At first glance, you might think they’re heroes of the American Revolution.
But why would the terra cotta portrait heads of Revolutionary War heroes be adorning the entrance of The Second City?
That’s right, The Second City; Chicago’s (and arguably the world’s) greatest comedy theater. The mere mention of its name evokes thoughts of improvisational comedy (commonly known as “improv” to us Chicagoans and anyone else who hasn’t been living under a rock the past 50 years).
I should also mention that The Second City is second to none as a training ground for students of improv and sketch comedy.
What has been described as “American theatrical satire” was officially born at The Second City in December 1959.
And since then, it has been nurtured and raised to a sophisticated and entertaining “middle age.”
Although these four guys may have been revolutionary in their fields, they had nothing to do with the American Revolution. In fact, they’re not even Americans; they’re Germans!
So the question is really more like, “Who are these German guys and what are they doing at the entrance to The Second City at 1616 North Wells Street in Chicago’s Old Town?”
Prior to my completing this story, if you had searched The Second City’s web site, you would have found no mention of them. If you had asked any of The Second City’s employees about their identities, they may have had guesses, but no one "really knew."