Practical Theater Company’s Gary Kroeger on getting hired/fired by ‘SNL’

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The Practical Theater Company

“It was late summer, 1982, and I was driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I turned to her and said, ‘This must be what winning the lottery feels like.’ We had just been asked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live along with Brad Hall (and Paul Barrosse, who would become a writer) and were on our way to our last performance of ‘The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee.'”

So begins an essay on Splitsider by comedic actor and writer Gary Kroeger, an alum of the Northwestern University-rooted Practical Theater Company. The long-defunct ensemble spent some time in Old Town’s Piper’s Alley Complex before Second City’s smaller e.t.c. space emerged.

As Kroeger tells it, he and his crew — which included future “Seinfeld” and “Veep” star Louis-Dreyfus and her almost husband Brad Hall — were hired en mass after then-active ‘SNL’ cast member (and current longtime Evanston resident) Tim Kazurinsky brought in NBC honchos Dick Ebersol and Bob Tischler to check them out.

Before long, however, things turned sour. Read the rest of Kroeger’s saga here. In light of ‘SNL’s’ recent cast purging, it’s especially relevant.

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