Chicago comedy spotlight for November 21-27 including Thanksgiving

In town this week: Amy Schumer, Whitney Cummings and Andy Cohen. Returning to their comedy hometown: Michael Palascak, Sebastian Maniscalco, Cecily Strong, Mike Lebovitz, Kevin Dorff, Chris Redd and Jack McBrayer.

This week is an auspicious time for pop-up shows from comedians with Chicago ties. Amy Schumer and Hannibal Buress are especially known for surprise sets. Amy Schumer’s brother and boyfriend are here and Hannibal Buress is often back in his hometown for the holidays. In fact, Hannibal Buress did a surprise open for Jerrod Carmichael at UP Comedy Club just this past Saturday. Following them and other Chicago based comedians on social media is probably the best way to find out. Last year on Thanksgiving afternoon, Hannibal Buress announced a show for Thanksgiving night.

Happy Thanksgiving! Details are always subject to change, so please confirm all details before heading out.


The Second City That Never Sleeps at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 5:00 p.m. Straight through 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Second City’s annual 24-hour improv marathon to benefit the organization, Letters To Santa. Follow link for schedule and super star-studded line-up, including Susan Messing, TJ Jagodowski, Cecily Strong, Kevin Dorff, Chris Redd, Jack McBrayer, Martin Morrow, Laurel Krabacher, Shantira Jackson and Katie Rich.

An Evening with Andy Cohen at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. The Watch What Happens: Live host talks about his new book, Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries with Nerdette Podcast’s (and WBEZ Weekend host) Greta Johnsen. Ticket includes a copy of the book and a book signing.

Still Here, Still Queer at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 8:00 p.m. Celebrating the comedy of KJ Whitehead. Hosted by Amanda Cohen. Featuring Le Aboav and Josh O.

Camp: A Comedy Show at Village Tap, 2055 W. Roscoe, 8:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase featuring Subhah Agarwal, Conor Cawley, Barbara Gray, David Freeburg, a secret guest and Camp producer Tessa Orzech.



Herold at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. All-women all-Harold (iO’s signature improv).

#Humanity at Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. This timely show is a satire about the way the internet and social media impact the human psyche.



MINT at MCL Chicago Comedy Theater, 3110 N. Sheffield, 7:30 p.m. A night of musical improv and innovation. Each show is followed by a showcase or musical improv jam open to the audience.

Thanksgiving Sketch Show at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 8:00 p.m.

Larry Reeb at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Uncle Lar will getcha ready for your difficult relatives.


John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. John Caponera is a Chicago native. He starred in the sitcom The Good Life and was the host of Comedy Central’s sport show Jocks and ESPN’s Talk II.


Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Tooles, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Mike Lebovitz hosts Marty DeRosa, Danny Kallas, Joe Kilgallon, Lucas O’Neil and Liz Ziner

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).



Second City’s e.t.c.’s 41st Revue at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Starring Sayjal Joshi, Katie Klein, Andrew Knox, Alan Linic, Julie Marchiano, Jasbir Singh Vazquez and Tien Tran.

Second City’s Holidazed and Confused at 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Starring Ryan Asher, Emily Fightmaster, Laurel Krabacher, Carley Moseley, Jeffrey Murdoch and Scott Nelson. A non-traditional look at holiday tradition.

(Note: there is a Mainstage show today, too, but as of this writing it is sold out.)



Sebastian Maniscalco at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. Shows through Sunday. Sebastian Maniscalco was born in Chicago and grew up in Arlington Heights. He most recently performed in Chicago as one of the headliners of the 2016 Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Festival. He also got coffee with Jerry Seinfeld.


Michael Palascak at Zanies, MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. The Last Comic Standing finalist has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and on Comedy Central’s Half Hour.


Amy Schumer at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., 8:00 p.m.  In 2015, Amy Schumer won an Emmy for outstanding variety sketch series for Inside Amy Schumer and also was Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year.


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.

Whitney Cummings at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Whitney Cummings is a comedian, actor, writer and producer. Along with Michael Patrick King, she is the executive producer and creator of 2 Broke Girls. Her feature film The Female Brian will debut in 2017. She has also been a guest on the Comedy Central roasts of Joan Rivers, David Hasselhoff, and Donald Trump.


Larry Reeb at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Through Saturday. Follow link for all showtimes.

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


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.



Michael Palascak at Zanies, MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


Amy Schumer at UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine, 7:00 p.m.


Sebastian Maniscalco at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. Shows through Sunday.


John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 11:15 p.m

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

Larry Reeb at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Simmer Brown Showcase at Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Tonight: Peter Kim (Second City, iO, Jeff Award nominated) and performances from Simmer Brown producers Prateek Srivastava (NBC Breakout Comedy Festival), Sameena Mustafa (Milwaukee Comedy Festival), Anthony Bonazzo (Zanies) and Jerry Tran (100 Proof Comedy). Recommended by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Reader, RedEye, Chicagoist, and Margaret Cho! You’ll want to get your tickets ahead of time for three reasons: tickets often sell out, there is an early bird discount and there is a reception at 7:30 p.m. for pre-paid ticket holders.


It Had to Be Jews  at The Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. Carla Gordon presents a tribute to Jewish entertainment covering vaudeville, the Catskills’ Borscht Belt, and Broadway. Music and comedy. Fabulous cast promising “laughing, crying and plotzing” with Jan Slavin, Bob Moreen, David Aaron, Ari Axelrod, Ruth Fuerst, and Lynda Gordon.

Winter Stories at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 9:00 p.m. Get the season under way with improv based on true holiday stories. Saturdays through December 17.



Sebastian Maniscalco at The Chicago Theatre, 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. Last night in Chicago!

A Forget-About-the-Election Variety Show at The Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark, 8:00 p.m. All proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union. Top Chicago talent will provide an oasis in the storm. Featuring Sameena Mustafa, Adam Burke, Mark Toland, Junior Stopka, Dennis Watkins, Soli Santos, Cody Melcher, Bill Bullock, AJ Sacco and Prateek Srivastava. Magic, mindreading and comedy. Some of the places comedians in this show have appeared: Comedy Central, Huffington Post, The Laugh Factory, TEDx, Just For Laughs, Last Comic Standing, NPR, ABC, FOX, NBC, and more.

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