Chicago Comedy Spotlight for Monday, September 11-Sunday, September 17, 2017

In town: Camilla Cleese, Landry, Lisa Lillien, Jo Koy, and Jay Pharoah. Jeffrey Sweet, Nick Vatterott and Dave Helem return to their hometown. Plus, improv groups from around the midwest are here for the Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival which begins on Thursday and goes through Sunday.

Please confirm all details before heading out!



Something Wonderful Right Away-The Long Avoided Sequel at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00 p.m. This promises to be a great evening for every fan of comedy, Chicago, Second City, political satire, American Jewish history, and immigration. It’s Jeffrey Sweet’s one-man show following up on his book Something Wonderful Right Away which has been called the definitive history of Second City. Follow the link to find out why this show is an extraordinary event. In 2012, I spoke with Jeffrey Sweet here.

Manic Music Mondays at Frances’, 307 E. 75th St., 8:00 p.m. Live music and comedy hosted by Taneshia (Just Nesh) Rice and Marilee.

Salonathon: Quitters at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., 8:30 p.m. Writers, dancers, musicians, actors, and comedians redefine the word “quitter” when it’s about addiction. Line-up: Alex Reindl, Alyssa Lynee, Daniel Mozurkewich, Eileen Tull, Emilie Modaff, Jocelyn Geboy, Nire Nah, Raul Parra, Sam Bam, Shane Rhoades, Tim Parker, and Whitney Wasson.

Having It All at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. “Stories and improvisation about being female.” Featuring Shelby Plummer, Clare Austen-Smith, Audrey Schiffhuar, Mary Catherine Curran, Caitlin Joseph, Olivia Nielson, Jo Scott, Leila Gorstein, Brittany Bookbinder, Rebeccah Singer, Laurel Zoff-Pelton, and Elizabeth Andrews.



Cocktail Comedy at House of Blues’ Foundation Room, 329 N. Dearborn, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Produced by James Allen Kamp, creator of the most excellent DJ Tone-Knee kicks off the evening at 6:00 p.m. RSVP for free admission. Early arrival recommended. Seats go fast! Always a great, diverse line-up of Chicago’s top comedians and surprise drop-ins.

7:30 p.m. Mickey Housley, Chris Trani, Maya Mays and Jeff Arcuri

9:30 p.m. Chris Trani, Maya Mays, Jeff Arcuri and Vince Acevedo

Winner … of Our Discontent at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The 105th Mainstage revue. Tickets sell out fast. Check site for additional shows throughout the week.

The Comedy Bowl: Season Six at Diversey River Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey, 8:00 p.m. Comedy, music and trivia games hosted by Mona Aburmishan.  Tonight is the season  premiere.

Landry at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p .m. Winner of both the Boston Comedy Festival and the World Series of Comedy. Follow link for all show times. Through Sunday.


Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Chicago Underground Comedy is one of comedy’s most groundbreaking showcases where Cameron Esposito, Beth Stelling, TJ Miller, Dan Telfer, Kumail Nanjiani, just to name a few, got their start. Produced by Meredith Kachel.



The Running to End Cancer Show with No Running at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:00 p.m. A variety show of stand-ups, writers, and musicians with performances by Fran Hoepfner, Sofia Manfredi, Noah Prestwich & Adam Levine, Abby McEnany, Hamsey, Hamsey & Hamsey and more TBA. Proceeds benefit the Old Tonuccis’ fundraising for cancer research and treatment.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Marty DeRosa hosts Max Friedman, Ricky Gonzalez, Jonah Jurkens, Taneshia Rice, Joey Villagomez and Rachel Weeks.



Lisa Lillien at Temple Chai, 1670 W. Checker Rd., Long Grove, 7:00 p.m. Author and Food Network host Lisa Lillien is here to tell her story, including a Q&A with the audience. Lisa is known for her humorous, real and very do-able approach to good food. She will also sign her latest book, Hungry Girl: Clean and Hungry, and talk about what sounds miraculous, yet it’s true: a cruise guaranteeing a restorative, fun vacation and healthy eats. The Second Annual Hungry Girl Cruise is in April 2018. Where do I sign up? Lisa’s web site here.

The Blues Brothers Revue at The Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, 7:30 p.m. An official Blues Brothers evening.

Jo Koy at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Through Sunday. Follow link for all show times.


Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., 8:00 p.m. With Reena Calm, Le Aboav, Michael Njuguna Robinson, Mike O’Keefe, and Casey Larwood. Hosted by Rebecca Fass. $5 suggested donations. Free temporary Tuxedo Cat tattoos at the door.

Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 7:00 p.m. First show at 7:00 p.m. with shows on the hour to follow. Follow link for all details. Please check out my interview with Cody Melcher here.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. 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. This week’s friend is Sam Locke.



Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 7:00 p.m. First show at 7:00 p.m. with shows on the hour to follow. Follow link for all details. Please check out my interview with Cody Melcher here. After-party tonight!

At Last the 1948 Show—LIVE! at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:30 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Rare sketches from At Last the 1948 Show which originally aired in the U.K. in 1967 and was the acclaimed precursor to Monty Python. This Chicago event marks the first time these sketches have ever been seen on stage.

These shows were written by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman. Starring Camilla Cleese with Isabeau Dornevil, Iris Kohler, Lauren Lonergan, Kristen Lundberg, and Lauren Pizzi, Python expert and chronicler Kim “Howard” Johnson, Michael McCarthy, and Bill Russell.

Jay Pharoah at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Follow link for all show times.


The Lincoln Lodge at Under the Gun Theatre, 956 W. Newport, 8:00 p.m. Lincoln Lodge is back from summer hiatus and has big news-this famed stand-up showcase is now headquartered at Under the Gun with shows on Friday and Saturday nights. JUST ANNOUNCED: Headliner on Friday and Saturday is Nick Vatterott!

Dope Ass Comedy Show at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 9:00 p.m. Dave Helem hosts Dewayne Perkins, Allison Dunne, Joe McMahon, Marvin D Phipps, Kellye Howard and Calvin Evans.



Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 5:00 p.m. First show at 5:00 p.m. followed by shows on the hour. Follow link for all details. Please check out my interview with Cody Melcher here. After party tonight!

Mainstage Showcase at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Featuring the women of One Group Mind.

[LAST SHOW!] Fuck Trump: A Collection of Songs to Demonstrate What a Horrible Person Donald Trump Is at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Directed by Mick Napier, the world renowned founder and director of The Annoyance.

The Blackout Diaries at Under the Gun Theatre, 956 W. Newport, 10:00 p.m. More great news from the Lincoln Lodge and Sean Flannery. Blackout Diaries is back on Saturday nights! Comedians and “civilians” tell their craziest true drinking stories and then the audience has a chance to ask questions. Creator and host Sean Flannery is one of the best comedic storytellers of our time and ensures a memorable, fast-moving and excellent show every time. This show has been recommended by just about every media outlet in the city.



Tom Dreesen at Cubs Game, Wrigley Field, 1:20 p.m. The legendary comedian throws out the first pitch and sings the seventh inning stretch at the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. Follow the link to learn more about Tom Dreesen’s extraordinary career.


Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Panels, workshops and free game day. Follow link for all details. Please check out my interview with Festival producer Cody Melcher here.

Hello From the Magic Tavern at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Travel to the magical world of Foon courtesy of the WBEZ passport series. Hello FromThe Magic Tavern is frequently cited as one of the best of all podcasts. This is a live recording. Hosted by Chicago improv stars Arnie Niekamp, Adal Rifai and Matt Young, plus a surprise special guest TBA.

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