Co-Founder of Second City Dies

Jun 17, 2013  •  Post A Comment

One of the founders of the Chicago-based improvisational comedy troupe Second City has died. The Chicago Tribune reports that group co-founder Bernard "Bernie" Sahlins died Sunday at 90.

Sahlins founded Second City in 1959 with Paul Sills and Howard Alk.

"It is hard to overstate Sahlins’ influence on the growth and innovation of sketch comedy, and on any entertainment that involves performers making things up based on suggestions from the audience. He also was famous for spotting big talents, quickly and early," the obituary notes.

Among his discoveries are Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and James and John Belushi, the story notes.

"Bernie was a mischievous imp with the mind of Bertrand Russell," said George Wendt, known for his role as Norm Peterson on "Cheers" and who started his acting career under Sahlins.

bernard-sahlins.jpgBernard Sahlins

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