In town this weekend: Marc Maron, Kathleen Madigan, Brian Posehn, Rashaad Wright, Jake Johannsen, Christopher Titus and Steel Panther. Returning to his comedy hometown: Lenny Schmidt.
Tonight, Chicago’s Sean Flannery is on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening at 11:00 p.m. CST. He is one of comedy’s best storytellers and has experienced more heart-stopping comedic derrings-do than the roadrunner and coyote put together. Tonight’s episode is aptly titled “Adventure.” I’m not great about clearing out space on the DVR, but for tonight I will delete anything necessary to guarantee not missing Sean. Do you know you also have weekly opportunities to see him in person? He’s the host of two acclaimed shows in Chicago: Drunk Science at the Comedy Bar and The Blackout Diaries at the High Hat Club.
Stay tuned: Chicago writer and comedian Rebecca O’Neal will host a new show on WCIU spotlighting Chicago comedy. Rebecca is also the host of Top 10 Tuesdays at The Laugh Factory.
In the news:
Just Dickin’ Around announced that Dina Nina Martinez is the showcase’s new co-producer. Her comedy is acclaimed by afterellen.com and James Corden. She created her own one-woman show, Confessions of a Wannabe Soccer Mom, tracing her journey as transgender woman. Dina Nina also created Madison’s Lady Laughs Comedy Festival.
Just Dickin’ Around’s Scott Duff is co-starring in About Face Theatre’s I Am My Own Wife through December 10.
Phoebe Robinson at The Hideout Inn on January 14. Tickets here.
Beth Stelling at The Hideout Inn on January 15. Tickets here.
Thank you to the Chicago comedy community for making this blog possible and thank you for stopping by. Please confirm all details before heading out.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1
Congrats on Your Success at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. Sonal Aggarwal hosts Congrats on Your Success’s Bill Bullock, Michael Rice, special guest Rashaad Wright (Kansas City), Arish Singh, Bobby Condon, and headliner Geoffrey Asmus. Free show and free beer. Donations are appreciated and go to performers.
Chicago’s Comedy Shakedown at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Featuring Nikki Brayden, Ben Hamilton and Bill Bunker. I saw Nikki Brayden open for Tom Cotter and became an instant fan.
Tim Harrison at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Shows tonight and Saturday. Check site for all times.
The kates at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. The all-women stand-up troupe produced by Kelsie Huff. Tonight: Elizabeth Gomez, Stephanie Weber, Becca Brown, Just Nesh, Nour Hadidi, Colleen Brennan, Tessa Orzech, Whitney Chitwood and host Amy Sumpter.
Shrink Plus with Cesar Jaime at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:30 p.m. Shrink Ray’d’s Nico Carter & Brandon Shockney get to know the audience followed by improv with iO 15-year vet Cesar Jaime. Miracle Ranch will open.
Just Dickin’ Around All-Genders Showcase at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 8:30 p.m. Open mic followed by showcase at 9:45. 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 Krista Atkinson with showcase guests Marla Depew (JDA member), Tyler Ross, Max Walter and Cody Wilkins. Interview with JDA here!
Jake Johanssen at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Downtown tonight and Friday. In Rosemont on Saturday.
Chigaygo at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Hosted by Scott Duff and more TBA.
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 Mark Roberts. You may remember I had Mark Roberts’ play, New Country, in this calendar earlier this year. Mark Roberts was the playwright. His credits also include stand-up with appearances on The Tonight Show, head writer/co-executive producer of Two and a Half Men and co-creator of Mike and Molly.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
Christopher Titus Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 7:30 a.m. This week’s mesmerizing Improv headliner, Christopher Titus, speaks with Tony Carr and Steve Touhy. Follow the link or download the app and they’ll all come to you wherever you are.
10th Annual Witty Women Writers’ Night at The Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Featuring Stacey Ballis, Wendy McClure, Claire Zulkey, and Amy Guth. Arrive early for seats!
Kathleen Madigan at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., 8:00 p.m. Kathleen Madigan brings her Mermaid Lady Tour to Chicago. Interesting fact: Kathleen Madigan’s first career was as a journalist. Her dad encouraged her to try comedy and he can be said to be much of the “fodder” of her comedy. She is a veteran of Last Comic Standing and of many late night shows.
Christopher Titus at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Shows through Sunday. Follow link for all times. Christopher Titus has had a hard life marked by family mental illness and suicides, violence, abuse and extreme perseverance. He’s turned it into some riveting comedy. He talked a lot about it in his special, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding, which inspired his sitcom Titus. He was fired from the show when he refused to give in to network execs orders to deviate from his reality. Did the cancellation stop him? Not at all. He says, “I think our collective psychosis is hilarious” and “we need comedy to get rid of our desire to kill.”
Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. In addition to comedy, Dobie’s career includes host on 97.9 ‘The LOOP’ radio and too many television appearances to list. 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!
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.
Jake Johannsen at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. At Rosemont Zanies on Saturday.
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!)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
Late Late Breakfast: Washed Up Celebrity Edition at Hideout Inn, 1354 W. Wabansia, 2:00 p.m. This free comedy variety show with free pancakes recently shot a television pilot and was featured at the New York Comedy Festival. It was also named one of the best experimental comedy shows by Time Out in 2015 and one of the best comedy shows in the country by Interrobang in 2016.
Laughingstock at The Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Fifth annual music comedy festival with acts from Chicago and around the country. Saturday and Sunday nights. Tonight includes a performance by my favorite band, Lola Balatro.
Marc Maron at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Marc Maron’s “Too Real Tour.” Earlier this week, I said that tickets for the early show were sold out. But more have been released. As of this post, tickets still available for both shows.
Brian Posehn at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 7:30 p.m. With Derek Sheen (interview with Derek here). In addition to his stand-up, Brian Posehn is known for his music, writing and acting. He was Jim Kuback on Mission Hill, Brian Spukowski on The Sarah Silverman Program and and wrote for and appeared on Mr. Show.
Why Not Me…Love, Cancer and Jack White at Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph, 8:00 p.m. Jen Bosworth’s one-woman show. “This show is a love letter to my mom, Chicago and to all those daring to live an authentic life despite the crap life throws at us. I would love to share it with you. Please come be with me. I promise….even though it’s partly about cancer and death….it’s pretty f-ing funny.” Tonight and Sunday afternoon.
Funny First Saturday at Universal Entertainment Center, 11901 S. Loomis St., 9:00 p.m. Showcase hosted by Damon Williams, one of the Kings of Comedy and a frequent guest host on Windy City Live.
Lenny Schmidt at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Thru Sunday. Check site for all show times.
Christopher Titus at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
Tim Harrison at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
We Still Like You at Flat Iron Comedy, 1579 Milwaukee Ave., 9:30 p.m. Stories of shame and camaraderie with Alexa Schlosser, Lily Emerson, Geoffrey Asmus, Fran Hoepfner and Matty Ryan. Hosted by J. Michael Osborne and Dan Sheehan.
[TWO MORE SHOWS LEFT!] Defiant Thomas Brothers at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 10:30 p.m. Last two shows of the Defiant Thomas Brothers second season!! You won’t find their show on YouTube or anywhere else, so grab this chance now or regret forever! The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones said DTB rival Key & Peele. A behind-the-scenes talk with Seth and Paul here!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
The Clock is the Enemy at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West, 1:00 p.m. Free. This podcast recording is hosted by author and radio personality Mario Smith and features music and comedy.
Why Not Me…Love, Cancer and Jack White at Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph, 3:00 p.m. Jen Bosworth’s one-woman show. “This show is a love letter to my mom, Chicago and to all those daring to live an authentic life despite the crap life throws at us. I would love to share it with you. Please come be with me. I promise….even though it’s partly about cancer and death….it’s pretty f-ing funny.”
Steel Panther at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., 6:30 p.m. The Loop, 97.9 radio, presents the glam rock comedy rockers.
Laughingstock at The Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Fifth annual music comedy festival with acts from Chicago and around the country. Last night.
Christopher Titus at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.
Lenny Schmidt at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m.