Chicago comedy spotlight for October 17-23

Visitors this week include Maz Jobrani, Jon Dore, Ahamed Weinberg, Ryan de la Garza, Brad Wenzel, Amir Blumenfeld, Jake Hurwitz, Dwayne Perkins, Gallagher, Nick Offerman and Dylan Moran.

Returning to their comedy hometown: Emily Galati and Michael Palascak.

In town for Chicago Ideas Week: Bob Saget, Phoebe Robinson, Negin Farsad and Bryan Cranston.

Following is my weekly spotlight. As always, just a fraction of the extraordinary comedy in Chicago every day. For more, please check out “Comedy each day of the week” above.

Please confirm all details before heading out. Thank you to the Chicago comedy community for making this blog possible and thank you to you for reading and helping me spread the word.



100 Proof Comedy at Comedy Sportz, 929 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Rebecca O’Neal. Featuring Nate Burrows, Ryan de la Garza, Brenna Grabow, Jerry Tran and Cody Melcher, Esq.. Hosted by Kaitlyn Grissom.


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. With Sean Bair Flannery, Melody Kamali, John Eide, Casey Larwood and Tommy Karner.

Female Funnies at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Hosted by WGN’s Patti Vasquez (Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez). I don’t know the whole line-up, but I did see that the wonderful Jan Slavin is on it!



Jon Dore at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Jon Dore has received four Canadian Comedy Awards. His television credits include The Jon Dore Television Show, Canadian Idol, My Life as an Experiment and How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life). Interesting fact: he was the first featured comedian on Conan.

He also traveled with Tig Notaro in Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro where they crisscrossed the country doing sets in fans’ living rooms and barns. It looked the best road trip of all time.


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.

Brad Wenzel at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Shows Tuesday and Wednesday night. Brad Wenzel was the winner of the 2015 Great American Comedy Festival.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Ed Hansen hosts Andy Fleming, Reena Calm, Matty Ryan, Mathias Muschal and Gena Gephart. With special guests Ahamed Weinberg and Emily Galati.




Comedy, But Seriously at Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 7:00 p.m. A discussion about comedy and society with Bob Saget, Phoebe Robinson (comedian, author of You Can’t Touch My Hair), Anne Libera (Director of Comedy Studies at Columbia College/Second City), Chelsea Devantez (writer for Jon Stewart HBO project), Negin Farsad (comedian, author of How to Make White People Laugh). Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week.

Wonkette’s Debate Viewing Party at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. The debate with comic commentary.

You Joke Like a Girl at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 . Milwaukee Ave., 7:30 p.m. Open mic at 7:30 p.m. Showcase at 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Elyse Nylin. Featuring Lauren Hooberman, Mary Zee, Mona Aburmishan and more TBA.

Is It Still Funny? at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:30 p.m. Movie critic Mark Caro (Chicago Tribune, New York Times) will screen Monty Python and the Holy Grail and asks whether it stands the test of time. Do not fear the Gorge of Eternal Peril! There is no one right answer!

Mom Genes Presents: Halloweenies at Café Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Bettie, Barb and Jan. Headliner: Laura Hugg. Featuring Lisa Peters, Ed Towns, Claire Swanson and Bill Bullock.


Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, 8:00 p.m. Dobie is at Zanies in Rosemont tonight and tomorrow night. Dobie is a nationally touring comedian, radio host and author. He published his memoirs, Monkey in the Middle, this year. Read about his extraordinary life here. I spoke with Dobie here.


Laughs in the Lounge at Rogers Park Social, 6920 N. Glenwood Ave., 9:45 p.m. Free show. Donations appreciated. Hosted by Marla Depew. Featuring Adrienne Brandyburg (B.A.P.S.), Erin Conlon (The Kates), Whitney LaMora Currier (Wirehouse Co.), Dylan Scott (Battle States at the Laugh Factory) and Tristan A. Smith (BLT Comedy).

TJ & Dave at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Long form improv by internationally renowned legends TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi who “improvise a one-hour play filled with elaborately imagined characters whose relationships reveal the wildly funny quirks of human nature.” TJ & Dave have inspired both a book (Improvisation at the Speed of Life) and a movie (Trust Us, This is all Made Up).



Laughing Matters: A Dinner & Comedy Fundraiser at Wheatstack, 5900 S. Route 53, Lisle, 6:30 p.m. A benefit hosted by Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio. Proceeds go to local causes: People’s Resource Center and Partners Bridging the Digital Divide. Headliner: Kevin Wood. Featuring Patrick O’Hara, Marz Timms and Peter Daniel.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Michael Palascak was a finalist on 2015’s Last Comic Standing and has also appeared on Conan, Letterman, The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show and Comedy Central. Shows thru Saturday. Follow link for all show times.



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 All Ladies Showcase at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 8:30 p.m. Open mic/showcase hybrid begins at 8:30 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 is hosted by JDA producer Krista Atkinson. Featuring Allyssa Bujdoso, Marla Depew (JDA member), Kaitlyn Grissom and Claire Swanson.

A behind-the-scenes with JDA here.

Pat McGann at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Pat McGann was the host of one of the greatest comedy shows, The Chicago Stand Up Project on WTTW, where he taught Chicago celebrities the art of stand-up.


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 friend is Allison Ringhand.



The Lincoln Lodge at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. The Lincoln Lodge is known for the comedians it helped launch: Cameron Esposito, Hannibal Buress and 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. I heard a tip: one of the stars featured tonight is Dan Peff.


Maz Jobrani at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. Check site for all show times. Maz Jobrani’s new movie, Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero premiered last month. His comedy is all about the connections between people and knocking down stereotypes. He is also a favorite panelist on Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Check out his book, too, I’m Not a Terrorist, But I Played One on TV. Interview with Maz here.



Fuck Trump: A Collection of Songs to Show What a Horrible Person Donald Trump Is at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8: 00 p.m. Directed by Mick Napier. Through November 11.

Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., 8:00 p.m. The If I Were You podcast live, “offering up advice in areas they’re qualified to talk about. Also in areas they’re not qualified to talk about.”

Dwayne Perkins at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday thru Sunday. Check site for all show times. Dwayne Perkins was a correspondent on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is an internationally touring headliner and author of Hot Chocolate for the Mind.


Gallagher: The Joke’s On You Tour at The Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Why does Gallagher hate watermelons? Two stories: he dropped one on his foot and broke two toes when he was ten years old. He suffered from constipation as a child and his mom made him eat fruit, especially melons. Hates melons? Who can blame him?! He seems ageless, but Gallagher turned seventy years old this past summer.

Friday Night Fudge at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:30 p.m. The acclaimed Friday Night Fudge has moved to iO. Fudge is Damian Anaya, Tim Lyons, Vince Portacci, and Dan White. Music, comedy and a different iO Harold team each week. No two shows the same.

Funked Up Friday at Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Finish the week and start the weekend with this party hosted by AJ Lubecker. Secrets of how AJ creates a celebration each week here.

The Comedy Dance Collective: Ha Ha Halloween at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. “The Comedy Dance Collective (C:DC) is back with a brand new show just in time for Halloween! The C:DC–a group of current, former, and almost dancers–moves to amuse! In this Halloweeen-themed visually-hilarious dance comedy show, all your worst nightmares will be turned on their heads, leaving you giggling like a goblin!” Tonight and October 28th.

Pimprov Television Show Filming at CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 10:30 p.m. Tonight features Nathan Cotter and is hosted by Comedy Central’s Gregory Hollimon (Strangers with Candy). The audience will also be on camera, “so to all of our fans with warrants…come in disguise.”



Good Clean Fun: An Evening with Nick Offerman at The Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Each ticket includes a signed copy of Nick Offerman’s new book, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Workshop.

Simmer Brown Showcase at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Sam Norton. Hosted by Anthony Bonazzo. Featuring Adam Gilbert, Prateek Srivastava, and Sameena Mustafa. Improv by Gnar Gnar Shredtown, music by Chrissi Hartigan and a secret guest from Comedy Central. Get tickets early – this show sells out in advance. Reception for pre-paid ticket holders at 7:30 p.m.


Dylan Moran at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 8:00 p.m. The award-winning Irish comedian blends the surreal with real life.



Cupid Has a Heart On at Stage 773, 1225 W.Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s longest running musical sketch comedy shows.

Lobotomy Myself and I at Second City’s Donny Skybox Theater, 230 W. North Ave., 8:30 p.m. The best way through fear is laughter. A new production by the Bosom Friends. Saturday nights through November 5. Interview with Bosom Friends’ Brookes May here.

Defiant Thomas Brothers at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 10:30 p.m. Saturdays thru November 19. The Defiant Thomas Brothers are back!! The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones said DTB rival Key & Peele. A behind-the-scenes talk with Seth and Paul here.

Nick Offerman introduces Highlander at The Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport, 11:00 p.m. The 30th Anniversary presentation of the movie.



In Conversation with Bryan Cranston at The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, 1:30 p.m. The multi-award winning actor is in town for Chicago Ideas Week to talk about his work and life. Tickets include a copy of his new memoir, A Life in Parts.

B.A.P.S. Comedy October Showcase at The Crowd Theater, 3935 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. B.A.P.S. is Beautiful and Powerful Sistas. Hosted by Adrienne Brandyburg and Jillian Ebanks. Featuring Asia Martin, Kaylala Pulley and Ariel Atkins.

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