The Second City’s original AIM screen names, in all their AOL glory.
Bestselling author Sam Wasson’s new book Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art hits the shelves this week, providing the most comprehensive history ever written of how The Second City and its predecessor, the Compass Players, helped give rise to a uniquely American art form and ignite a comedy revolution.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
“The ascent of improv, which has become arguably more influential than stand-up, is one of the most important stories in popular culture, and in ‘Improv Nation’ Sam Wasson may be the first author to explain its entire history in comprehensive detail.”—New York Times
“Wasson makes a thoroughly entertaining case that improvisational comedy has ‘replaced jazz as America’s most popular art’ and represents the best of democracy”—Publishers Weekly
“A refreshing look at the ways in which comedians, artists, writers, and actors started getting involved in improvisation . . . an entertaining book, recommended for aspiring comedians who want to historicize their practice.”—Kirkus
“In case you’re wondering, yes, the book is funny. In places, very funny. A remarkable story, magnificently told.”—Booklist
Improv Nation is available everywhere December 5th.
Learn more about our history by exploring the Second City timeline.