Chicago comedy spotlight for July 25-31

In town this week: Hari Kondabolu, Ira Glass and Steve Byrne. Home for a limited engagement:  Cook County Social Club, The Puterbaugh Sisters and Katie McVay!

Chicago comedy news: tune in to Jeff Ross’ Roast Battle on Comedy Central, July 28-31 to see Chicago roasters exceptionales, Sean Flannery, Sean White, Meredith Kachel, Ms. Pat, CJ Sullivan,  Xavier Lamont and Jeff Arcuri.

Ticket alerts:

August 20: Amy Schumer signs her new memoirs, Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo at North Central College in Naperville. Tickets

September 2: Funny or Die Oddball Festival. Line-up is different in each city. Chicago features hometown comedians Cameron Esposito, Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney with Iliza Shlesinger, Brian Regan, Jeff Ross, Tom Segura, Donnell Rawlings, Tony Hinchcliffe and Big Jay Oakerson. Tickets here, but cheaper on Groupon for a limited time here.

December 3: Marc Maron brings his Too Real Tour to the Vic. Tickets

Please confirm all Spotlight 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. Host: Kolin Bohannon. Featuring Marty DeRosa, Matt Riggs, Amy Nico Schwartz, Kevin White and Bill Gevirtz. Music by Jon Drake.

Death of the Cool at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. iO’s monthly storytelling event features Chicago’s top improvisers telling true life stories.

The Mixer at The Playground, 3209 N. Halsted, 8:00 p.m. An evening to learn and play with the innovative improv stylings of Shithole and Gnar Gnar Showdown.

The Monday Mulligan at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 10:00 p.m. Hosted by Adam Burke. Tyler Jackson, Liz Ziner, Cody Melcher, Erica Clark, Sean White and Kristin Clifford.



The Dave Maher Coma Show at a secret location, 7:30 p.m. Last year, this show was at the top of my list of shows to see. Health kept getting in the way. Fitting because this show is about the fall-out of Dave Maher’s time in a coma, but I finally got to see it. It was worth the wait. It’s an honest, hilarious, intimate, fearless show about resilience. Back for a two-show limited run tonight – follow link and message for location details – and tomorrow at The Annoyance.

Snack Attack Presents Sean White and Cheese Whiz at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Jamie Carbone. Featuring Prateek Srivastava, Charlie Vergos and Michael Meyers. Headliner: Sean White in one of his last Chicago appearances before his tour and move to L.A.

The Comedy Bowl Season 3 Finale at Diversey Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey, 8:00 p.m. An evening of trivia games, prizes and stand-up. Hosted by Mona Aburmishan. Featuring Reena Calm, Tamale Sepp, Sam Norton and Tony Ullrich.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Stephanie Hasz and Andy Fleming host The Puterbaugh Sisters, Katie McVay, Abi Sanchez, Audrey Jonas, Peter-john Byrnes, Meaghan Strickland and Geoffrey Asmus.



You Joke Like a Girl at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m. All-women’s open mic and showcase. Open mic at 7:30, showcase at 8:30. Hosted by Elyse Nylin. Featuring Brittany Meyer, Molly Kearney, Stephanie Weber and Melody Kamali.

Dave Maher II at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., 9:30 p.m. The Dave Maher Coma Show returns for one night to The Annoyance Theatre. Dave Maher fell into a diabetic coma, was removed from life support, officially mourned on Facebook and then came back. A night that will make you happy to be alive because it’s a great show and also it will just make you happy to be alive. At heart, it’s about the mechanics of resilience and why you should believe in Dave Maher and in yourself.



Steve Byrne Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:30 a.m. Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Improv headliner. Follow the link or download the CCSR app for Chicago comedy 24/7.

Steve Byrne at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Shows through Saturday night. Follow link for all show times. Steve Byrne is an international headliner. On my must-see list: Steve Byrne filmed a documentary called 13 or Bust about performing thirteen shows in one night in New York. Hey, just found it! Check it out here.


Unelectable You: The Second City’s Completely Unbiased Political Revue at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Thursdays thru Sundays. “Wouldn’t you like to take this whole election process and rip it apart with your bare hands? Why not let Second City and Slate do it for you!”

[LAST SHOW] I Shit You Not at Township, 2200 N. California Ave., 8:00 p.m. True mortifying stories of bodily malfunction by comedians and everyday people. Hosted by Michael Sanchez and Seth Davis.

Cook County Social Club at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. One of the most legendary improv groups to come out of Chicago, Cook County Social Club returns to iO for a very limited 2-night engagement Thursday and Friday nights. CCSC is now based in LA.

Opening team at 8:00 p.m.: Feldmanowski featuring Cards Against Humanity head writer Joanna Feldman.

Opening team at 10:30 p.m.: Shrink Ray’d

Stand Up Stand Up at The Crocodile, 1540 N. Milwaukee, 8:00 p.m. Free show and a last chance to see Sean White in Chicago for the immediate future. He kicks off his Angry & Alone World Tour here tonight.

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, too. Host: Marla Depew (JDA member). Showcase guests: Krista Atkinson (JDA member), Scott Duff (JDA member), Danny Kallas, Xavier Lamont and Rad Turkin. Produced by Krista Atkinson, Scott Duff and Marla Depew. Open mic at 8:30 p.m.


Thirsty Thursday at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 9:00 p.m. Pure & Weary’s Katherine Biskupic and Leah Frires bring back “Liquid Courage: A drinking show” by popular demand for a second run following their success at Second City’s Beat Lounge. Directed by Meghan Johns. The show is at Under the Gun this month and then it’s back to Second City for August.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theater, 851 W. Belmont Ave., 10:30 p.m. Tonight’s friend is Jimmy Pennington. This is a show where the improvisers morph from character to character before your eyes. Believable and magical at the same time. A little bit dangerous, too. Anything can happen. Susan Messing was named “Best Improviser” by the Reader and “Improviser of the Year” at the Chicago Improv Festival.



Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio at Maggiano’s, 1847 Freedom Dr., Naperville, 6:00 p.m. Dinner and a show. Headliner: Russ Williamson. With Jack Baker, Adam Gulley and Rashad Clarke.

Cook County Social Club at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 pm. and 10:30 p.m. One of the most legendary improv groups to come out of Chicago, Cook County Social Club returns to iO for a very limited engagement. Last two shows tonight.

8:00 p.m. opening team: 3-Peat

10:30 p.m. opening team: Zima



Ira Glass at Don’t Think Twice at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 2:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Producer Ira Glass comes to The Music Box to open his new film, Don’t Think Twice, starring and directed and written by Mike Birbiglia. Don’t Think Twice is about what happens to a New York improv group when one member gets his big break. Saturday and Sunday.


Paper Machete at Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 3:00 p.m. Free comedy, music and spoken word showcase. Arrive early (like an hour early) for seats or it’s standing room only. Fabulous line-up, to wit: The Defiant Thomas Brothers are rolling out a new piece, Sonia Denis, Alex Kumin, Colleen Doyle, Dean Evans, Bill Larkin, cabaret tunes by Abbi Rajasekhar and more music by Archie Powell and the Exports. Chad the Bird will be there.

Simmer Brown Comedy: New Faces at Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park Rd., 7:30 p.m. Tickets go really fast! Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for reception for pre-paid ticket holders. Showcase at 8:00 p.m. featuring Anthony Bonazzo, Jerry Tran, Matt Damon Improv, Simmer Brown producers Prateek Srivastava, Sameena Mustafa and Simmer Brown’s new intern Rima Parikh, plus music by:

Lola Balatro  The only Lola I care about this summer. Lollapalooza is a boring exercise in sweaty crowd management compared to this Lola. If you’re looking for something truly hot, this band is your bet.


Hari Kondabolu at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Hari Kondabolu brings smart, fearless commentary to everything from the state of our political and social union to personal insights about his own life. Check out his fabulous newly released album, Mainstream American Comic. Early show sold out as of this writing. Interview here.


The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m.  Chicago’s all-female comedy troupe created and produced by Kelsie Huff. Tonight: Ilana Gordon, Lissa Kick, Kate Streit, Andrea Raggio, Mary Rose O’Connor, Brittany Meyer, Denise Medina, Kelsie Huff, Brandi Denise and  Stefania Rudd .

Love Always Wins at Second City: An LGBTQ Variety Show, 1616 N. Wells, 10:00 p.m. Hosted by Abby McEnany and John Loos. Proceeds benefit the OneOrlando Fund.



Ira Glass at Don’t Think Twice at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 2:00 p.m. Producer Ira Glass comes to The Music Box to open his new film, Don’t Think Twice, written and directed by and starring Mike Birbiglia. Don’t Think Twice is about what happens to a New York improv group when one member gets his big break.

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