Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, March 19-Sunday, March 25, 2018

Visitors in town: Cedric the Entertainer, Janeane Garofalo and Derek Sheen … and CBS This Morning (see March 22).  Cameron Esposito returns to her hometown for an extended week-and-a-half run … tickets are almost sold out (details below)!

Plus, at Zanies: Joe Machi, Chad Daniels, and Larry Reeb and at The Improv: Ian Bagg.

Ticket alerts: There’s a very long list of Chicago comedy ticket alerts!. There are so many that I need a separate post. You can find it here.

Following is this week’s spotlight. Please check out the Directory of Chicago Comedy Venues and Shows – tab above – for weekly shows and showcases. Please confirm all details!



Am I Man Enough? at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. This storytelling show and podcast is about our culture’s view of manhood and “toxic masculinity.” Starring: Archy Jamjun, Aidan McCormack, Savant Furlow, Maria Konopken, Tamale Sepp, Saul Salcedo-Frausto, and Alicia Swiz. Conversation follows.

Ladylike at Café Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave. 8:00 p.m. “A storytelling show where women tell the most disgusting stories they’ve got.” Tonight: Rima Parikh, Jenn Sodini, Caroline Twyman, Nicola Elizabeth Sargent, Lia Berman, and Lyn-z Harney. Hosted by Allison Dunne. Produced by Gena Gephart, Allison Dunne, Sarah Sherman, and Carly Ballerini.



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 9:00 p.m. RSVP for free admission. Early arrival recommended. Seats go fast! Always a stellar, diverse line-up of Chicago’s top comedians and surprise drop-ins.

7:30 p.m. Hosted by Mickey Housley. Featuring Prateek Srivastava, Marilee. Headliner: Jim Flannigan.

9:00 p.m. Hosted by Joe Kilgallon. Featuring Chris Trani, Ed Towns. Headliner: Kellye Howard.



Fighting Fire with Funny: Preventing Bad Jokes in the #MeToo Era at evolveHer, 358 W Ontario St., 5:30 p.m. Dr. Gail Stern, founder of Catharsis Productions, combines academic research with her experience and insight into both victim advocacy and stand-up comedy. The evening includes small group practice sessions. Presented by Chicago Ideas Week.

Laughs in the Lounge at Rogers Park Social, 6920 N. Glenwood, 9:00 p.m. Tonight: Conor Cawley, Ron Ervin, Casey Larwood, Maya May, and Irene Tinoco. Hosted by Marla Depew. Free show. Donations accepted.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Nationally known showcase. Comedians often fly in to record their albums here. Tonight: Jeff Steinbrunner hosts Derek Sheen, T-Murph, Kristen Lundberg, Adam Burke, and Gwen La Roka.


The Neopolitan at The Store, 2002 N. Halsted, 10:00 p.m. Tonight’s headliner is Kristen Toomey. Featuring Scott Meyer, Kendall Klitzke, Darius Kennedy, and Michael Njuguna Robinson. Ice cream party after the show. All of tonight’s proceeds benefit the non-profit Drive By Fooding.



Cameron Esposito’s Top Secret Public Experiment at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:30 p.m. Cameron Esposito returns to her hometown for a very personal hour of standup. Cameron will be here for about ten days. Most tickets are sold out, but a few may be available at the door. Follow link for all show times.

Rx Comedy at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Tonight Laura Hugg hosts David Santori, Denise Medina, Sharup Karim, Lea Ciastko, and Adam Bowman. This show is produced by Laughing Matters, a non-profit with the mission of raising awareness and providing support for anyone impacted by addiction or mental illness. Produced and Directed by Valerie Jencks, MS, LMFT, LCPC.


The Mother Cluckers at Anderson’s Bookshop, 26 S. La Grange Rd, La Grange, 8:00 p.m. Stand-up and storytelling about life and parenthood. CBS This Morning will be filming at the beginning of the show giving these very funny ladies some much deserved publicity.



The Big Ditties at Friendly Tap, 6731 W. Roosevelt Rd., 9:00 p.m. An opportunity to see these beautifully harmonizing, original, hilarious Chicago rock sensations in an intimate venue. The Big Ditties were kind enough to speak with me here.


Janeane Garofalo at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 7:00 p.m. (doors) Janeane Garofalo is known for being honest and fearlessly outspoken. She has been part of iconic movies and television, including Reality Bites, 200 Cigarettes, Wet Hot American Summer, Ratatouille, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Saturday Night Live and The Larry Sanders Show.



An Evening with A King of Comedy: Cedric The Entertainer at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St., 8:00 p.m. Cedric Antonio Kyles is one of the original Kings of Comedy. His many TV and movie appearances include Ice Age, Big Momma’s House, Barbershop, and The Steve Harvey Show. He also headlined at the White House Correspondents Dinner and appeared on Broadway in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. He is also know for The Cedric “The Entertainer” Foundation Scholarship which he created to help St. Louis high school seniors achieve their college dreams.



B.A.P.S.: A Comedy Variety Showcase at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:00 p.m. A diverse line-up of great comedy by some of Chicago’s most creative women. Hosted by: Adrienne Brandyburg, Adrienne Brown, and Jillian Ebanks. Lineup Includes: Jessica Hong, Sophia Rafiqi, Gwen La Roka, and Jovan Landry. Fourth Sundays of the month. Plus “the best raffle in the city.”

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