[“Geeking Out with…” is a series of interviews with well-known, highly experienced improvisers. It’s a chance to talk about stuff that might interest hardcore, improv dorkwads like Pam. The series can be found in full frontal geek out version on My Nephew is a Poodle and in pithier version on the Women in Comedy Festival blog. For behind-the-scenes action, ‘like’ the “Geeking Out with…” Facebook page.]
|Stack, the man and the beer|
In addition to being very nice, Brian Stack is enormously talented. During the 1990s heyday of the Chicago improv scene, Brian played on some of the most renown, respected groups at the time, such as Blue Velveeta, Jazz Freddy, and the original cast of The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience and Hootenanny, which also included such other greats as Armando Diaz himself, Matt Besser, Jimmy Carrane, Kevin Dorff, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Neil Flynn, Noah Gregoropoulos, David Koechner, Adam McKay, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and so many more. (For a complete list of the wildly impressive original and second cast plus some guest monologist highlights, check out this interview.) From this illustrious beginning, Brian went on to work at Second City, both on tour and on the Chicago stage.
Were you studying first at Second City and then iO?
|The Late Night writing staff in the late '90s|
|iO team Bouquet of Flesh:|
Brian Stack, Beth Cahill, Jenna Jolovitz, Pat Walsh,
Dennis Sheehan, Pete Rodriguez, and E.J. Peters
remember the crowd being full of improvisers on the opening night of Jazz Freddy, and I'll always be grateful for that kind of support. And over at Second City in those days, you'd see amazing people like Farley, Pasquesi, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris, Jane Lynch, and other greats. I can't believe that at the time they were just the local entertainment.
|Brian and his beautiful family |
(taken before they were old enough to eat all the chocolates)
|Backstage at ASSSCAT in NY |
Lennon Parham, Jack McBrayer, Amy Poehler,
Horatio Sanz, Miriam Tolan, Alan Zweibel,
John Lutz and Rachel Dratch.
|Backstage at ASSSSCAT (NY):|
Brian Stack, Jack McBrayer,
Miriam Tolan, John Lutz
|Amy Poehler and Tina Fey|
from back in their iO days
|Mr. Stack and Ms. Poehler|
in her Conan dressing room in 2012
|Brian as Frankenstein and Tom Hanks|
at Late Night
[All photographs (except for the Gambrinus) in this piece come from the collection of Brian Stack...because he's a really nice guy who sent a whole slew of fantastic photos to me. Thanks, Brian!]
* * *
in which Susan says,
"I am not for the faint of heart,
but if you can handle the messenger
you'll definitely get the message."
Geeking Out with…Dave Pasquesi of TJ and Dave