Our Pledge To You

Comedy

Julia Sweeney to workshop standup show at Second City

Julia Sweeney | Provided Photo

She’s perhaps best-known for her role as the androgynous “Pat” character on “Saturday Night Live,” and film roles including “Vegas Vacation” and “Stuart Little.” And now Julia Sweeney will soon be a familiar face at Second City when she makes her stand-up debut at the venerable improv hub’s Piper’s Alley venue.

“Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider,” promises the comedian’s present-day take on everything from parenting to feminism and everything in between, and will run Fridays (at 9 p.. Jan. 12-Feb. 2, 2018) and 6 p.m. Sundays (Jan. 14-March 18 2018) in Judy’s Beat Lounge at Piper’s Alley, 230 W. North Ave.

Sweeney says the “work in progress” hits close to home.

“I have a home in L.A. that we have rented out for 10 years with the idea that we’d [Sweeney and husband Michael Blum] move back there when [daughter] Mulan went to college or Michael retired,” Sweeney says. “But I got to be a stay-at-home mom and that’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years. I wrote the book and did shows with friends who came to [Chicago]. But mostly I wanted to transition to being a writer [full-time] and my big dream of directing a movie (the project fell through last year).”

With several successful monologues to her credit, Sweeney gravitated to the stage instead. And after sitting in on classes at the Harold Ramis Film School and starring in
“five student films” last summer, Sweeney found herself almost a fixture at the Second City complex. “[Long story short] I finally asked [Second City] if I could do a show there and they said yes,” Sweeney says.

But Sweeney says she’s still not sure what her workshop will yield. “Stand-up has changed a lot,” the 58-year-old humorist said. ” I think I may actually stand behind a mic out there, maybe not. I watch Mike Birbiglia’s shows and what he’s doing is telling a long story, doing observationist stuff. That’s kind of what I’m leaning toward. I have a loose story line about a mom watching [the years] all go by. But who knows? It will be me with my yellow legal pad stumbling and finding out what things will work and what won’t. I’ll be recording all of it, so we’ll see what it turns into.”

Tickets, $5-$13, are available at the box office (1st floor Piper’s Alley) or at secondcity.com.