Susan Messing is one of the most outstanding improvisers of the United States. A New Jersey native and graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre School, Susan has been an improviser, comedian teacher and author for over 30 years. She is an alumna of the iO Theatre, Second City’s Mainstage, and a founding member of Chicago’s infamous Annoyance Theatre.  Susan created and has taught her curriculum at iO and iO West, The Annoyance Theatre, The Second City, and around the globe. Susan's strength as a teacher is to make her students understand very clearly (and with a no-bullshit approach) that limitations on stage come only from within ourselves. Our fear of feeling stupid and our consequent lack of imagination improve through experience and self-acceptance.

Susan is an adjunct instructor for DePaul University, The University of Chicago, and The School at Steppenwolf.  Her standup act with her puppet, Jolly, was featured at the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, and on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and NBC’s Late Fridays. Her most impressive bit movie role was as a bad stripper in a halo brace in Let’s Go to Prison! Every Tuesday night she performs at the iO with Norm Holly in MOLLY, Thursday nights in her own critically acclaimed show, Messing with a Friend, now in its 11th year at The Annoyance, and every last Friday of the month she performs at The Second City with The Boys. She was in the lineup for the TBS/Just For Laughs festival all five years of its residence in Chicago.

“Improviser of the Year” — Chicago Improv Festival

“Best Improviser” — Chicago Reader

“Funniest Woman in Chicago” — Chicago Magazine



“In the long-running Messing With a Friend, Susan Messing reigns supreme over “Yes, and . . . ,” imbuing pregnant pauses with many an excellently timed F-bomb and fleshing out characters at once demented and lovable…”A joyful romp through hell,” the program calls the show; fire and brimstone never burned so good.” Chicago Reader

…will surely be the hottest improv show in town and costs a mere five bucks. Assertive, vulnerable, eloquent, acerbic and —most important—complicated, Messing is a colossal talent.” — Chicago Tribune

“Susan Messing is a leader of men and woman and a legend.”

“Susan Messing deserves a statue.”

“Where do I begin about Susan Messing? She pushed us really hard during our eight weeks with her and I think that was something we all really needed…She’s always been a great help to me and she’s one of those teachers I’ve had who I can say always has my back. She’s the best.”