Thank you for reading Comedians Defying Gravity in 2016. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017 and a year as excellent as the laughs about to usher it in!
I’ve seen times and ticket availability change even as I’ve put this calendar together, so please confirm details before heading out. Please email me at email@example.com if you have a show you’d like me to add now or in the future. Thank you for reading and thank you to the spectacular Chicago comedy community.
Paper Machete at The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 3:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve headliners are The Cell Phones. Featuring Bethany Thomas with a musical tribute to those lost in 2016, plus sets by comedians in town for the holidays – a grab-bag of greatness. Arrive early for seats! Free.
New Year’s Eve Celebration: Family Show at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr. Aurora, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. $19.99
Hollidazed and Confused at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Second City’s annual holiday revue. $24-$36
All Ages New Year’s Eve Parties at Comedy Sportz, 929 W. Belmont, 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Early shows coincide with New Year’s in London and Reykjavik. Early shows are $40. Late show is $45 including countdown and after-party.
Goodbye 2016. Thanks for Nothing at Laugh Out Loud Theater, 3851 N. Lincoln Ave., 5:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Early improv show is for the kids. Late shows not. Visit site for all tickets.
Goodbye 2016. Thanks for Nothing at Laugh Out Loud Theater, 601 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Early improv show is for the kids. Late shows not for kids. Visit site for all tickets.
Lachlan Patterson at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. For this Last Comic Standing finalist’s early show you can purchase a ticket for the show only or for dinner+show (dinner seating begins at 5:30 p.m.). The second show is the New Year’s celebration. All sorts of ticket price points ranging from general admission to dinner.
The Winner…of Our Discontent at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. A special New Year’s Eve edition of the 105th Mainstage revue. A comedic look at us post-election. See site for ticket packages.
Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. A special New Year’s Eve edition of the e.t.c.’s 41st revue. $60-$205 (Dinner option available.)
The Second City’s Holidazed at Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W Campbell St., Arlington Heights, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. $50-$60
New Year’s Eve Comedy Jam at Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, 7:00 p.m. Hosted by Leon Rogers and NeNe Leakes. Featuring Michael Blackson, DeRay Davis, Lil Duval, DC Young Fly and Deon Cole. $59-$250
Nick Vatterott at Zanies, 401 E. Main St., St. Charles, 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Nick Vatterott began his comedy career in Chicago. In 2011, he won the prestigious national Andy Kaufman Award given to the year’s most original comedic mind. (Why he earned the prize is very much evident in the clip below.) When he was coming up in the scene, Chicago Magazine named him “The Funniest Man in Chicago.” His podcast The Nick Vatterott Show is here. Early show is $30. Late show is $40 and includes party favors and champagne.
End of Year Comedy Showcase at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Sam Norton. Featuring Calvin Evans, Natalie Jose, Kellye Howard and Sean Flannery. $27.37-$37.92
A favorite Sean Flannery story:
Whirled News Tonight at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Arrive, cut out newspaper stories and tack them up onstage. The cast may choose your story to highlight and improvise. Whirled New is now in its 13th year. $16
The Improvised Shakespeare Company’s NYE Spectacular at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. An Elizabethan New Year’s celebration with games and prizes. Tickets to early show here. Tickets to late show here. $16
Second City Improv All Stars at The Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. This program is part of Evanston’s annual “First Night” festival. Follow link for ticket options.
New Years Eve Comedy Extravaganza at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Comedians to be announced. Tickets range from $25 to $300 for a VIP package for two.
V103 NYE Comedy Jam at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 8:00 p.m. Featuring Nephew Tommy, Bill Bellamy, Capone, and Melanie Comarcho. $59-$125
Dinner and Comedy at Under the Gun Theatre, 956 W. Newport, 8:00 p.m. Dinner followed by two signature UTG shows: The House Cup: A Harry Potter Drinking Competition and Horrible Fun: Based on Cards Against Humanity. A New Year’s Eve party with music and dancing follows at midnight. $60
Whose Line? at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 8:00 p.m. Sketches and music based on audience suggestions. $40
Bobcat Goldthwait at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Bobcat’s comedy career began at age 15. Early on, he formed a comedy troupe with a couple of guys named Tom. They were known as Bobcat and Tomcat. Bobcat was also known as Jack Cheese when he first teamed up with Robin Williams (“Marty Fromage”), who would become a close friend. He is also a director and producer and produced Cameron Esposito’s special in Chicago last December and a very interesting award-winning documentary about Boston comedian Barry Crimmins (who is at Chicago’s Laugh Factory on December 22). Bobcat is also known to pop up unexpectedly at local showcases. Early show: $40. Late show: $45.
Co-Ed Prison Sluts New Year’s Eve at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. This musical comedy originally ran from 1989-2000 and claims the title of longest running musical in Chicago history. Faith Soloway (Transparent) wrote the original score. The theater describes the play thusly: “Inane residents of a prison live in fear of the arrival of The Clown…and the big fight with a drag queen and a clown never disappoints.” Take advantage of early purchase prices before December 25: $50. After December 25: $65.
Just Nesh at the New Year’s Eve SWAG Event 2 at The Doubletree Hotel, Mundelein, 8:00 p.m. S.W.A.G. is “Socializing With a Goal.” This event is sponsored by H.O.P.E. Academy to benefit at-risk youth and is a dance party hosted by comedian Taneshia “Just Nesh” Rice (Hart of the City, Windy City Live guest host). $85 in advance. $100 at the door.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 8:00 p.m. Bring in the New Year with comedy and music. With Jan Slavin, Pam Peterson, Bernie Rice, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Debra Criche Mell, and Bob Moreen. Hosted by Carla Gordon and Wayne Mell. $30
Jan Slavin and Pam Peterson:
Liza Treyger at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Liza Treyger grew up in Rogers Park and Skokie and went to high school at Niles North. She was born in Odessa and is the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. She has been featured at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival and her TV appearances include Adam Devine’s House Party, Chelsea Lately and MTV’s Joking Off. Her album Glittercheese was recently released on the Comedy Central label along with her half hour special. Early show: $30. Late show: $40
Julian McCullough at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Julian McCullough has been featured on Comedy Central Presents, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Larry King Now, Conan and This American Life. Early show: $30. Late show: $40.
Chicago’s One Night Stand-Up on WCIU at 9:00 p.m. Looking for a New Year’s Eve filled with fabulous Chicago comedy without leaving home? You got it! Rebecca O’Neal hosts Pat McGann, Martin Morrow, Michael Larimer, T. Murph, Schmitty B., Kellye Howard, Kristen Lundberg, Alex Kumin, Steven Haas, and Michael Issac. The show was filmed this month before a live audience at Zanies in Rosemont. WCIU airs encore presentations at midnight and on New Year’s Day at 8:00 p.m.
Kristen Toomey at WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 9:00 p.m. Featuring Bobby Condon and Timmy Whitzell. Evening begins with open bar at 9:00 p.m. Comedy at 10:00 p.m. Champagne toast and DJ at midnight. $50
Handsome Naked at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., 9:00 p.m. Award-winning Chicago comedy rappers open for Flynt Flossy & Turquoise Jeep. Handsome Naked is Eric Oren, Chucho Perez and Brad Kemp. $25-$150
Stew Figa’s 50 Shades of Yiddish at The Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 9:00 p.m. This program is part of Evanston’s annual “First Night” festival. Follow link for ticket options.
Too Much Light NYE Party and Performance at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 9:30 p.m. Pre-show reception, poems-on-demand and final performance of the one-of-a-kind, rapid-fire Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind which will end just in time to welcome 2017.
Whose Line? Naughty Show at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 10:00 p.m. The raunchy edition of “Whose Line?” $45
An Interactive New Year’s at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. The Comedy Dance Collective presents a night of comedy, music and prizes. The Collective will collaborate with the audience for inspiration. $16
Countdown Comedy Bash at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:30 p.m. Featuring Tim McLaughlin, Marty DeRosa and more TBA. Pre-sale prices range from $40 to $325 for a premium VIP package for two.
Fackbuddies at The Improv Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. 10:30 p.m. With Dina Facklis, Improv Den founder. $10
The Big Sexy NYE Show at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 10:30 p.m. Burlesque, comedy and surprises to be announced. $32.64-$43.19 (VIP admission)