Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, April 30 – Sunday, May 6, 2018

Visitors in town: Wham City Comedy, plus Sklar Brothers with Daniel Van Kirk. John Cusack returns to his hometown.

At Zanies: Doug Benson, Bill Miller, Christina Walkinshaw, April Macie, Brandon Vestal, and Jason Cheny.

At The Improv: Celeste Barber and Steve Byrne.

Chicagoans in the news:

Michael Palascak appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden last Thursday. You can see it here.

W. Kamau Bell’s Emmy Award-winning United Shades of America returns to CNN this week for its third season.

On Sunday, April 29, CNN featured Second City in a segment about improv for anxiety.

Kumail Nanjiani is one of Time’s 100 most influential people.

The Sklar Brothers’ Hipster Ghosts will premiere on the Starz app on May 1. On May 2, you can see it on the Starz channel at 9:00 p.m. CST. The comedy special was filmed at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall last year.

Starz also announced that it has acquired seasons 1 and 2 of Take My Wife, the NBC/Seeso show created by  and starring Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. With Seeso’s demise, Take My Wife‘s fate was uncertain, but Starz picked it up along with several other Seeso hits.

Ticket alerts:

Don’t miss Julia Sweeney’s Older & Wider at Second City now through May 30th.

May 12: Rita Rudner at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake

May 13: Anthony Jeselnik at The Vic

May 22: “Conversations in Comedy” with Julia Sweeney at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

June 2: Jo Firestone at The Hideout

June 7: Neal Brennan at Thalia Hall

June 8: “Lit AF” Tour with Martin Lawrence, JB Smoove, Adele Givens, DeRay Davis and Rick Smiley at UIC Pavilion

June 21: Colin Jost at The Vic

July 14: Michael Che at The Vic

October 26: Aparna Nancherla at Thalia Hall

Following is this week’s Spotlight, just a fraction of all the great, original comedy happening here this week. Click on the tab above for a Directory of Chicago comedy venues and weekly shows. Please confirm all details!



The Armando Diaz Experience at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Tonight, Chicago’s longest-running improv show features storytelling star Lilly Be.

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 9:00 p.m. Free weekly stand-up showcase. Producers ensure the evening lives up to its name.



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 great, diverse line-up of Chicago’s top comedians and surprise drop-ins.

7:30: Host: Mickey Housley. Featuring Tim Cox and Chris Trani. Headliner: Calvin Evans

9:00 p.m. Host: Correy Boyd-Bell. Featuring John Gasper and Ed Towns, Headliner: Joe Kilgallon.



Paper Machete at The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 6:30 p.m. May 1 UPDATE: Tonight’s line-up was just announced and it’s fabulous! You don’t want to miss it! Samantha Irby, Erin Diamond, Nic Hart, Alex Kumin, Saurabh Pande, Wes Perry, Julia Weiss and Josh Zagoren.

Wham City Comedy at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. This Baltimore comedy/video collective is Ben O’Brien, Robby Rackleff, Alan Resnick and Cricket Arrison. Wham City’s infomercial series for Adult Swim include Unedited Footage of a Bear, Live Forever As You Are Now W/ Alan Resnick, Commencement Speech, and This House Has People In It.

[LAST SHOW!] Improvisexation at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., 9:30 p.m. Last chance to find out why this show is banned in most of the world.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. Nationally renowned stand-up showcase.

7:00 p.m. Blake Burkhart hosts Jonah Jurkens, Marty DeRosa, Erica Clark, Rob Mailloux, and and more TBA.

9:30 p.m. Ricky Gonzalez hosts Mat Alano-Martin, Joe Fernandez, Chelsea Hood, Mickey Housley, Joe McMahon, and Kristen Toomey.



Congrats on Your Success at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. Free stand-up show and free beer from the producers. Tonight: Jamal Guichon, Katie Meiners, Max Walter and CoYS producers. Headliner: Zach Peterson. Donations are appreciated and go to performers.



The Interview Show at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 6:30 p.m. The Interview Show airs on WTTW. Tonight’s guests: Arnie Niekamp (Hello From The Magic Tavern), Rebecca Makkai (novelist), Michelle Cox (mystery writer) and Joe Flamm (Top Chef winner, Spiagga executive chef).

Hillary in the Woods at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. Find out what Hillary Clinton was really doing in the woods post-election: the highs and the lows. Written and performed by Emily Batek.

John Cusack at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 7:30 p.m. John Cusack screens High Fidelity followed by a conversation and Q&A with the audience.

EbonyEssenceJet at The Storefront Theatre, 1579 N. Milwaukee, 8:00 p.m. “EbonyEssenceJet brings its signature brand of topical and conscious humor to The Storefront with WANTED. Hear these four African-American comediennes deliver their unique humor through improvisation.”

The Sklar Brothers with Daniel Van Kirk at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m. Two stand-up shows plus a live recording of the podcast Dumb People Town. Follow link for all details.

Doug Benson at Zanies, Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Also: Doug Loves Movies on Sunday afternoon in Rosemont and stand-up at Zanies in Chicago on Sunday night.



Laugh Your Face Off at Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 7:00 p.m. This all-star comedy evening benefits research for trigeminal neuralgia, a debilitating pain condition. WGN anchor and Man of the People‘s Pat Tomasulo and his wife Amy ensure that every dollar raised goes to finding treatment and a cure for this relentless disease which Amy has. Pat talked more about it here.



Doug Loves Movies at Zanies, Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont, 4:20 p.m. A live recording of the podcast.

Doug Benson at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m.

Ladies’ Night Out Comedy Jam at Riddles, 5055 W. 111th St., Alsip, 8:00 p.m. Featuring B. Cole with Erica Clark, Mickey Housely and Rodney Lumpkins.

Barely Standing at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W Belmont, 9:30 p.m. A comedic guide to living with anxiety. Written and performed by Jeanette Cerami. Through May 13.

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