Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, August 6-Sunday, August 12, 2018

VISITORS IN TOWN: Amanda Seales, Lorne Michaels, Kevin Allison, Steve Martin and Martin Short.

At Zanies: Tim Walkoe (Chicago and St. Charles), Tim Dillon (Chicago), Dale Jones (Rosemont).

At The Improv: Godfrey (Thursday-Sunday).

iO’s Bentwood Comedy Festival kicks off on Friday, August 10 and continues through Sunday, August 19. This celebration of Chicago improv includes TJ & Dave, Matt Damon Improv, Jordan Klepper, 3Peat, Luke Null, Scott Adsit with Jet Eveleth, EbonyEssenceJet, Helltrap Nightmare, Merriam: A Mattzah Ballin and many more.


Off The Mound with Ryan Dempster: Stories and Laughs with MLB Legends at The Vic on Saturday, August 25.

Following is this week’s Spotlight. Please don’t leave home without confirming all details.



Dynasty, Rima Parikh, Yacht Club at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. An evening of stand-up and improv. DyNasty is “a super squad of the most outstanding performers of color from all over the city” with openers who represent the city’s diverse voices.



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 p.m.: Mickey Housley, Conor Crawley, Tim Smith, Adam Burke

9:00 p.m.: Chris Trani, Jaime de Leon, Lyssa Laird, Joe Kilgallon

The Book Stall After Dark at The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., 7:00 p.m. The new comedy series at this bibliophile’s paradise has been selling out every month. Advance ticket purchase recommended! Tonight: Richard Laible, Merrit Landsteiner, Mike Stricker, Carolsue Walker and Tim Slagle. UPDATE! This show sold out as I was posting. You can still follow the link to get on the waitlist. Tickets on sale now for September, October and November at Use search term “The Book Stall.”

Amanda Seales at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Amanda Seales brings the Smart, Funny & Black interactive experience to Chicago. Both shows are sold out already! But I always recommend checking with the box office or closer to show time. I’ve had luck with both. Amanda Seales is also known as Tiffany on HBO’s Insecure.



Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Two shows to choose from. The 7:00 p.m. show features twelve comedians auditioning for a chance to be part of this nationally renowned stand-up showcase. The 9:30 show is comedians established as Comedians You Should Know: Alex Dragicevich, Paul Farahvar, Joey Villagomez, Jonah Jurkens, Will Miles and Taneshia Rice. Host: Allison Dunne.

Boy/Girl Sleepover at The Pony Inn, 1638 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Stand-up showcase dedicated to diverse voices. Sarah Perry hosts Lindsay Lucido, Sammy Arechar, Connor King, Sharup Karim and headliner Marty DeRosa.



Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, 7:00 p.m. A rare opportunity to attend a live taping of NPR’s popular comedy quiz show. Its indoor venues always sell out! That said, seating is still “first come, first served.” Early arrival recommended! Park opens at 5:00 p.m. Please follow link for all details, including new security requirements.

Joking at the Skokie: Here Comes Trouble at Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:30 p.m. With some of Chicago’s funniest, most original stand-ups. Headliner: Seth Davis. Featuring Brett Walkow, Eunji Kim and Andrew J. Pond.

Wasteland: A Night of Mandolin, Happiness and Others at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. This show promises to be like no other! We’ve needed a post-apocalyptic bluegrass musical (with puppets) and thankfully, it is here! Directed by Richard Scruggs. Through August 23.



Lorne Michaels at Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State, 6:00 p.m. The creator and executive producer of Saturday Night Live is tonight’s special guest. Although tickets are not cheap (they start at $250), this once-in-a-lifetime event benefits the Museum, which is one of the most interesting, engaging and fun places in the city. Case in point: its Saturday Night Live exhibit here through December. Wonderful exhibits all year around for everyone interested in the indelible ways Chicago’s radio and television pioneers have shaped us locally and nationally.

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Ave, 7:00 p.m. Now in its eleventh year, the kates is Chicago’s all-women comedy showcase created and produced by Kelsie Huff. Always a memorable evening of diverse voices and top comedic talent. Elizabeth Gomez hosts Heather Morgan, Kate Streit, Mary Runkle, Sonal Aggarwal, Whitney Chitwood, Jordan Spencer and Sabeen Sadiq. Arrive early-seats go fast!

Don’t Tell Comedy at [an undisclosed location in River North] at 7:00 p.m. These are all the details available at the moment. Follow the link to be in on the secret when the time is right.

Funny Songs, Funny Stories, No Nudity! at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., 8:00 p.m. A comedic look at the challenges of life and love with Second City alum Sandra Bogan and Tortoise Club pianist Mark Burnell.

Comedy Cruise with Zanies departing from Polk Brothers Park, Navy Pier, 8:00 p.m. Three of Chicago’s top stand-ups headline this 90-minute cruise.

Risk! at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 9:00 p.m. Created and hosted by Kevin Allison. “True tales boldly told.”


Bentwood Comedy Festival at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. The Festival begins. Follow link for all show times.

How to be Fancy at Second City, 230 W. North Ave., 10:30 p.m. I want to be fancy but sadly, have failed many attempts over my lifetime. Three Little Squids are here to remedy that for all of us who still hold the dream! “This end of summer big bold sketch show is ready to take you to new levels of class and properness. Written and performed by David Tarantino, Elsie How and Laura Petro, these Three Little Squids have a whole new world and a whole show to put on display for all their newest and fanciest peers.” Fridays through August 24.



SNL Solo Showcase at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 5:30 p.m. A showcase of 5-minute solos hosted by iO owner and artistic director Charna Halpern.

Bentwood Comedy Festival at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 6:00 p.m. Follow link for all show times. Through August 19.

She the People at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. “Girlfriends Guide to Sisters doing it for themselves.” Follow link for show times throughout the week.

The All Black Everything Show at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 8:00 p.m. With headliner Em Brown. Hosted by Ronnie Ray and Mitch. Featuring Netra and special guest Billy Diangelo.



Bentwood Comedy Festival at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 6:00 p.m. Follow link for all show times. Through August 19.

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Ravinia, Highland Park, 7:30 p.m. This is the comedians’ popular show, “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.” Also appearing: American bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers and pianist/keyboardist Jeff Babko.

High Fiber Comedy at The Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 7:30 p.m. Stand-up comedy hosted by Jan Slavin and featuring Bill Gorgo, Michelle Krajecki, and John Petlicki. Why is High Fiber SO good for you? Find out in my interview with Jan Slavin here. Tickets to Jan’s shows sell out fast! Advance purchase recommended!


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