Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy’s biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.
This week we’re unearthing a vintage clip from the 1961 revue Animal Fair or Caviar to the General, which debuted only a little over a year after Second City Theatre first opened its doors in Chicago. In the clip, a young Alan Arkin stars in a sketch as the Biblical hero Noah, who interviews a host of aspiring animal ark-dwellers played by ensemble performers Severn Darden, Andrew Duncan, Barbara Harris, Mina Kolb, Paul Sand, and Eugene Troobnick. If you’re curious to see what a live Second City revue looked like during the early years, this black-and-white gem starring a future Oscar winner should definitely do the trick.