then the actors will come out and ask ‘would you like to see a little bit more?’ We take a brief intermission and we come back and test the content in front of you. And we let the audience let us know if it’s too much. And we had some stuff during the last show process where the audience said ‘no, not enough distance, it hasn’t been enough time.'”

Is Second City finding that more people are looking for more political satire than they did just a few years ago?

“Actually the opposite. We found that leading up to the 2020 election, they were hungry for it. And now people, I think, are coming to the theatre for an escape. And Delta (coronavirus variant) came in and everyone became more anxious,” Toft said. “It was this reminder that we’re aren’t actually over the pandemic and people wanted kinder scenes. They wanted that “Ted Lasso” feeling,” said Toft.

The Second City has a number of shows playing now, and its holiday sessions are what I’m looking forward to. Especially “Deck the Hallmark” which is poking fun at those Christmas romcoms we can’t seem to get enough of.

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