Chicago comedy spotlight for November 1-6

In town this week:

Craig Ferguson, Dave Attell, Tom Clark, Ryan Hamilton, Yakov Smirnoff and Mary Jo Pehl.

Ticket alerts!

Margaret Cho at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on December 9.

Billy Gardell at the Genesee Theatre on February 4, 2017.

Please confirm all details before heading out!



Graeme of Thrones at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 7:30 p.m. Through November 13. Check site for all show times.


Secrets, Lies and Alibis at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. Comedy inspired by the audience’s anonymous secrets. Tonight: Kristin Ryan, David Zoe Leon, Carson Leet, Janine Phan, Meir Dalai Steinberg, Jordan Mullens and more TBA. Also, a going-away party for producer Amanda Lynn Deal.


Second City’s 105th Main Stage Revue at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Tickets sell out fast. Check site for additional shows throughout the week.

Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Check out Dobie’s memoirs Monkey in the Middle just released this year: it’s got gorillas, bank robberies, biker dads, and the story of an extraordinary life. Interview with Dobie here!

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Hosted by Stephanie Weber. Featuring Bobby Condon, Toler Wolfe, Saurin Choksi, Blake Burkhart, Rachel McCartney and Dave Helem.



Laughing Liberally at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. This politically progressive comedy show is hosted by The Accountants of Homeland Security (Matthew Filipowicz, Tim Grimes, James Bespalec-Davis and Bob Rok). Comedy from Elaine Phillips, Zach Zajac, Patti Vasquez,and Natalie Jose. Music from hip hop artist Bob Rok. Typically, a political expert is interviewed, but atypically tonight, that expert will perform stand-up comedy instead. He is historian and New York Times’ bestselling author Rick Pearlstein (Nixonland, The Invisible Bridge).

Secret Show: 100% Off Comedy at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 8:00 p.m. “The details of this special-edition comedy performance will be released at 7:30 p.m. on the night of the show.”

Dr. Bill Miller at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Dr. Bill Miller began performing as a comedian during his time at Northwestern University Medical School.


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).



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.”

Tom Clark at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Through Saturday. Check site for all show times.


Ryan Hamilton at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Through Sunday. Check site for all show times.


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 Kyle Dolan, who has been on stage and back stage at The Annoyance for over twenty years and a teacher there for over a decade.



Dave Attell Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 8:45 a.m. Follow the link or download the CCSR to hear Tony Carr and Steve Touhy interview this week’s Improv headliner.

Yakov Smirnoff at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 7:30 p.m. The comedian and soon-to-be doctor of psychology brings his “Happily Ever Laughter, the Neuroscience of Romantic Relationships” to Skokie.


Dave Attell at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Dave Attell was the host of Comedy Central’s popular Insomniac with Dave Attell which he recorded all around the country and in Brazil, Japan the U.K. and Germany and Comedy Underground with Dave Attell. He has appeared on just about every late night show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Arrested Development and many more. Through Sunday. Check site for all show times.


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 accessible and affordable.

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.

Ryan Hamilton at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Thru Sunday. Check site for all show times.

Just Nesh Unleashed: Live DVD Recording at Raven’s Place, 13031 Western Ave., Blue Island, 9:00 p.m. Taneshia Rice is a Chicago-based nationally touring comedian who most recently was featured on Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City.

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. (Interview here.)



The Last Ever Chicago’s Biggest Liar Contest at MB Bank Parking Lot, 6:30 p.m. Gather in parking lot to be transported to an undisclosed bunker to await the end of the world.

“While we wait, 10 of Chicago’s most talented performers will help pass the time by competing with their most ridiculous, exaggerated, and entertaining stories one last time. The winner will lead us into our new utopia, with truth, justice, and hot fudge sundaes for all.”

“This ain’t your mama’s Moth Slam. Please join us for an immersive, unique storytelling experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Your life depends on it.” Featuring Archy Jamjun, Megan Wells, Eunice Jarrett, Tim Stafford, Don Hall, Annalise Raziq, Robert Cornelius, Rives Collins, Jasmin Cardenas and Elizabeth Gomez. Hosted “Our Supreme Benevolent Leader” Patrick “Patrick” Brennan.

Two Hour Comedy Hour Seven-Year Anniversary at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley, 7:00 p.m. John Michael Osborne and Andy Fleming host Deanna Ortiz, Felonious Monk, Rebecca O’Neal, Mandee McKelvey, Danny Maupin, Megan Stalter, Kent Carney and Stephanie Weber. Music by Natalie Grace Alford.

Dave Attell at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Ryan Hamilton at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Through Sunday. Check site for all show times.

You’re Being Ridiculous at Mary’s Attic, 5446 N. Clark St., 7:30 p.m. The topic is “issues.” Featuring stories from Lily Be, Barrie Cole, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Margaret Ghielmetti, JH Palmer, Jeremy Owens, David Pintor, Alisa Rosenthal, and Josh Zagoren.  Storytelling at its best and funniest. Shows tonight, November 12 and 19. New line-up each week.

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

Mary Jo Pehl at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Stand-up and stories from the life of the Mystery Science 3000 writer and actor.

[LAST SHOW!] 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 here!

Defiant Thomas Brothers at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 10:30 p.m. Saturdays. Extended thru December 10. 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.



Open Mic Fest at venues throughout the city. Through November 10 (Best of the Fest). Check site for all details.

Improv Nerd at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 5:30 p.m. Impeccably honest inside view of improv with guru Jimmy Carrane and his guest. Tonight it’s Ryan Archibald, a Second City and iO vet. This show is a must for comedy fans! Check out Jimmy’s podcast, blog and classes, too.

Craig Ferguson at The Chicago Theatre, 175. N. State St., 7:00 p.m. The Emmy- and Peabody-award winning comedian brings his “New Deal” tour to Chicago

Dave Attell at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.

Arguments & Grievances at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Chicago Magazine’s Best Chicago Variety Show (2014). Tonight: Rebecca O’Neal vs .Jeff Acuri (Funerals vs. Weddings), Conor Delahanty vs. Kaitlyn Grissom (Pretty vs. Ugly), Arish Singh vs. Tom Wisdom (V. Lenin vs. John Lennon) and Timmy Whitzell vs. Ashley Huck (Oscar Meyer vs. Oscar Wilde). Free with an RSVP to

Ryan Hamilton at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m.

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