R.I.P. Bernie Sahlins

Bernie SahlinsTo truly understand the art you practice, you need to know its history and those that helped shape it. Bernie Shalins is one of those people who you need to know about. Let's rundown some of his many accomplishments:

  • Co-founder and former owner of Second City
  • Discover of comedy stars such as Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Gilda Radner
  • Co-founded, with Paul Sills, of The Compass Players, who invented the current version of improvisation you perform at DCH
  • Co-creator of SCTV

"Known for a somewhat caustic sense of humor and a habit of jumping around on the stage while directing, Sahlins had a famous rivalry with the late improv guru Del Close," Chris Jones reported for the Chicago Tribune. "Whereas Close believed in the purity of improvisation as an art form, Sahlins always famously insisted that it was best used as a tool to create original material that later would become part of a script."

Sahlins died Sunday at age 90, and may his huge influence on improvisation and sketch comedy be forever remembered.

(Photo via Getty)