Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, March 26-Sunday, April 1, 2018

Visitors in town: Comedy writer Nell Scovell is here to screen her creation, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and to talk about her extraordinary career. Her new book is Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club.

David Spade and Michael Yo are at The Improv. At Zanies: Pat Tomasulo, Dobie Maxwell, Tony Woods and Rob Sherwood.

In the news: Two Chicagoans were on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening on March 23: Chris Redd and Lil Rel Howery. If you missed it, you can see their true stories here.

Ticket alert: Bill Burr has added a fourth show to his November appearance at the Chicago Theatre. Even though it’s only March, tickets were selling out fast. I’ve got an updated master post of Chicago TICKET ALERTS here.

Following is this week’s spotlight, just a fraction of all the great, original comedy happening in Chicago every night of the week. Please confirm all details! Please let me know if you have a show you would like me to add! I’ve got a directory of comedy venues and regular recurring shows and showcases here. Thank you for reading and thank you to the Chicago comedy community for making this blog possible.




42×42 at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. An epic sampling of Chicago’s vast, diverse comedy scene all in one evening. Forty-two of Chicago’s best stand-ups do 42-second sets (plus featured sets from four special guests).

Dynasty Ft. The 2002 Chicago Bulls at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Weekly improv and audience jam.

Yas Queen at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 8:00 p.m. “A variety show starring women, produced by women, for everyone.”

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.

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark,  9:00 p.m. Stand-up showcase. Tonight: Tyler Snodgrass, Aaron Sutherland, Kaitlyn Grissom, Rima Parikh and more TBA. Hosted by Mike O’Keefe.



Just for Laughs Showcase at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 5:00 p.m. A group of the city’s best stand-ups compete for a spot at Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival. Tonight and Wednesday.

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. Host: Jonah Jurkens. Featuring Carly Kane and Mona Aburmishan. Headliner: Joey Villagomez.

9:00 p.m. Host: Mickey Housley. Featuring Raghu Abidhatla and Chris Trani. Headliner: Taneshia Rice.


Nell Scovell at Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, 7:00 p.m. A screening of Sabrina The Teenage Witch with the show’s creator, Nell Scovell! After the show, Nell sits down with the A.V. Club’s Gwen Ihnat “to discuss Sabrina’s legacy, continued relevance and upcoming reboot.” Nell’s new memoir, Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club was released on March 20. Her writing credits also include The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy BrownNewhart and many more. Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week.

Just for Laughs Showcase at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. A group of the city’s best stand-ups compete for a spot at Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival.



Nell Scovell at Venue Six10, 610 S. Michigan Ave., 7:00 p.m. A conversation with Nell and Mellody Hobson (President of Ariel Investments): “From the Hollywood Boys’ Club to #MeToo.” Meet-up and more conversation following the event. Follow link for details. Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week.

You Joke Like a Girl at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee, 7:00 p.m. Open mic sign-up is at 7:00 p.m. Open mic at 7:15. At 8:45: All-women comedy showcase which tonight features: Tamale Sepp, Hannah Starr, Paige Blurr, and Ashley Ray. The evening is hosted by Elyse Nylin.

Comedy Central What’s Up Next at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. Comedy Central spotlights Chicago’s up and coming talent.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Marty DeRosa hosts, Blake Burkhart, Ayanna Dookie, Allison Dunne, Odinaka Ezeokoli, Ricky Gonzalez, Jessica Hong, Sayjal Joshi, Joe Kilgallon, Lucas O’Neil, Jason Salmon, Erik Scott, Brent Terhune, and an opening set by Casey Larwood.



Comedy Central Showcase at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 5:00 p.m. A sketch comedy showcase.

Just for Laughs Showcase at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 5:30 p.m. Chicago’s top stand-ups compete for a place at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs Festival.

Just For Laughs Showcase at The Revival, 1160 E 55th St., 8:00 p.m. Some of the city’s very best stand-ups compete for a spot at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs Festival. Tonight: Max Thomas, Mickey Housley, Clark Jones, Mo Partowie, Taneshia Rice, Mona Aburmishan, Lyssa Laird, Lavar Walker, Lem Slaughter, T. Murph, Vincent Bryant, and Max Walter.



East Meets Midwest at Emerald City Uptown, 1224 W. Wilson Ave., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Chicago’s Prateek Srivastava and Raghu Adibhatla and NYC’s Rishi Mathur and Nikki Chawla are the East Meets Midwest Tour. Each comic has a unique perspective on growing up as a first generation minority in America. So far, tour dates also include New York, Boston and Reading, PA. UPDATE 3/29: 10:00 p.m. show just added due to popular demand!

Tonight’s headliner is Prateek Srivastava. Featuring Rishi Mathur, Nikki Chawla, Raghu Adibhatla, Reena Calm and Kerby Darius. Hosted by Katie Meiners.


Drink Date Laugh! at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Paul Farahvar, Sarah Perry, Andrew Sitter, Andy Fleming, Kyle Scanlan and more TBA. Comedians bring their best, funniest relationship stories. Select audience members will have a chance to join in and compete for prizes. 



Wait Wait Junior at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 3:00 p.m. A special kid-centric edition of NPR’s hit comedy news game show Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Hosted by Peter Sagal with scorekeeper Bill Kurtis and panelists Paula Poundstone, Maz Jobrani and Mo Rocca. Surprise celebrity guest TBA! Who are the contestants? Kids, of course! A Wait Wait Jr. goody bag will be handed out after the show while supplies last.

ComedySportz, 929 W. Belmont, 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Did you know CSz has improv and improv games for all ages? Follow link for details.

The Kates at The Book Cellar 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. All women stand-up showcase produced by Kelsie Huff. Always excellent, diverse and memorable. Arrive early for seats! Tonight: Lilly Allison, Susie An, Carma Nibarger, Yixin Sun, Jeannine Burgdorf, Cate Brecht, and Lindsay Thobe. Host TBA.

Merriam: A Matzah Ballin’ Good Time at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m.The show stars Merriam Levkowitz, a Jewish Bubbie who is getting her one-night-only “Broadway” debut. She sings pop and disco parodies about her 3 grown children while discussing her upcoming Passover Seder. “This show is a celebration of family and a love note to Jewish Culture.”

Haters Roast: The Shady Tour at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:00 p.m. Contestants and comedy from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. Julia Sweeney’s comedic storytelling will draw you in from the first moment. Honest and hilarious true stories from her post-Saturday Night Live life, including parenting and empty nesting on Chicago’s North Shore. Her stories are the kind of doozies you’ll recognize as only possible in real life. I was fortunate to make it to the show and at the end I felt like the guest who just feels at home and refuses to leave. I didn’t want the evening to end. Don’t miss this opportunity. Tonight, tomorrow night and more dates through April 22. Follow link for all details.

Everything’s Coming Up Simpsons at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 8:30 p.m. Matt Groening said “This is the best Simpsons podcast.”



Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 6:00 p.m. See description under Saturday.

He Is Risen at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Sacrilegious confession: I have no idea what will happen at this show, but it seems like a good fit for the day.

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