Your Chicago comedy calendar for March 7-March 13

Visiting Chicago this week: Sandra Bernhard, Ross Bennett, Sam Morril, Tony Deyo and Chicago native, Aries Spears.

Following is my wishlist for this week if I could do everything and be everywhere!

Please confirm all details before heading out!



Sadsacks and Wisecracks at The High Hat Club, 1920 W. Irving park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase. Hosted by Natalie Jose and Kolin Bohannon. Featuring Saurin Choksi, Allison Dunne, Casey Larwood, Dorian Vanhuizan, Toler Oswald Wolfe. Music by Cameron Ford.

Death of the Cool at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. iO’s monthly and only storytelling event features true stories from the Chicago storytelling and iO community.

3Peat (1)3Peat/DioVersity Jam at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. “A chance to perform and network in an event hosted by iO performers of color. This event is for anyone looking for reps and we would like a diverse crew there. This show is for anyone looking for a safe place to play even if you’re not affiliated with the theater!” Show closes with a performance by 3Peat.



Flat Iron Comedy at The Salon at Collaboraction Theater, 1579 N. Milwaukee, 3rd Floor, 7:30 p.m. Features rotating house and guest improv teams plus stand up, music, storytelling and other artists. Free, but donations are appreciated and go to performers. Check out this theater’s offerings all week long. Lots of very original, creative shows.

The Comedy Bowl at Diversey River Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey, 8:00 p.m. A night of trivia games and comedy hosted by Mona Aburmishan. Tonight: Prateek Srivastava, Al Jamm, Patrick Bagdon and Mickey Housley.

Snack Attack presents Reese’s Pieces and David Drake at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Bill Gevirtz. Featuring Jamie Carbone, Gena Gephart, Matt Riggs and Reese’s Pieces. Headliner: David Drake.

[LAST PERFORMANCE!] AWK presents Rejected at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. “American Wonderbread Kaleidoscope (AWK) is excited to present an evening of storytelling, improv and comedy all centered on the theme of rejection and its sometimes destructive, but always formative effects. This curated, hour-long stage show aims to offer Chicago’s best local performers a chance to paint the silver lining on some of their worst rejections.”

104th Mainstage Revue: “Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu” at The Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Directed by Jeff-award winning Director Ryan Bernier. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones calls this show “exceptionally funny.” Check site for additional show times throughout the week.

Ain’t Jokin’ Wit Chu at Abram Gale Lounge, 2366 N. Gale, 8:00 p.m. This free show will also be streaming live on Periscope. Hosted by Danette Marks and Louis Nguyen. Headliner: Jay Harris. Featuring Colby Kennedy, Caitlin Siebold, Scott Brennan, Kyle Klucinski and Mark Weiss. On Periscope, follow @Danette614

Adam Burke and Calvin Evans at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Two headliners who have been named among Chicago’s best stand-ups by publications such as The Reader and New City.

Lola Balatro at Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:00 p.m. I heard news about the Foo Fighters breaking up as I was putting this calendar together. If it had been true, I would have been a little sad. The next thought that came to me was if Lola Balatro broke up, I would sit shiva. Go see Lola Balatro and see if they don’t become one of your favorite bands.

3/8 Update: tonight’s excellent line-up also includes Adam Burke, Odinaka Ezeokoli, David Venhuizen, Shannon Noll, Dave Losso and Ali Clayton.


True Chicago at Second City’s Beat Lounge, 230 W. North Ave., 10:15 p.m. A father-daughter duo, John and Lisa Bany, a jazz musician and improviser respectively, explore what their art forms have in common.


Ross Bennett at Zanies, MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Shows through Saturday. Please check site for details.


Trainwreck at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. One night only! A special performance by Trainwreck which is Ed Furman (founding member Annoyance Theatre, Second City, co-author Co-Ed Prison Sluts, Rod Blagojevich Superstar!) and Dan Bakkedahl (Second City, LegitThe Daily Show, Veep, The Mindy Project, Trumbo).

Supply & Demand at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. “A limited run show highlighting the most in-demand comedians in Chicago. We will mix the super famous with the next big thing for 90 minutes of crushingly funny comedy. You never know who is going to stop by and blow the doors off – expect the unexpected. And save some coin by buying your tickets early – as we sell out, the price goes up. Because this show is all about supply and demand.” Featuring Jeff Arcuri and more TBA.

Sam Morril at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Through Sunday. Please check site for details.


Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks, 9:00 p.m. Ricky Gonzalez hosts Sydney Adeniyi, Dan Friesen, Kelsie Huff, Danny Kallas and David Venhuizen.

Trios at iO at 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. “While David Pasquesi is away for work, TJ Jagodowski will hold down the fort with a new show named “Trios”, starring TJ Jagodowski, Emma Pope, Bill Bungeroth. Featuring Julie Nichols on keys and a yet to be named bassist and yet to be named saxophonist. Trios explores the interplay between two trios. A threesome of musicians and a threesome of improvisers.”



Sandra Bernhard presents “Feel the Bernhard” at The North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie 7:30 p.m. Sandra Bernhard is no-fear, political, outrageous and outspoken.

Aries Spears at The Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall Store K120B, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Shows through Sunday. Check site for details. Aries Spears was a principle on Mad TV for eight years. He portrayed Redd Foxx in the film Why Do Fools Fall in Love and was Cuba Gooding’s brother in Jerry Maguire, among many other television and film credits. He is a Chicago native.

Sean White at The Love Below Comedy Show at Beermicuous, 2812 N. Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. The A.V. Club said Sean White’s album Dead and Gone was one of the best of 2015 and UNScene Comedy named it the best album of that year. Also acclaimed by the Chicago Tribune which called it “an essential rumination about loss” with “a point of view unique among comics.” Go before we lose him to cities which shall not be named.
Featuring Cameron Miller, Danny Schill, Tristan A. Smith, Jonathan Giles and Abby Stassen.


Stand Up Stand Up Presents Lara Beitz at The Crocodile Lounge, 1540 N. Milwaukee, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Azhar Usman, Jamie Carbone, Todd Massey, Rudy Schultz and a “super secret special guest.” Hosted by Jake McKenzie.

Rat Pack Comedy: Laughing Through My Window at The Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan Rd., 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Mike O’Keefe. Featuring: Erin Grotheer, Em Brown, Terence Hartnett and Liz Ziner. Hosted by Conor Cawley. Music by Mike McCarthy. Photography by Sarah Larson.

Tony Deyo at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m. Shows tonight, Friday and Saturday. Please check site for additional times.


Literary Death Match at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. Four authors read their work and compete for the crown. A panel of judges spouts its craziest best literary critiques in response.

“Just Dickin’ Around” All Genders Showcase at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 8:30 p.m. All genders showcase. “A women-run, queer-friendly showcase that provides a safe, supportive space with a positive energy for our performers and guests.” Free pizza, too. Co-produced by comedian, writer and ChicagoNow blogger Krista Atkinson. Tonight’s line-up is hosted by Scott Duff and features Jayson Acevedo, Krista Atkinson, Adam Bindert, Marla Depew and Steve Rinaldi.

Issues Comedy Showcase at Crossroads Public House, 2630 N. Clark, 10:00 p.m. A free stand-up showcase and antidote to loneliness. Tonight: Daddy Issues.

Messing With A Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. Susan Messing improvises with another talented comedian. This is a show where the improvisers seem to morph from character to character before your eyes. Believable and magical at the same time. A little bit dangerous, too. Anything can happen. Tonight’s guest is Lilly Allison who has been with The Annoyance since she was 14 years-old. She has also been a cast member with iO and Second City. She is currently the host of A Lill Annoyance Stand Up Show at the Annoyance on Saturday nights.


Aries Spears Interview wherever you are on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:50 a.m. Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview Mad TV’s Aries Spears who is headlining at the Improv this weekend. Tune in by following the link or download the app.

Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio Live at Maggiano’s, 1847 Freedom Dr., Naperville, 6:00 p.m.

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln, 7:00 p.m. Arrive early to get seats. Tonight’s line-up: Miden Wood, Charlene Orsine, Amy Sumpter, Ali Kelley, Merrit Landsteiner, Jillian Ebanks, Amy Schwartz, Julie Jurgens, Kathy Pulkrabek and host Colleen Brennan.

Defiant Thomas Brothers at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. If you’re a fan of Steve Martin or Peter Sellers or Key & Peele or the best of SNL, you’ll love this evening and want to go back for more. Interview with Paul Thomas and Seth Thomas here.

Skip Griparis Stars as The Guys Who Gave Us Rock at The Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St. Joliet, 7:30 p.m. A one-man tour through rock ‘n roll history by “the guitar-rocking man of 1000 voices.”

Abbie Vatterott: Selfie Defense at WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in March. Written and performed by Abbie Vatterott. “Abby Vatterott enters the dangerous world of Kung Foo, Dub Step and YouTube to save the world from selfies.”

Stir Friday Night at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 8:00 p.m. “Comprised entirely of Asian-American actors, writers, comedians and improvisers, Stir Friday Night is a sketch, improv and stand up comedy party unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

Long form improv show at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. One audience suggestion each for three teams followed by three performances. What is long form improv? “The product is usually a piece that has realism and comedy and takes the audience through a roller coaster of emotions and laughter until they find themselves cleverly at the beginning.”

Funnier By The Lake at Madame ZuZu’s Teahouse, 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 8:30 p.m. Hosted by Larry Bloom. Featuring Jessica Besser Rosenberg, Mike Wiley, Kat Herskovic, Darius Kennedy, Soli Santos with Special Guest, Ricky March.

Heather Harris and Johnny Lane at Jokes and Notes, 4641 S. King Dr., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Also Saturday night.

The Boys. We Make It Worse at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 9:00 p.m. A night of improv with Susan Messing, Rachael Mason, Craig Uhlir, Norm Holly and Ryan Archibald. These are some of the people who have made the Chicago improv scene internationally famous.

EEJ, Vol. 2: We Got Issues at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 9:30 p.m. Sketch and improv with the all female troupe EbonyEssenceJet.

Rebecca O’Neal at The WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night shows. Rebecca O’ Neal is a comedian and writer whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Gawker.TV, and more. She is a frequent invitee to comedy festivals around the country and has opened for Maria Bamford, Ron Funches, Janeane Garofalo and Al Madrigal.

Midnight Madness at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 11:59 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at midnight. Featuring Jonah Jurkens, CJ Sullivan, Mikey Manker, Rebecca O’Neal, Brian ‘Da Wildcat’ Smith and more TBA.



Paper Machete at The Green Mill, 4802 Broadway, 3:00 p.m. Showcase of music, comedy and storytelling. Always a great line-up. Expect surprises. Arrive early! Seats go fast and then it’s standing room only.

Improv Without Borders at Second City’s Beat Lounge, 230 W. North Ave., 6:00 p.m. A benefit with proceeds going to support international refugees. Featuring Chill, ‘Becca, The Expats and Sheila’s Sister.

You’re Being Ridiculous at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, 7:30 p.m. An “oops-happy accident-themed” show of true stories. Tonight’s spectacular line-up includes authors, storytellers, comedians and the owner of a famous bookstore!  Brooke Allen, Ricardo Gamboa, Elizabeth Gomez, Tyler Greene, Jill Howe, Sam Irby, Rebecca Makkai, Jeremy Owens, Karen Shimmin and Sarah Hollenbeck.

Sirens at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. The country’s longest-running all female improv ensemble takes on life’s foibles in all their beauty and awkwardness. Saturdays through April 9.

Back of the Party at Transistor, 3441 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Attend Dave Maher’s podcast recording where he interviews comedians and other artists. Tonight Dave interviews improviser Mike Brunlieb and Moth StorySLAM champ Erin Diamond.

Saturday Night Eight at CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. “A variety show hosted simultaneously by three comedians: Mark Denny, Meaghan Strickland, and Damian Anaya. Each week they will interview a guest, welcome a stand-up comedian, explore a part of Chicago culture, and invite a friend to participate in THE CHALLENGE: a 5-10 minute comedy piece designed to push the performer outside of his or her comfort zone.”

Blipster Life Presents The Green Room at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 10:00 p.m. Showcase hosted by Dave Helem and The Nightly Show’s Felonious Munk.

The Yeah Buddy Awesome Time Comedy Show at Brainstorm Comics, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 8:30 p.m. Just named one of the best comedy shows in Chicago by Thrillist. Tonight: David Drake, David Venhuizen, Dave Losso, Rachel McCartney, Justin Luke, Stryker Spurlock and Ozmi Osbourne. Hosted by Jason Melton. Free show. Donations accepted.



Generals at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Christy Bonstell and Empire’s Antoine McKay present three of Chicago’s top stage actors. Each will perform three favorite monologues. The actors and hosts then all jump in to create improv based on the monologues.

Late As Fuck: The Sunday Improv Show at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Worry about Monday on Monday.

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