Mike Nichols (b. 1931) and Elaine May (b. 1932) began their performing careers as members of the Compass Players, an improvisational comedy troupe situated within the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park community. Forming a team in 1957, Nichols and May moved to New York, where, in the words of critic Robert Brustein (b. 1927), their routines satirizing “false piety, cloying sentiment, and institutional stupidity,” found success in nightclubs, television, their own Broadway show, and, especially, comedy albums.