Congratulations to the 2018 nominees, many of whom cut their comedy teeth at The Second City.
What’s your favorite 24 Hour memory?
“It’s mean to ask me for only one, but I’ll play. The first time we auctioned off Jeff Tweedy’s Living Room Show is captured in my mind like an out-of-body-experience. I couldn’t believe how much money was raised in a few minutes, and then I saw Jeff whispering with his wife Susie. Jeff offered to play shows for both parties if they each matched the high bid. We instantly doubled the money, and I went from crying to sobbing.” –Heather Whinna
“I’m always there in the beginning to see Jeff play and then at the end when The Blisters play. In the beginning, the actors are all bright and shiny– and 24 hours later, they look like death warmed over– having been drunk, sober, hungover and drunk again 42 times. I love that!” –Susan Miller Tweedy
“As a dork, it was a particular privilege to interview Nate Silver, the Pope of Dorks, about his remarkable career in utilizing statistics to solve problems and predict outcomes in things as diverse as politics and baseball. Afterward, he, Scott Goldstein and TJ Jagodowski joined our home poker game and played until after midnight.” –Steve Albini
“After a perfect overnight of getting to perform and hangout with some of my biggest heroes in the world, I decided the cigarette I was having on the roof as the sun was coming up would be my last. That was 8 years ago.” —Billy Bungeroth
“I was doing an improvised political debate where I had to guess a word based on mimed clues from my campaign aides. I was stuck on the second word for what felt like 10 minutes, which is an eternity in debate time. Pretty sure Olivia Wilde remembers me as ‘The Guy Who Sucks at Debate.’ P.S. The word was “shanty town,” which is really two words, so cut me some slack.” —Tim Ryder
“Seeing Robbie Fulks cover Abba’s “Dancing Queen” was something to remember. And you can, here!” —Adam Koscielski
“I’ll never forget Jeff Tweedy leaving the theater halfway thru his set to play a request for the audience members still out in the lobby, standing in line down the stairs toward North Ave.” —Joe Ruffner
“One year, Andy Cobb forgot the lyrics to “Tonight,Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins, which threatened his Billy Corgan intro. I ran my ass off in support to get the quote right about the “city by the lake” while Billy tuned his guitar backstage in e.t.c.” —Aaron Sjoholm
“I remember a 3am moment at the first 24 Hour that involved an over-caffeinated Andy Cobb and a tray of cold cuts. I think I’ve said too much”. —Jeremy Smith
“Babyco. Always.” —Monica Wilson
“I got to babysit Lil Bub backstage. Which I guess means I got to Bubysit. I got paid in unlimited selfies with her, which is the average going rate for caring for famous internet cats.” —Liz Kozak
“I had a Kristen Bell sloth moment, where I had a feeling that Lil Bub was in the building. I had just been gifted a pug suit by Brynne Humphreys Hovde, so naturally, I go sleuthing around the building in my pug suit, found Lil Bub and her dude and got to meet them both. What a dream.” –Chrissy Borne
“Mine is Mick Napier having Jagodowski play a two-person scene with earphones on, so all he could hear was music. He just had to play off his partner from visual cues and respond.” —Mark Sutton
“The entire audience was asked to go outside and meet on North and Wells. Once there, we held traffic for like three minutes as a dance flash mob. I was being led by the people in front of me, who ended up being Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde.” —Vernon Mina
“Following a marching band around Piper’s Alley at dawn. The magic of 24 Hour happens when most people are still sleeping.” —Jo Feldman
“I snuck into 24 Hour in high school, on a school night, and watched Joe Canale shave half of his mustache off. It was the best thing he’s ever done at Second City.” —Tyler Alexander
“So my brother, Trent, and I have come and watched Jeff Tweedy do the 24 Hour event at Second City a couple years running. Every year, there’s an auction where you can bid to have Jeff play a song of your choice to you. So I decided I was gonna try to buy a song for me and my brother. I get in a bidding war with this drunk, obnoxious lady in back. Pretty soon, I’m in over my head financially. TJ Jagodowski is running the auction, and this other lady apparently has money to burn. She outbids me and then asks Jeff Tweedy, one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, to sing “Happy Birthday” to her friend, who isn’t even there. She apparently doesn’t know any of Jeff Tweedy’s or Wilco’s songs. So TJ, being the tactful, wonderful man he is, politely declines her request and opens the auction back up. Suddenly, other people in the room are chipping in to buy a song for me and my brother. It turned into a charity event inside of a charity event. Thanks to several kind souls (namely Scott Goldstein), Trent and I had the surreal experience of having Jeff Tweedy sing “Via Chicago” to us three feet from our faces. He was making eye contact the entire time. I was blushing like a little girl. It was borderline uncomfortable in the most beautiful way. Unforgettable experience. Can’t wait for this year!” —Paul Jurewicz
No one can wait for this year, Paul. 24 Hour: A Site for Sore Eyes runs nonstop from Monday, November 23rd-Tuesday, November 24th, 2015. 6pm-6pm. The Second City e.t.c. Theater. $20 at the door. Every single cent goes to real families in need from Onward Neighborhood House. For the full schedule and info on how to watch & donate online, visit letterstosantachicago.com.