Chicago comedy spotlight for September 12-18

In town this week: The Eric Andre Show is well represented. Both Eric Andre and co-host Hannibal Buress are here (but not at the same time).

More cool and rare appearances: Roz Chast, Norm Macdonald, Jo Koy, Jason Segel, and The Cambridge Footlights (which boasts the kind of provenance in the U.K. that Second City has here).

Returning Chicagoans include Liza Treyger and Chris Redd together at The Laugh Factory. The New York Daily News, Esquire and The Laugh Button all reported on Friday that Chris Redd will be one of the new cast members on Saturday Night Live when it returns on October 1! (But set the DVR because the Defiant Thomas Brothers Season 2 premieres that night at Stage 773!  Interview coming soon!)

UPDATE 2:20 p.m. Saturday Night Live has announced its new cast and boo! I do not see Chris Redd. I hope his addition is still in the works. It damn well should be!

New cast members are Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villasenor. It is wonderful Chicago comedy news: Alex Moffat is an alum of Dobie Maxwell’s life-changing stand-up class, as well as of Second City, iO and the Annoyance.

Check out Melissa Villasenor’s uncanny impressions (even Owen Wilson). Mikey Day is an SNL writer promoted to cast member. All excellent additions and I hope we’ll still see Chris Redd on the list. He is one of comedy’s deservedly fastest-rising stand-up, improv and sketch stars.

Ticket alert:

On October 5, Mel Brooks will appear live on movie screens nationwide for a special showing of Young Frankenstein in memory of Gene Wilder. Find tickets here. Mel Brooks’ book about the making of Young Frankenstein will be released on October 18.

As always, please confirm all details before heading out! If you have a show you would like me to add now or in the future, please email me:

Thank you to the Chicago comedy community and thank you to you for reading and helping me spread the word.


The kates host The Riff at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley Ave., 7:00 p.m. A daredevil open mic where comics draw a topic on the spot. Hosted by the always fabulous kates. Tonight’s kates cast is Alexandra Tsarpalas and Denise Medina.

All Alone Together at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Three solo plays in one evening back-to-back. Mondays through October 3.

Trapped by Brittany Bookbinder. A dark comedy about fear, relationships, beliefs and who you can really trust. How about your building super on a dark and stormy night?

Something for Everyone by James Dugan. Desperation for approval is examined through characters, stories and personal essays.

Can I Interest You in Me? written by Kelly McGuigan. How do you get others to see your value? In this play, it’s through storytelling, music, and audience participation.

Va-Jam at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. [LAST SHOW!] An improv jam for women, anyone who identifies as female and members of the LGBTQ community. Improvisers of all levels are welcome. Tonight’s mentors are from iO’s renowned 3-Peat. $5

CAMP: A Comedy Show at Village Tap, 2055 W. Roscoe, 8:00 p.m. This free showcase hosted by Tessa Orzech and Samantha Berkman is getting rave reviews. Tonight: Marty DeRosa, Rachel Soglin, Alex Gettlin, Trey Brown, James Fisher and Chris Higgins.

Eric Andre Live! at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport 9:00 p.m. The creator and host of Adult Swim’s mad hatter of a talk show, The Eric Andre Show. Eric Andre’s television credits also include Comedy Bang! Bang!, Two Broke Girls and Man Seeking Woman.

Stacked: 5-Year Anniversary Run at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. This all-female musical improv is at Second City tonight, September 19 and September 26.



Gene Wilder double feature at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Willy Wonka (7:00 p.m.) and Blazing Saddles (9:15 p.m.) on the big screen.

Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues Foundation Room, 329 N. Dearborn, 7:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase with Taneshia Rice, Marty DeRosa, Brandi Denise, Paul Farahvar and Erica Nicole Clark.

Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The 104th Main Stage Revue. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones called it “exceptionally funny” and “Second City like you’ve never seen it before.” Tickets sell out fast. Check site for additional shows throughout the week.

Hella Immaculate at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:30 p.m. Free showcase hosted by Dave Maher with John O’Toole. Tonight features Ilana Abby Gordon, Rudy Schultz, Nicholas Rouley, Max Lipchitz, Brian McGovern, Deanna Ortiz, Sarah Squirm, Bobby Condon and Danny Kallas.

Snack Attack presents Natalie Jose and Cheez-Its at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. Free show featuring Rudy Schultz, Stephanie Weber and Mike Sheehan. Hosted by Bill Gevirtz.Headliner: Natalie Jose.



Fifth Star Awards at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 7:00 p.m. Free event sponsored by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This event honors and celebrates Chicago creativity. The 2016 honorees are Second City, Buddy Guy, photographer Victor Skrebneski, theater founder Jackie Taylor and museum founder Carlos Tortolero. Video tributes and live performances, including a special performance by Second City. Presenters: Cindy Crawford (Victor Skrebneski), actor and comedian Fred Willard (The Second City), Broadway actor Chester Gregory (Jackie Taylor) and the Blues star Shemekia Copeland (Buddy Guy).

The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2016 at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Douglas Adams, Richard Ayoade, Peter Cook, Julian Fellowes and John Oliver all began their careers with this Cambridge University sketch group. Tonight stars Sarah Creedy Smith, Guy Emanuel, Sam Grabiner, Jordan Mitchell and Rob Oldham.


Hannibal Buress at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 8:00 p.m. Just a few tickets left for this Emmy award-winning, all-star Chicago comedian (Broad City, The Eric Andre Show, Why?, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, every late night show).



Roz Chast at Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln, Winnetka, 6:00 p.m. Cartoonist Roz Chast is here for a talk and slide show about her latest work, Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir. Second event in Northfield tomorrow morning.

Jason Segel at Tivoli Theater, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove, 6:00 p.m. Comic actor Jason Segel will sign the latest in his kids’ book Nightmares series, Nightmares! The Lost Lullaby (I feel like a lot of adults could relate to that title). His big and small screen work includes roles in I Love You, Man, How I Met Your Mother and This is Forty. Presented by Anderson’s Bookshops.

Do Not Submit Old Town at The Sedgwick Stop, 1612 N. Sedgwick, 7:00 p.m. Hosted by Lauren Huffman an Kevin D’Ambrosio. A warm space to tell the story of what’s on your mind, both comedic and not. Follow link for sign up and more details. Every third Thursday.

Jo Koy at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Follow link for all show times.

Confessions of a Wannabe Soccer Mom at Stage 773, 7:30 p.m. Thru Sept. 17. Follow link for all showtimes. Dina Nina Martinez tells the story of her “unconventional Journey Into Womanhood!”

A Red Line Runs Through It at Second City’s e.t.c. Theater, 1608 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The e.t.c.’s 40th Revue “rides the rails of Chicago in order to answer life’s tough questions.” Chris Jones called it “an admirably fearless” look at our city. Thursday-Sunday.

Just Dickin’ Around at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 8:30 p.m. Open mic begins at 8:30 p.m. Showcase at 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 show and free pizza! Tonight’s showcase is hosted by JDA producer Krista Atkinson and features Caitlin Checkeroski, Whitney LaMora Currier, Marla Depew (JDA producer) and Kaitlyn Grissom. Interview here!


Rat Pack Comedy at The Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan, 8:00 p.m. A vintage vibe with David Freeburg, Casey Larwood, Eli Hamilton and Allison Dunne. Hosted by Conor Cawley. Music by Mike Dlugosz. Photography by Sarah Larson. Headliner: Kory Smith.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 pm. 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. Tonight’s friends are the Sohns.



Jo Koy Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:00 a.m. Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Improv headliner. Follow the link to tune in or download the CCSR app.

Roz Chast at the Happ Inn, 305 Happ Rd., Northfield, 11:30 a.m. Part of the “One Book, Two Villages” project. Cocktail party and lecture.

the kates at Koval Distillery, 5121 N. Ravenswood, 7:00 p.m. Comedy with craft cocktail tasting. Tonight’s kates cast is Kelsie Huff, Elizabeth Gomez, Gwen LaRoka and Natalie Jose. Excellent Chicago Reader article about this new collaboration here.

Mike Toomey’s TV and Me at Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, 7:30 p.m. A comedic tour of ‘60s and ‘70s television and its impact on the television generation. Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip …

Chriss Redd and Liza Treyger at the Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Two stand-up stars who got their start in Chicago. Liza Treyger grew up in Skokie. Her album, Glitter Cheese. and her comedy special both appear on the Comedy Central label. Chris Redd grew up in Naperville. He was one of the breakout stars of the movie Popstar: Never Stop Stopping, a Second City cast member and reports are that he is one of the new cast members of Saturday Night Live! I read it’s true, then it’s not true, then the latest is it’s true! In any case, this is a chance to see two fast-rising comedy stars in one night.


The Lincoln Lodge at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. The Lincoln Lodge is known for contributing to the launch of some of comedy’s top comedians: Cameron Esposito, Hannibal Buress, TJ Miller and more. Always high quality comedy with local and visiting performers. Dedicated to making comedy available to everyone: you decide what to pay.

Norm Macdonald at The Arcada, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. From Saturday Night Live, including “Weekend Update” anchor, to the Norm show to Dirty Work and more films, the most enigmatic judge on Last Comic Standing is one of the funniest and most interesting of stand-ups. This reminds me, I need to pre-order his memoir, Based on a True Story, which will be released on September 20.

Paste Magazine presented Norm Macdonald’s “10 Most Subversive Comedic Moments” here.


Friday Night Fudge at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:30 p.m. Fudge is Damian Anaya, Tim Lyons, Vince Portacci, and Dan White. The evening is half-music, half-comedy and all independent creativity. One of iO’s in-house teams will rotate through each week to present The Harold. The interplay of music and comedy will determine the course of each evening and no two shows will be the same.

The Time is Now at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 9:00 p.m. Through September 30. A comedy revue asking what would happen if we really carpe’d the diem.

Funked Up Friday at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Finish the week and start the weekend with this party hosted by AJ Lubecker. Interview here!



Saturday Morning Funnies at Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, 10:00 a.m. Sketch comedy for kids performed by kids.

Dave Reidy at Wicker Secret Agent Supply Co., 1276 N. Milwaukee, 2:00 p.m. Dave Reidy appears as part of the Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest. This event includes a reading and discussion of his book, The Voiceover Artist. Chicago improv features prominently in the story.

SUPER at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:00 p.m. Free show. An active reading of a new pilot by Sarah Albritton and Catherine (“Povs”) Povinelli. “Follow the comedic story of a low-level narcoleptic super hero with the power to make people dance as she struggles to save the day and stay awake. Albritton has narcolepsy and incorporates her real-life experiences into the script. Broad City meets The Incredibles, this comedy explores living with a disability and fighting stereotypes just as much as fighting crime.”

Cast includes Gregory Hollimon (Strangers with Candy, Shrink), Kristen Lundberg (Laugh Factory), Amanda Lynn Deal, Charles Belt, Elliot Lerner, Tom Donovan and James Zekis alongside Albritton and Povinelli.

Sarah Albritton (Sleeping with Sarah Podcast, Cleveland Comedy Festival) and Catherine “Povs” Povinelli (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, She-Devil Comedy Festival) film the “Super” web series this fall.

Interview with Sarah and Povs here!

Blind Date at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. Two audience members will be set up on a real blind date and get to see their future improv’d before them.

Comedy Night at 12 Handles Ale House, 1827 Knapp Dr., Crest Hill, 8:00 p.m. Presented by Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio. Headliner: Sherman Edwards. Featuring Faizan Hussain, Patrick O’Hara, Joe Degand and Rashad Clarke. Patrick was the most requested comedian on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio for the month of August.


#DateMe at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. What happens when a comedian places multiple “undateable” profiles on a real dating site?



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