Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, November 20-Sunday, November 26, 2017

In town: Shawn Wayans and  Alingon Mitra. Returning to their comedy hometown: Chris Redd, Tom Thakkar, Emily Galati, Kyle Kinane, and John Caponera.  A “who’s who” in improv and music will appear nonstop for 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday at Second City. Keep reading for details.

In the news: Congratulations to Kelsie Huff, Daryl Moon and Jason Medeja, the creators of the The Open Mic Series. They are the winners of the Best Webisode/New Media Award at the Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Festival! Check out The Open Mic Series here.

Tribune Broadcasting announced a new late night Chicago-based topical comedy show. Pat Tomasulo will host. He is a morning sports anchor for WGN Morning News and a long-time stand-up comedian. Look for Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo on Saturday nights from 10-10:30 p.m. starting in late January.

Following is this week’s spotlight. Happy Thanksgiving! And please confirm all details!



The Second City That Never Sleeps 2017 at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 5:00 p.m. – Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. Second City’s legendary annual music and comedy all-nighter. All proceeds benefit families from Chicago’s Onward Neighborhood House. Follow link for schedule of events.


Patti Vasquez at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. Patti Vasquez is a mom, television commentator and host of WGN Radio’s top-rated Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez. She is also working with ABC on a sitcom about her life. She has a great gift for connecting with her audience.

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 9:00 p.m. Mike Cronin hosts Emily Galati, Tom Thakkar, Jimmy Roberson, Sabeen Sadiq, Mike O’Keefe, Jessica Hong, and Dave Losso.



The Second City That Never Sleeps 2017 at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, All day until 5:00 p.m.

Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues’ Foundation Room, 329 N. Dearborn, 6:00 p.m. Produced by James Allen Kamp, creator of the most excellent DJ Tone-Knee kicks off the evening at 6:00 p.m. Stand-up showcases at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 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. Chris Trani, Dan Frees, Doc Love, and Joe Killgallon

9:30 p.m. Mickey Housley, Danny Kallas, Matt Riggs, and Calvin Evans

Kyle Kinane at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 8:30 p.m. Kyle Kinane is an internationally touring comedian who got his start in Chicago. He has appeared on @Midnight, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Workaholics, This Is Not Happening, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and Comedy Bang! Bang! He has two one-hour specials on Comedy Central: Kyle Kinane: Loose in Chicago and I Liked His Old Stuff Better. Tonight’s show is sold out, but I say never give up and check again closer to show time.

Christmas By Melania at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Melania hosts a Christmas special with guests “Paul Manafort, Mike and Karen Pence, Barron Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Jeff Sessions, Vladimir Putin, Maxine Waters” and more TBA.

Dream Freaks Fall From Space at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The 106th Mainstage revue. Written and performed by Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Kelsey Kinney, Jeffrey Murdoch, Tien Tran and Nate Varrone. Four stars from the Chicago Tribune! Show times throughout the week. Follow link for all details.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:00 p.m. Chicago Underground Comedy is one of comedy’s most groundbreaking showcases. Cameron Esposito, Beth Stelling, TJ Miller, Dan Telfer, and Kumail Nanjiani all got their start here. Produced by Meredith Kachel.



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. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Pat McGann at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Pat McGann on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert two weeks ago:


John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. John Caponera starred in his own sitcom called The Good Life and hosted Comedy Central’s Jocks and ESPN’s Talk II. At Zanies in Rosemont on Friday and Saturday.


Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Mike Lebovitz, Kristen Toomey and more TBA.

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 Rachael Mason.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23: Happy Thanksgiving!

Second City is open today! Shows are selling out fast. Buy tickets soon!



The Lincoln Lodge at Under the Gun Theatre, 956 W. Newport, 8:00 p.m. This famed stand-up showcase is now headquartered at Under the Gun with shows on Friday and Saturday nights.

Shawn Wayans at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Through Sunday. A comedic genius from a comedy dynasty. Shawn was kind enough to speak with me and here’s what I found out: Here’s why Shawn Wayans is the perfect comedian for Thanksgiving weekend.


Alingon Mitra at Zanies 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Follow link for all show times. Alingon Mitra was one of the stars of Last Comic Standing 2015. He has also appeared on Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig FergusonThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Adam Devine’s House Party. Alingon was also a writer for the Harvard Lampoon and the winner of the Boston Comedy Festival and the “Funniest Comic in New England” contest in the same year.


Jokesplaining at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Pushing boundaries is the goal. Featuring Megan Stalter, Allison Dunne and Erica Nicole Clark. Guest set by Denise Medina.  The evening is hosted by Alex Kumin. Bring in one coat to donate and get two free tickets. 



Wishin’ Control at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 7:00 p.m. The new Main Stage theatrical. This 90-minute comedy uses long form improv to move from scene to scene and includes one hundred different characters and beautiful, surprising transitions. Saturdays beginning in November.

Shawn Wayans at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Through Sunday.



Shawn Wayans at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.


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