Your Chicago comedy calendar for April 25-May 1

Visitors this week include Michael Palascak and Nick Vatterott who return to their comedy home. Also, Michael Carbonaro, “The Fighter and The Kid” (Bryan Callen and former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub) and Mary Louise Parker.

Ticket alerts! Second City and NBC Universal announced that Tim Meadows will host the 2016 Breakout Comedy Festival on June 3 and 4. The line-up includes Chicago’s best. Tickets here.

MEL BROOKS IS COMING TO THE CHICAGO THEATRE. Yes. Mel Brooks. There will be a special screening of Blazing Saddles and then Mel Brooks (!) will hold a Q & A with the audience. That’s on June 12. Tickets: walk this way.

One of Saturday Night Live’s most popular cast members and its youngest, Pete Davidson, will be at The Vic on June 23. Tickets here.

Check out the great list of Chicago comedians and visitors below. I’ve got a streamlined spotlight here, but it’s only a fraction of the always formidably fantastic comedy going on every night of the week.

Please confirm all details before buying tickets and heading out!


Breakfast for Dinner at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. Late Breakfast presents dinner and a show where the theme is “We have gathered you all here today.” Pairs of comedians will surprise the crowd with newly conceived public events created just for tonight. What kind of events? Producers say it could be anything from a police auction to a locker room spectacle. No one knows until the pairs get on stage. Free pancakes. Free show. Donations appreciated.


Is It Still Funny? at The Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Tonight film critic Mark Caro asks this question about Duck Soup. Movie and discussion. Tonight is the third in a four-part series. Next week: There’s Something About Mary.


Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Check out Dobie’s memoirs just released last month: it’s got gorillas, bank robberies, biker dads, and the story of an extraordinary life.


Comedy Secrets at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. A monthly show presented by Chicago Underground Comedy. Once the audience is sworn to secrecy, the comedians are free to tell you all. This month’s confessions are from  Tafadzwa Gwaze, Tyler Jackson and David Phillips. Panel is Alex Kumin and Jen Burns. Plus stand-up from Dave Helem. If you walk in thinking you’re alone, you’ll leave knowing you’re not.


Stupid Smart Comedy at SFCO, 1941 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Stupid Smart Producer Billy Dean. Featuring, Casey Larwood, Derek Moulds, John Marjelewski, Tyler Jackson. Headliner: Azhar Usman. Azhar Usman has opened for Dave Chappelle over 50 times. He is also the co-creator of the internationally acclaimed showcase, Allah Made Me Funny. Interesting facts: He has performed in over twenty countries and is also known for his partnership with Rabbi Bob Alpert when they toured as “Comedy’s Odd Couple.” He is also an attorney.


Nick Vatterott at Zanies, 1548 N Wells, 8:30 p.m. Nick Vatterott got his comedy start here and was named “Funniest Man in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine. He is at Zanies downtown tonight through Sunday. Check site for all show times.


Fictitious at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Improv for writers. Read your work on stage, then see your work on stage. Follow link for details.


Alex Hoffer Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Tune in to sample Alex Hoffer Music and hear from Alex Hoffer himself. Follow link or download the Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio app and it will come to you.

Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio Live at Chop Steakhouse, 1017 S. Delano Ct. E., 6:30 p.m. Dinner and a show. Hosted by Kevin Wood. Headliner: Marz Timms. Featuring Dave Yates and Reena Calm.

Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Dobie will be at Zanies in St. Charles tonight, Friday and Saturday. Check site for all show times.

I Shit You Not at Township, 2200 N. California, 8:00 p.m. A monthly show and “poodcast” about all the bodily stuff that can go wrong and yet miraculously, become comedy. Hosted by Michael Sanchez and Seth Davis.

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 John Cremer.


Interview with Owen Benjamin on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:05 a.m. Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Improv headliner. Follow link or download the Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio app and it will come to you.

[LAST SHOW!] 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. Please enjoy this classic Defiant Thomas Brothers piece (filmed just after their win at the prestigious HBO Comedy Arts Festival. Tonight is one last chance to see their reunion season!)


Michael Palascak at Riddles, 5055 W 111th St, Alsip, IL, 9:00 p.m. The Last Comic Standing finalist, who got his start in Chicago, will be at Riddles Friday night and Saturday. Check site for all show times.


George Wendt and Mary Louise Parker at The Chicago Humanities Festival, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. George Wendt will discuss Chicago-style improv with fellow Chicago comedy icon, Dave Pasquesi. Mary Louise Parker is here to speak about her bestseller, Dear Mr. You. Follow link for details.

Ray Lambert in conversation with Tim Barnes at 57th St. Books, 1301 E 57th St., 5:00 p.m. Ray Lambert was one of the founders of the famed Chicago comedy club, All Jokes Aside, and producer of the documentary about the club, Phunny Business. His book, All Jokes Aside: Stand-Up Comedy is a Phunny Business, was published this year. He has rare insight into the Chicago stand-up scene and its history. Chicago Magazine said Tim Barnes is a Chicago comedian you should know. He has also written for Wait … Wait! Don’t Tell Me and is the host of the podcast, It’s All True!

Simmer Brown Showcase at @ North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for reception for pre-paid ticket holders only. Always a fabulous line-up and often sells out. Tonight a triple feature: Kellye Howard (Last Comic Standing, Laughs), Brian Da Wildcat Smith (Shaq’s All-Star Comedy Jam), Taneshia Rice (Damon Williams Show). Special Guests Paul Farahvar (Laugh Factory) and Dave Maher (from the spectacular Dave Maher Coma Show). Also featuring performances from producers Prateek Srivastava (NBC Stand Up For Diversity Finalist, Opened for Maz Jobrani, NPR) and Sameena Mustafa (Asian American Comedy Fest).

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 7:00 p.m. Featuring Hope Rehak, Alicia Swiz, Lissa Kick, Kelsie Huff, Brittany Meyer, Kayla Benker, Jaime Engle, Jessica Besser-Rosenberg. Hosted by Cynthia Shur Petts.

The Fighter and The Kid Live at The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, 8:00 p.m. The Fighter and The Kid are actor, writer and comedian Bryan Callen (MADtv, How I Met Your Mother, The Goldbergs) and former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub. This stand-up tour  is based on their popular podcast. They’ve also got breaking news: The Fighter and The Kid 3D web series, produced by Fox Sports, premieres on May 3.


Michael Carbonaro at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 7:30 p.m. The star of TruTV’s hit series, The Carbonaro Effect, brings his comedy magic and magic comedy to Chicago.

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