Born in Chicago in 1948, Tino Insana was “discovered” by producer Joyce Sloane when he and his friends Steve Beshekas and John Belushi were doing shows under the name of the “West Compass Players.” The trio was performing entire scenes that they had seen at Second City as part of their act. Instead of sending a cease and desist, Sloane and Bernie Sahlins hired Insana and Belushi to be part of The Second City ensemble.
He joined the Mainstage company for the 46th and 47th Del Close-directed revues Phase 46 or Watergate Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight and Et Tu, Kohotek or Take 47, where Insana shared the stage with performers including John Candy, Betty Thomas, Bill Murray, David Rasche, and Ann Ryerson.
Insana left Second City in 1975 to form his own comedy troupe with fellow alums Jim Staahl and Jim Fisher. “The Graduates” made numerous appearances on television and campuses, as well as in clubs and at corporate presentations across the country.
He went on to have a lengthy career in Hollywood as an actor, writer and voice artist. He appeared in such films as Neighbors, ¡Three Amigos!, Who’s Harry Crumb?, The Couch Trip, Oscar, and Beverly Hills Cop III, as well as television shows including Night Court, Mad About You and Curb Your Enthusiasm.”He wrote and served as a story editor for the television series Police Squad and Sledge Hammer!
Insana’s extensive list of credits as a voice actor include playing “Uncle Ted” in the animated Fox series Bobby’s World, Darkwing Duck’s “Bushroot,” “Pig” in Barnyard and Back at the Barnyard, and “Mr. Grouper” in Nick Jr.’s Bubble Guppies. In 2008, Insana, who sounded eerily similar to his dear friend John Candy, provided the voice of “Barf “ in Spaceballs: The Animated Series.
The beloved actor, husband, friend and mentor passed away May 31st, 2017 at the age of 69.
“Tino was adored by every generation of Second City. He was always an ensemble player who had the respect and adoration of his peers. He will be deeply missed.” -Andrew Alexander