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Most talk shows are based on the undemocratic principle that people who aren't celebrities or experts aren't worth listening to. Even shows like Jerry Springer that supposedly deal with real people in real-life situations mostly traffic in those who live freakish lives. The beauty of The Mick Show, Mick Napier's live talk show, is that he interviews regular people, asking them regular questions about their lives and opinions. A respected teacher, director, and mentor in the comedy business, Napier could pack the show every night with famous people he's come to know over the years, folks like Andy Richter or Amy Sedaris (to drop two names). But the night I attended, his guests included a tech-support guy from a small Internet service provider, a registered nurse, a captain in the army, and a woman making a career change from business to education. Napier treated each as having opinions worth considering, and they in turn offered remarks at least as interesting as anything I've heard from famous actors pushing their next movie. From time to time Napier spices things up with his trademark mildly subversive wit: he framed one question by saying, "I'm a bisexual--was the navy fun?" But most of the time, following his instincts as a director and teacher, he wisely throws the spotlight on the other person. The Second City E.T.C., Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells, 312-337-3992 or 877-778-4707. Through July 24: Wednesdays, 8:30 PM. Then Tuesday, July 30, 8:30 PM (this performance will be taped as a TV pilot). $8.

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