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’s clip is a taped sketch originally from Second City’s 7th revue Alarums and Excursions from 1961 featuring ensemble performers Bill Alton, Hamilton Camp, Del Close, Anthony Holland, Joan Rivers, and Avery Schreiber. In the above sketch “Brainwashing and Berlin,” Andrew Duncan plays a CBC reporter who travels to Germany to interview an Army colonel played by Eugene Troobnick, who gives him a crash course in evil communist brainwashing. Of course, the best and only defense to brainwashing is “an unshakable, unswervable faith in the American way of life,” which may or may not be its own form of brainwashing.