Andrew Alexander is an innovative and influential theatre, film, and television producer, known most widely for his leadership of The Second City theatre company and the hit television show SCTV.
Alexander was born in London, England. He studied at Tri-State College in Indiana and Ryerson University in Toronto. He was always passionate about comedy, even throughout the beginnings of his career as he worked in the music industry, journalism, and the alternative theater scene in Toronto. In 1974, when he took the reins of The Second City in Toronto, he turned his passion into a lifelong career.
At the helm of the Toronto theatre, he produced and developed content for live theatre shows working with the legendary casts of the 70s: Gilda Radner, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and others. Two years later, he joined forces with Len Stuart in starting The Second City Entertainment Company, whose first production was the landmark television show SCTV. After almost a decade of developing the Entertainment Company, Alexander and Stuart became owners of The Second City Chicago in 1985, and he has actively led The Second City in Canada and the US since then.
Alexander has produced or executive produced over 200 Second City revues in Canada and the United States. Under his leadership, The Second City created seminal revues that have inspired generations of comedic creators. Over the past 35 years, The Second City has operated resident theatres and/or improv training facilities at one time or another in Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Edmonton, London Ontario, New York, Cleveland, and at one point operated three resident theatres in Chicago. Most recently, he has expanded the Second City TV and Film Division to include offices in Los Angeles and Toronto.
During his storied career as television producer, Alexander co-developed and executive produced more than 185 half-hour shows and produced over 150 hours of television comedy for SCTV. Throughout the length of its run, the seminal comedy series garnered an ACTRA Award, 2 Emmy Awards and 13 Emmy Award nominations.
Moreover, he has developed television programming for numerous networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Television, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, A&E and the CBC. Extending his reach beyond the small screen, Alexander has had co-production deals with MGM Television, Imagine Films, Disney Studios, United Artists and has produced movies and television shows with some of North America’s biggest starts including Ed Asner, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi,Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Bonnie Hunt, Shelly Long, Andrea Martin, Steve Carell,John Candy, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short,Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.
Recently, Alexander was Executive Producer for Second City’s Next Comedy Legend on CBC (2007). He was also executive producer of the Canadian feature film Intern’s Academy (2004) written by Dave Thomas and featuring Canadian greats Dan Aykroyd, Dave Foley, Dave Thomas and Maury Chaykin.
Mr. Alexander was a founding shareholder of the Pay Television service Super Channel and also served on the Board of Directors.
Mr. Alexander serves on the Columbia College Board of Trustees. He is Chair of the Gilda's Club Toronto Honorary Board, an Honorary Member of the Chicago Gilda's Club Board and has also served on the the Board of the League of Chicago Theaters and the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2008, he facilitated a reunion of the cast of SCTV in Toronto launching The Alumni Fund, a fund that in its first months raised over $200,000 to assist actors and support staff during times of illness or economic hardship.
Mr. Alexander has received numerous awards including the Canadian Comedy Awards Chairman's Award, Gilda's Magic Award from Gilda's Club, The League of Chicago Theater's 2009 Artistic Leadership Award and named Chicagoan of The Year by Chicago Tribune.