Your Chicago comedy calendar for April 11-April 17

Visitors this week include Chicagoans returning to their comedy home. George Wilborn was born here and began his career at Jokes and Notes. Pete Holmes is here recording a special at The Vic. He isn’t from Chicago, but established his career here. Same with Ian Abramson who brings his famed Bellhop showcase back to the Virgin Hotels. I understand that anything can happen: police raids, elevators … the show is known as a unique evening of comedic marvels and wonders. Tickets always go fast. Jon Singleton, Duncan Trussell and The Dan Band are also here.

Check out these new comedy specials from Chicagoans: Hannibal Buress’s Hannibal Takes Edinburgh is now available on Netflix. Cameron Esposito’s Marriage Material, recorded here in December, can be seen at

You may want to reserve space at two events soon. First, on April 20, Ink Up Stand Up will host an evening with Mark Roberts, a Chicago comedian who created Mike & Molly, among many, many other television credits. He is in town with his play New Country. The April 20 event is free, but space is limited and you need to R.S.V.P. More details here.

Second, if you’ve got young comedy fans at home, you may want to reserve tickets to see Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid) and Andy Griffiths (Treehouse books, The Day My Butt Went Psycho) when they take the stage for an evening of comedic storytelling on May 2. The show is sponsored by Anderson Bookshops and their  events tend to sell out early. More information here.

This week in addition to the visitors, there’s all the great Chicago comedy that makes this city so famous.

Please confirm all details when you make your plans! Shows sell out, venues changes and (urgh painful confession) I can make mistakes. I’d feel better if you double check  and that way I know I’m not steering you wrong into the snow-sleet-sun-rain-sun-snow-sleet-rain.

Following are some of the shows that look great this week. I wish I could be at every one.



Is This A Thing Presents: Are You There God? It’s Me at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House, 4557 N Ravenswood Ave., 7:00 p.m.  Say the event organizers: “Are you there, god? Does this question conjure reading Judy Blume in your youth? Or is it asked in response to the 2016 election season?” Free storytelling event featuring Elena Colas, Jill Howe, Isabelle Libmann, Kim Nelson, Michael Van Kerckhove and Veronica Vidal. Hosted by Suzy Weinberg.

The Showcase at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. iO founder and director Charna Halpern hosts a series of 5-minute solo performances.

Sadsacks and Wisecracks at High Hat Club, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Free comedy showcase. Headliner: Drew Frees. Featuring Reena Clam, Jonah Jurkens and Alexandra Tsarpalas. Music by Kathleen Gibson. Hosted by Joe Alden McMahon and Samuel Priest.

Best Night Ever at the GMan Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 8:00 p.m.  No show tonight due to the Cubs’ opener. Back on April 18.

Wild Out Mondays at SLR Bar & Grill, 16409 S. Halsted, Harvey, 9:00 p.m. Improv, stand up and music hosted by Just Nesh.



Is It Still Funny? at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Film critic Mark Caro hosts four classic comedies over the next four weeks. Then a discussion: have they held up after all this time? This week: National Lampoon’s Animal House. To come: Blazing Saddles, Duck Soup and There’s Something About Mary.


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.

Learn 2 Laugh Benefit at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. An evening to benefit Chicago’s MacCormac College. With James Stephens III (HBO, Comedy Central, Fox) and Chicago’s own Kelsie Huff and Chris Bader.

Snack Attack Presents Tim Barnes and York Peppermint Patties at The Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave. at 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Jamie Carbone. Featuring Bill Gevirtz and Allison Dunne. Headliner: Tim Barnes.


Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Birthplace of groundbreaking comedy. Original comedy home of Beth Stelling, Cameron Esposito, Dan Telfer, TJ Miller, Kumail Nanjiani and many more. Come see the current extraordinary cast and the always stellar line-up. Adam Burke hosts Mike Wiley, Bobby Hill, Deanna Ortiz, Sean Flannery and CJ Sullivan.



Trenton Davis interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:30 a.m. Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Comedy Bar headliner. Tune in by following this link or download the app.

Vince Maranto at Zanies, MB Financial Place, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Vince Maranto is a national headliner and one of Chicago’s iconic comedians.


United We Fall at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:30 p.m. “In these times of virtual judgement, humanity has been brought together in some ways, and atomized in others. Who better to guide us through this confusing new era than cool vampires, angry dads, and the musical accompaniment of a guitar and ukulele.” A new show directed by iO founder Charna Halpern.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:00 p.m. Six you should know.

Blind Bet at The Pony Inn, 1638 W. Belmont, 9:00 p.m. Weekly showcase. UPDATE: canceled due to Hawks game.



Chicago’s Best Stand Up at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. Check out The Laugh Factory not just tonight, but every night Wednesday-Sunday for “Chicago’s Best” line-ups.

Rat Pack Comedy: She’s Funny Like That at The Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan Rd., 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Emily Galati. Featuring AJ Lubecker, Timmy Whitzell, Rachel McCartney and Rodescue Hopkins. Hosted by Terence Hartnett. Music by Mike McCarthy. Photography by Sarah Larson.


Stand Up Stand Up at The Crocodile Lounge, 1540 N. Milwaukee Ave., 8:00 p.m. Headliner Sammy Arechar. Featuring Adam Burke, Steve Vanderploeg, Todd Massey, Lainie Lenertz, and a secret guest. Hosted by Sean White.

Just Dickin’ Around All Genders Showcase at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 9:45 p.m.The JDA showcase is “a women-run, queer-friendly showcase that provides a safe, supportive space with a positive energy for our performers and guests.” Free pizza. Co-produced by comedian, writer and ChicagoNow blogger Krista Atkinson.

Issues: We All Have Them at Crossroads Public House, 2630 N. Clark St., 10:00 p.m. Tonight: emotional issues. With Kyle Parks, Heidi Butler and headliner Matt Drufke.

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 improv teacher, actor and writer Andel Sudik.

I Wrote This For Me; Do You Like It? at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. A young women who has died looks back on the key places and events of her life. Features over 20 Chicago comedians. “This play walks the line between comedy and drama, giving keen insight into the experience of being a young single woman. It asks the question, how do you find a place in the world that honors the traditions of family and the expectations of the modern world?”



George Wilborn interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:05 a.m. Tune in to hear Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Improv headliner.  Follow this link or download the app.

Bizarre Bucktown at Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave., 6:00 p.m. “History, mystery and ghosts.” A walking tour of one of Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods by Second City alum Gordon Meyer. Check site for multiple times throughout the next few months.

[LAST WEEKS!] 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. Don’t miss! Ending soon! Through April 29.

The Dan Band at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 7:30 p.m. The Dan Band started as a lark, but they’ve since appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Ellen, Spike TV’s Guys Choice Awards and The Tonight Show.


George Wilborn at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. George Wilborn is known as “The Stress Reliever.”

We Got Issues at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 8:00 p.m. All female comedy troupe EbonyEssenceJet presents an evening of sketch and improv.

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.

Off Off Girls at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 8:00 p.m. Sketch from the women of the University of Chicago’s Off Off Campus troupe.

Liquid Courage: A Drinking Show at Second City’s Beat Lounge, 230 W. North Ave., 10:30 p.m. “What made Queen Mary get so bloody pissed? Why are Gin and Tonic getting a divorce? Will Shirley Temple ever stop being a buzz kill? Join us as these drink characters chat, sing and, of course, drink the night away in this interactive drinking show!” Featuring: Katherine Biskupic, Terrence Carey, Leah Frires, Adam Levin, Katie Nixon, Mollie Rehner.


St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fundraiser with Tony Carr at Crosstown Pub & Grill, 909 E. Ogden, Naperville, 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Drop in to meet Tony Carr of Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio and support childhood cancer research!

Pete Holmes Special Taping at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Early show is sold out. The host of the podcast You Made It Weird and The Pete Holmes Show.


George Wilborn at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. George Wilborn is known as “The Stess Reliever.”

The Gogo Show at The Lincoln Loft, 3036 N. Lincoln, 8:00 p.m. A free comedy variety show featuring Kenzie Seibert, Whitney LaMora Currier, Krista Atkinson, Audrey Jonas, Peter Pants (Laura Marsh, Rob Grabowski, & Robert Bacon), There Are Two Sides (Liz Reuss & Claudia Martinez) and host Mary Rose O’Connor.

The A.V. Club Presents: Bell Hop at Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash, 9:00 p.m. Hosted by Ian Abramson. Featuring Sonia Denis, Goodrich Gevaart, Fran Hoepfner, Mike Sheehan, Julia Weiss, Jamie Loftus, Julia Claire, Lucas O’Neil, and Sarah Shockey and John Tell Butler.

Jon Stringer at WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 10:00 p.m. The winner of the World Series of Comedy (2014) and Last Texan Standing (2013). He’s appearing Friday, too, but that show is already sold out.


Singleton on Ingersoll on Paine at Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago, 7574 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 10:30 a.m. Brother Sam Singleton (portrayed by Roger Scott Jackson) is an “atheist evangelist” and “a comic character, not a comedian.” He has a lot to say about Robert Ingersoll’s take on Thomas Paine. A different kind of comedy grounded in history and philosophy.

George Wilborn at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. George Wilborn is known as “The Stess Reliever.”


The Whiskey Journal Live at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. “America’s second favorite source for fake news.” With host Kyle Scanlan and sidekicks Tim Barnes and Ross Kelly.

The Nerdologues at 1917 N. Elston, 7:00 p.m. Stories, sketch, music, stand-up. Special guests: Scott Whitehair along with some new talents he’s selected.

Duncan Trussell at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 8:00 p.m. Host of the podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. With Shane Torres and Michael Kampmann.

Arcane Comedy (for the cool) at The East Room, 2354 N. Milwaukee Ave., 9:00 p.m. Hosted by David Gavri and Brian Zachary Earl. Featuring: Ed Towns, Peter Kemme and Amanda Lynn Deal. Headliner: Prateek Srivastava.

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