Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, April 3-Wednesday April 5, 2017

Comedy visits: Judy Gold, Joel Chasnoff, Janine Ellis, Ritch Shydner and Erin Foley. Megan Gailey returns to her comedy hometown.

In the news: Cameron Esposito hosted the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night. Write-up in The Advocate here, which also notes that the ceremony will air on the LOGO network this Thursday night. I can’t find it in my TV listings yet, but I will keep checking back. Cameron and her wife Rhea Butcher were also nominated for “Outstanding Comedy Series” for Take My Wife which airs on NBC’s Seeso.

Evanston native John Roy’s third album, Everything’s Burning is out this Friday.

W. Kamau Bell, who is originally from Chicago, announced a new book, a tour and the second season of United Shades of America on April 30 on CNN.His book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian will be released on May 2.

I found out about a great new app, Improv Tonight, a daily guide to improv shows in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Ticket alerts: 

Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein at The Chicago Theatre on May 27.

As mentioned, W. Kamau Bell at The Vic on June 16.

#IMOMSOHARD at The Vic on July 7.

Trevor Noah at The Chicago Theatre on October 20.

Please confirm all details before heading out!


Best Night Ever’s 3rd Anniversary Show at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 8:30 p.m. Featuring Ricky Gonzalez, Nate Burrows, Jason Melton, Allison Dunne, Danny Maupin, Cleveland Anderson, Gena Gephart and Spark Tabor. Plus free anniversary giveaways. Behind-the-scenes interview with producer Sam Ash McHale here.



Behind the Scenes of Hamilton with Wayne Brady, Chicago Ideas, Facebook Live Event, 12:00 p.m. Wayne Brady (Aaron Burr) will talk about being part of Chicago’s Hamilton cast and answer your questions, “from what it’s like on set to where he eats after the show.”

New York Television Festival at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 6:00 p.m. Free. Showcases, plus panels with television execs and industry experts from New York and Chicago. Through April 5. Follow link for all details. Panel Attendees include Bento Box Entertainment, Comedy Central, Funny or Die, IFC, Seeso, truTV, WME.

Downtown Seder at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, 7:00 p.m. How is this seder differefrom all other seders? These folks will be there: Judy Gold, Joel Chasnoff, Peter Sagal, Sam Llanas, Malcolm London, Scott Turow, Corky Siegel, Lynne Jordan, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Dani Rabin and Danny Markovitch (of Marbin)


Pure & Weary’s Roaring in Our 20s at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Pure & Weary’s show was a smash hit at Chicago Sketch Fest and Second City and has now been picked up at The Annoyance for a 6-week run through April 18th. ONLY 3 SHOWS LEFT! This show takes place during the 1920s and celebrates flappers, comedians and other non-conventional women and the things we all have in common. “Come watch as Pure & Weary Charleston through the ups and downs of their 20s.”
Interview: “Pure & Weary’s Roaring in Our 20s is the Show we Need Today” here.

Lola Balatro at Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Lola Balatro is better than Lollapalooza put together. Interview with Lola Balatro here.



Ego Trip Club Handles the Truth at Brü Chicago, 1562 N Milwaukee Ave, 7:00 p.m. Headliner Cody Melcher chose the show’s theme: truth. Featuring Matt Brown, Amanda Cohen, Spark Tabor, a feature set from Brittany Meyer and special guest from Austin, Texas, Jasmine Ellis.

Chris Jones at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. Chris Jones is a hypnotist who was on America’s Got Talent. He is a Chicagoan. He has also mesmerized the hosts and audience at Windy City Live.


Psychotic Break with Jenn and Dan at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 8:00 p.m. Free addiction, mental-illness themed comedy variety show. Featuring Arish Singh, Cameron Gillette and solo sketch performer Tom Simmons and more TBA. Hosted by Jenn Sodini and Daniel Shapiro.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 8:00 p.m. Live game show and podcast hosted by Freakonomic’s co-author, Stephen Dubner. Tonight’s game show contestants: Scott Turow, Freakonomic’s co-author Steven Levitt and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer.

Ritch Shydner at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Co-author of one of my favorite books about comedy, I Killed and last year published his memoir, Kicking Through The Ashes: My Life In the 1980’s Comedy Boom. He has also appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He played Al Bundy’s co-worker on Married with Children, and had roles on Designing Women, Roseanne (for which he also wrote), Steve Martin’s Roxanne and Beverly Hills Cop II. He also produced and starred in the award-winning documentary I Am Comic. Shows through Saturday. Follow link for all times.


Erin Foley at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 9:00 p.m. Erin Foley is the host of Mixologist And A Movie on Lifetime. She has her own special on Comedy Central Presents and has appeared on Conan, @ Midnight, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately, Arsenio Hall and Last Call With Carson Daly. Shows through Saturday. Follow link for all times.


Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Ricky Gonzalez hosts Ricky Gonzalez hosts Marty DeRosa, Megan Gailey, Danny Kallas, Xavier Lamont, John Margelewski and more TBA.

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).

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