Marshall Sahlins's remarkable brother is dead at 90
Louis Proyect <lnp3 <at> panix.com>
2013-06-19 20:45:37 GMT
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NY Times June 17, 2013
Bernard Sahlins, Patriarch of Sketch Comedy, Dies at 90
By BRUCE WEBER
Bernard Sahlins, a founder and former owner of the Second City, the
Chicago nightclub that helped establish improvisational sketch comedy as
a rudiment of American entertainment and created a resident troupe that
propelled the careers of myriad funnymen and women, died on Sunday at
his home in Chicago. He was 90.
He recently learned he had pancreatic cancer, his wife, Jane, said in
confirming the death.
An argument can be made that Mr. Sahlins (pronounced SAHL-ins), the last
survivor of the Second City’s three founders and for many years a
producer and director, was unequaled in his influence on American comedy
in the late 20th century. By now, the Second City may be responsible for
making more people laugh than any other single entity — in the Western
Hemisphere, anyway. The Chicago alumni make up a staggering roster of
talent that spans generations — from Alan Arkin and Robert Klein to John
Belushi and Bill Murray to Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.
In the 1970s the Second City established a second resident theater, in
Toronto, whose troupes have included Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Andrea
Martin, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy and Martin Short, and created the
television show “SCTV.” The Second City now operates four international