Visitors in town: Richard Lewis and Emma Willman are at Zanies. Christopher Titus is at The Improv.
Three comedy festivals this week:
At the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival: Wham City Comedy, Kate Willett, Janelle James, Josh Fadem, and Comedy at the Knitting Factory’s Kenny DeForest, Clark Jones and Will Miles.
You can see sketch comedy groups from around the world at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival and storytelling and comedy at Fillet of Solo.
Tickets are selling out fast for Julia Sweeney’s new show at Second City, Older and Wider.
Northwestern University announced that alum Stephen Colbert will host “Starry Night” at its 2018 annual Commfest in April. Tickets here.
The popular, poopular and infinitely relatable “I Shit You Not” returns on February 17 with its first annual storytelling show and a line-up of top Chicago comedians and storytellers. The show includes a chili cook-off judged by food writer Monica Eng (WBEZ). Tickets are sure to run out fast. Created and hosted by Michael Sanchez and Seth Davis. Details here.
MONDAY, JANUARY 15
Dobie Maxwell at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Dobie Maxwell is one of the best, funniest and most extraordinary people you’ll ever meet. He has the extraordinary life story to go with it. He published his memoir Monkey in the Middle in 2016. He’s had a ton of tough crap happen and won’t sugarcoat, yet his positive energy will lift you up.
Ladylike at Café Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave., 8:00 p.m. Storytelling and comedy. Women tell their favorite most disgusting stories. This show is a safe space for all. Tonight: Emma Alamo, Ashley Huck, Lael O’Shaughnessy, Truly KC, Amy Sumpter, and Kellye Howard. Hosted by Sarah Squirm.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16
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 comedyofchicago.com. DJ Tone-Knee kicks off the evening at 6:00 p.m. Stand-up showcases at 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 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. Hosted by Jonah Jurkens. Featuring Mona Aburmishan and Chris Trani. Headliner: Mickey Housley
9:00 p.m. Hosted by Doc Love. Featuring Prateek Srivastava and Ed Towns. Headliner: Joe Kilgallon
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17
Richard Lewis at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Tonight and tomorrow at Zanies in Chicago. Friday and Saturday at Zanies in Rosemont.
Laughs in the Lounge at Rogers Park Social, 6920 N. Glenwood Ave., 9:00 p.m. Stand-up showcase produced by Marla Depew. Tonight Marla hosts Mona Aburmishan, Elizabeth Gomez, Ilana Gordon, Kristin Lytie, and Julie Merica. Follow link to read performers’ profiles.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18
Tomorrow Never Knows Festival at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. A double bill with Wham City Comedy (Baltimore) and Helltrap Nightmare (hosted by Sarah Squirm who was named best comedian of 2016 by the Reader).
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 Claudia Wallace.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19
The Kates at Fillet of Solo, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 7:00 p.m. All women stand-up showcase. Aways excellent, diverse and unforgettable. Tonight: Maya May, Annalise Raziq, Marla Depew, Dina Nina Martinez, and Dani Jackson. Hosted by Alexandra Tsarpalas
Richard Lewis at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 7:00 p.m. Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.
Emma Willman at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Through Sunday. Follow link for all show times.
Stir Friday Night at Fillet of Solo, Heartland Studio Theatre, 7016 N. Glenwood, 8:30 p.m. Sketch comedy and improv. This Asian-American theater company was founded in Chicago in 1995. Alums include Danny Pudi from Community, and Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20
Therapy Players at The Open Door Theater, 902 South Ridgeland Avenue, Oak Park, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s award-winning all therapist improv group.
Gayco at Fillet of Solo, Heartland Studio Theatre, 7016 N. Glenwood, 7:00 p.m. Sketch-comedy based on gay/lesbian themes. Gayco was founded at Second City Training Center in 1996.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 21
Silly Point Sundays at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 9:15 p.m. Produced by John Hildreth. All Indian team brings personal stories, past experiences, and cultural heritage to life on the stage with improv, scene work and characters. Each week will feature “the who’s-who of Chicago comedy and art community.”