In an ironic twist, The Second City and its leaders are producing a biopic about the legendary late improv comedy guru, Del Close, who famously had a falling out with Second City over the direction and importance of improv, and bolted to join Charna Halpern in launching improvOlympic.
Mike Myers will star as Close in Del, directed by Betty Thomas from a screenplay by Nick Torokvei and financed by Covert.
“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” said Covert’s CEO, Paul Hanson. “A pioneer of his craft, Close has passed his knowledge of humor and improv to the group of comedians that everyone knows today and this hilarious script examines that intimate relationship with his students that has made them so successful.”
Producers include Hanson, Thomas, Diane Alexander from The Second City, Robert Teitel from State Street Pictures, and Ron West from Thruline Entertainment. EPs: Second City’s Andrew Alexander, Covert’s Elissa Friedman, Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine, and Thruline’s Chris Henze.
Close came up as a performer through The Compass Players and The Committee, but made an even bigger impact as a teacher and director with Second City (in both Chicago and Toronto) and later iO, where he mentored many performers who’d go on to Saturday Night Live, SCTV and more. Myers, of course, was one of Close’s students.
A documentary about Close came out in 2016.