January 26 - Ed Furman

Rush Limbaugh! The Musical had a dress rehearsal in front of an invited gaggle of Second City producers and college aged adults, as well as its writer, Ed Furman.

My first impression of Ed was in October of 1997, seeing him improvise with live farm animals in Donkey Improv III, a show he conceived at the Annoyance Theater. It was the first improv show I ever saw.
Later, when I was feeling my oats at Annoyance I saw him portray Slick, the character he originated in Co-Ed Prison Sluts. Ed also played bass in a loose weeknight show whose name escapes me. Around 1998 I struck up a conversation with him while he painted a Lichtenstein inspired mural on the box office wall. I don't remember the details of the conversation, other than it wasn't about fucking improv. And that he was cool to me.

The next year he was cast on The Second City mainstage. One night my sketch comedy group Teenage Sports Parade came to watch Ed in the big lights. After the second act he came into the house to invite us to do the improv set. I got to do terrible, weirdprov in front of tourists and taste mainstream failure firsthand with future Mad TV cast members and Conan writers.

One day Ed emailed me to write a spoofy commercial for a Second City video thing. I submitted a piece about divorce-over-the-phone and got paid $50. Other than writing a funny English paper for Brian Martin in 7th grade, it was the first money I made doing comedy.

A few years later I played drums for Second City corporate gigs, many with Eddie. We played some kind of convention center in Madison, a resort in Tampa with crocodiles in the man-made swamps and post Great White fire jugglers on the stage, and opened for a Beatles tribute band at Chicago's House of Blues.

For a few months Eddie hosted a variety show at Second City with Jim Zulevic. I got to play drums and enjoy the old school dressing rooms of Black Orchid Theater, complete with shoe shine chairs and vintage photos of Ray Charles. It was a good time.

Similarly, the dress rehearsal today went very well.

I've always associated good things with Ed Furman.
It's always a nice surprise to continue working with him.

Verdict: Win

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