The 2017 Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival is under way! The Festival runs through this weekend, then through next Thursday and next weekend. Over the eight days you can see 180 shows by 154 groups from Chicago and all over the world, including returning Chicagoans TJ Miller, Nick Vatterott and Danny Pudi. Speaking of returning Chicagoans, Vanessa Fraction and Andy Woodhull are here this weekend. Visitors also include: Janeane Garofalo, Gary “G-Thang” Johnson, Orny Adams, Nate Bargatze, Howie Bell, Ken Garr and Turner Barrowman.
Ticket alert! The Sklar Brothers on February 11 at Lincoln Hall.
Please confirm all details before heading out.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
The Interview Show Season 2 Viewing Party at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 6:30 p.m. A celebration of the new season of Mark Bazer’s show on WTTW with Justin Kaufman (WGN host, member of sketch group Schadenfreude) and Rodrick Dixon (Too Hot to Handel).
Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 7:00 p.m. The world’s largest sketch comedy festival. Follow link for all details. I see Patti Vasquez’ one-woman show Patti Melt is tonight. Leila Gorstein presents Sisters4Ever about a Jewish sorority at a Big 10 School and famed groups FUCT and Pop Roulette appear tonight, too. Also, Heavyweight with TJ Miller and Nick Vatterott (tomorrow night, too). Twenty great shows to choose from today. Interview with Festival producer and creator Brian Posen here.
Ken Garr at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Ken Garr is a nationally touring headliner. He recently appeared in his first feature film, Love Meet Hope. Through Sunday. Follow link for all show times.
Orny Adams at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Orny Adams is at The Improv through Saturday night. Follow link 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.
Andy Woodhull at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Andy Woodhull is a Chicagoan and was the first comedian to make his debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Nate Bargatze at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Nate Bargatze has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon twice, five times on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, four times on Conan and multiple times on @midnight and at comedy festivals around the country. His debut comedy album Yelled at by a Clown reached #1 on the iTunes comedy charts. He is at Zanies in Rosemont on Saturday.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
Late Late Breakfast at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 3:00 p.m. Comedians today will create material from one theme: “The Future.” Follow link to see some of the fantabulous possibilities, including free pancakes. $5 suggested donation.
Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 5:00 p.m. The world’s largest sketch comedy festival. Follow link for all details. Two of my all-time favorites tonight: Defiant Thomas Brothers and com-rockers Lola Balatro. In total, twenty-eight great shows today.
Andy Woodhull at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Andy Woodhull is a Chicagoan and was the first comedian to make his debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Nate Bargatze at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Orny Adams at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
Jury Doody at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 7:30 p.m. Exciting news from The Comedy Clubhouse. Tonight the theater presents its first Main Stage Theatrical. It’s a long form improv piece which “flash[es] forward and backward into the lives of 10 unlikely jurors to see how we are more alike than different. Nine professional comedians play 118 characters in a story packed with wild fantasy, unlikely heroes, and a hint of the 90’s.” Saturday nights.
Ken Garr at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Ken Garr is a nationally touring headliner. He recently appeared in his first feature length film, Love Meet Hope. Through Sunday. Follow link for all show times.
Janeane Garofalo at Thalia Hall, 1107 S. Allport, 8:00 p.m. Janeane Garofalo is one of the pioneers of “alternative comedy.” Other alt ground-breakers include Patton Oswalt, Roseanne Barr, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Marc Maron and Sarah Silverman. “Alt comedy” is less set-up and punch line and is more free-form and jazz-like.. She is also known as a progressive and outspoken political commentator, but isn’t enthusiastic about including PE-Trump in her comedy. More on that in this Salon article.
Hot Dish: A Comedy Showcase at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Merrit Landsteiner. Featuring Danny Kallas, Josh Ejnes, Brandi Denise and Sabeen Sadiq. First Saturdays thru May 31, 2017.
You’re Being Ridiculous at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted, 8:00 p.m. This month’s theme is family. Different cast each week through January 21. Very funny, very moving stories. Tonight: Brooke Allen, Lily Be, Molly Brennan, Julie Cowden, Stephanie Diaz, Lisa Farver, Emjoy Gavino, Jeremy Owens, Karen Shimmin, and Lynn Wilde.
Funny First Saturdays at Universal Entertainment Center, 11901 S. Loomis, 9:00 p.m. Headliner: Gary “G-Thang” Johnson (Uncle Buck, Black-ish, Disaster Movie, Moneyball). Featuring Vanessa Fraction and Howie Bell.
We Still Like You at Flat Iron Comedy, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 9:30 p.m. This comedic storytelling event is all about sharing and celebrating pain and shame. Tonight: Danii Gallegos (WSLY Producer), Turner Barrowman (Minneapolis), Brittany Meyer, Allison Dunne, Bill Gevirtz and Kelsie Huff.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 1:00 p.m. Thirty-two great shows to choose from today.
Living Room Sessions Open Mic at Alive One, 2683 N. Halsted, 6:00 p.m. A new open mic produced by Jessica Besser-Rosenberg, Colleen Brennan, Lauren Hooberman and Courtney Buckwalter.
Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St., 7:00 p.m. Free show, although donations are appreciated and go to performers. Tonight: Taneshia Rice, Mike Bobrinskoy, Nicky Martin, Lisa Peters, and Tuxedo Cat producer Jerry Tran. Hosted by Tuxedo Cat producer Brittany Meyer. Plus surprise special guests.
Dave Helem at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. Dave Helem is a Chicago-based nationally touring headliner. He is also a Second City cast members and was one of the stars of its hit show, Afro-Futurism.
Ken Garr at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. Ken Garr is a nationally touring headliner. He recently appeared in his first feature length film, Love Meet Hope. Follow link for all show times.
Hoo Ha Comedy at Schubas’ upstairs lounge, 3159 N. Southport, 8:30 p.m. Heidi Butler and Carly Ballerini host Meredith Kachel, Greg Bach, Danny Maupin, Melody Kamali, Megan Stalter, Sarah Vulpio, Cameron Gilette and Danny Kallas.
Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Dobie Maxwell is a nationally touring headliner, radio host and TV guest who is also an iconic Chicago comedian. A guaranteed great night of stand-up. Dobie released his memoirs, Monkey in the Middle, in 2015 and it’s got biker dads, a catastrophic car wreck, bank-robbing gorillas, tangles with the FBI and a remarkable personal story.
Improvised Second Life at The Crowd Theater, 3935 N. Broadway, 9:00 p.m. A unique, fresh blend of multimedia and long form improv. Performers beam themselves into the theater via the video game Second Life and the improv takes off from there. Extended by popular demand. January 8, 17 and 22.
Late as Fuck: the Sunday Improv Show at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Comedy to get you through the week.