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When 'Truth In Comedy' Becomes An Oxymoron

By Jocelyn Geboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 6, 2006 1:45PM

Man, Charna Halpern cannot get a break. First, she has to change the name of her whole enterprise from Improv Olympic to IO, which would be crappy enough in its own right, if it didn't always make us think of the classic 'Captain EO,' featuring the ever-lovable Michael Jackson.
Then, the much hyped IO 25th anniversary show rolls around a little over a year ago, promising fanfare and excitement with famous alums coming home to pay homage to IO at the Chicago Theater. But a bad sound system kicked off what was, for many, a lackluster night.

Alas, she's got a spotlight on her again, but not for great reason. For those in the know around town and improvising circles, when Del Close died (Charna's long-time partner and co-author of "Truth In Comedy"), he willed his skull to the Goodman theater to use in their productions (of Hamlet and the like).

Halpern has steadfastly maintained throughout the years that she did what Del asked, but it's recently been revealed through some digging by the Trib that the skull that the Goodman has was actually purchased from the Anatomical Chart Company in Skokie. Bummer. Even more of a bummer for Charna, who says that the reason she's 'fessing up is because "the Tribune had already exposed it and I was getting snide responses."

We're sure she doesn't need another one from us, so we'll just leave it at that.

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