With a huge film career, and Michael Scott on his resume, Steve Carell is one of the biggest stars to come out of The Second City. His ability to improvise, write, and act in both comedies and dramas has made him a household name. Carell spent nearly ten years at The Second City, studying improvisation and starring in multiple revues. After his tenure here, he worked on many television shows, most notably, The Office, and has starred in multiple films, including Academy Award-nominated Little Miss Sunshine, The Big Short, and Foxcatcher.
As a member of Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company at his alma mater, Denison University, Carell got his start with improvisation. After graduating in 1984, he made his way to Chicago to study the art of improv at The Second City. He both performed and taught here, and was a part of five different Mainstage revues in the span of 1991-1994. He starred alongside future stars Amy Sedaris, Jill Talley, Jackie Hoffman, and Stephen Colbert, the last of which was originally Carell’s understudy.
Carell acted alongside Colbert in the revues “Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been Mellow?” and “Take Me Out To The Balkans”, and they continued their career together at The Dana Carvey Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Daily Show. On The Daily Show, Carell was a correspondent from 1999-2005, where he eventually left to play Michael Scott in the American adaptation of The Office.
Though Carell had been working in comedy for many years prior, The Office was his breakthrough role. During the course of his run as the idiosyncratic regional manager, Carell was nominated for six Emmy’s and five Golden Globe Awards, winning the Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2006. The show has been included in many “Best Of” television series lists, both for writing and the cast. Throughout the show, he had major roles in films such as Anchorman, Bruce Almighty, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life, Get Smart, Date Night, and more. After leaving The Office in 2011, he focused on a film career.
To date, Carell has starred in additional films that include Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Way, Way Back, Foxcatcher, Freeheld, The Big Short, and more. He has acted and wrote alongside fellow Second City alum Adam McKay, Tina Fey, Alan Arkin, Fred Willard, and Bill Murray. For his turn in Foxcatcher, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014, a role he was also nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama at the Golden Globes. In 2015, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor-Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in The Big Short.
1990-1991: Northwest by North Wells, e.t.c. Stage
1991: Winner Takes Oil, Mainstage
1991-1992: Economy of Errors, Mainstage
1992-1993: Truth, Justice, or The American Way, Mainstage
1993-1994: Take Me Out To The Balkans, Mainstage
1994: Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been Bellow?, Mainstage