Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, September 10-Sunday, September 16, 2018

Visitors in town: Three Busy Debras, Gretchen Bonaduce, Colin Mochrie with Brad Sherwood, Gina Yashere, Tracy Morgan, Russell Peters, Paul Rodriquez, Wayne Brady. The Cambridge Footlights are here for a rare stateside performance. Marina Franklin returns to her hometown to record an album and free tickets are available!

At Zanies: Sarah Colonna (Chicago, St. Charles and Rosemont), Jim Flannigan (Chicago), Daphnique Springs (Chicago), John Roy (Chicago), Tom Rhodes (Rosemont and St. Charles).

At The Improv: Ryan Davis.

Ticket alerts!

September 18: SNL: Conversations in Comedy at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. WGN’s Justin Kaufmann interviews Emmy Award-winning SNL writer T. Sean Shannon.

October 1: Ike Barinholtz at his alma mater iO.

October 5-6: Joel McHale at The Improv.

October 19: Rachel Brosnahan at her alma mater, The Actors Training Center in Wilmette, for “A Marvelous Evening with Mrs. Maisel.”

October 24: Sally Field in conversation at The Music Box sponsored by The Book Stall. Speaking of The Book Stall, it’s not too early to get tickets for the bookstore’s comedy “After Dark” shows in October and November. Tickets sell out way in advance.

October 27-28: Viola Spolin Improvisation Workshop taught by improv master Aretha Sills, Viola Spolin’s granddaughter.

November 1-3: Darrell Hammond at Zanies in Chicago and Rosemont.

November 2-3:  Shawn Wayans at The Improv.

November 8 and 9 (Zanies Chicago) and 10 (Zanies Rosemont): Emo Philips.

November 8-10: Nikki Glaser at The Improv.

The Chicago Humanities Festival announced some of its 2018 line-up. The Festival is October 27-November 11. Comedy fans: follow link for tickets to see Tom Hanks, Abbi Jacobson, Phoebe Robinson and Fatimah Asghar. Tickets go on sale on September 18 for members and September 25 for non-members. CHF announces the complete line-up on September 14.

Chicago Ideas Week is in October. Some events for comedy fans: Chris Gethard,  Yvonne Orji, Michael Arceneaux and Luvvie Ajayi, all on October 18.

In the news:

Comedy duo Frangela announced the release date of their new album RESIST! on the Kill Rock Stars Label. Look for it on October 19. Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton are Second City alums who met in Chicago. In addition to their new piece do RESISTANCE, you can spend time with them on their new TV show  Me Time with Frangela and their podcast, The Final Word.

Chicagoan Chris Redd is an Emmy Award winner! At the Creative Arts Emmys awarded last night, Chris won as one of the writers of the Saturday Night Live sketch Come Back, Barack. Chicagoan Chance the Rapper also played a major role in the sketch.

Following is this week’s spotlight. Don’t leave home without confirming all details!



Three Busy Debras Live! at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:00 p.m. Three Busy Debras sold out their run at the Annoyance Theatre in New York, but wait there’s more! Amy Poehler is producing their pilot TV show which was just picked up by Adult Swim. The Debras are Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha. With Sarah Sherman and Megan Stalter.

Having It All: Stories and Improvisation About Being Female at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. “A mix of honest story telling and smart, fast improv. Want to get involved? Come check us out and chat after!”



Gretchen Bonaduce at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. Gretchen’s book is funny and serious. As a musician, reality TV star and single mom, Gretchen Bonaduce has quite a bit of strength and has had adventures including being married to Danny Bonaduce for eighteen years.

Feminine Comique Graduation at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 8:00 p.m. Graduation showcase. Free admission. These stand-up students have learned from the best – Kelsie Huff! Great comedians have been born here many, many times.

Flabby’s Comedy Cavalcade at Phyllis’ Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division, 8:00 p.m. Keegan Buckingham hosts Luis Arevalo, Tucker Brookshire, Nick Dlouhy, Mike Enders, Charles Engle, Bailey Erickson, Sohrab Foroozesh, Rebekah Gibson, Dame Grant, Tyler Jackson, Alex Seligsohn, Jamie Shriner, Prateek Srivastava, Kevin White.

Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues’ Foundation Room, 329 N. Dearborn, 8:00 p.m. Produced by James Allen Kamp, creator of the most excellent DJ Tone-Knee kicks off the evening at 8:00 p.m. Stand-up showcases at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 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.

8:30 p.m. Chris Trani hosts Tim Brennan, Lucky Luciano and Abi Sanchez.

9:30 p.m. Joe Kilgallon hosts Pat Bolduc, Greg Kennedy, and Correy Boyd Bell.



Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays thru Saturdays. Three teams trained by One Group Mind.

Boy/Girl Sleepover at The Pony Inn, 1638 W Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Celebrating the show’s one-year anniversary. Hosted by Stephen Hoover, Sohrab Foroozesh and Sarah Perry. Featuring Alex Dragicevich, Meredith Kachel, Chris Higgins, Chelsea Hood, Bobby Budds, Aubrey Sweeney. Headliner: Joe McMahon.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Two weekly shows to choose from this month. At 7:00 p.m., twelve comedians audition for a chance to be part of this nationally renowned stand-up showcase. The 9:30 line-up is Comedians You Should Know.

7:00 p.m. Jonah Jurkens hosts the auditions with a closing set from Geoffrey Asmus.

9:30 p.m. Joe Kilgallon hosts James Fisher, Jr., Michael Meyers, Katie Hannigan, Marty DeRosa, Jonah Jurkens.



Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan, 7:30 p.m. Continuing the high-wire tradition of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are here to be “Scared Scriptless.”

Dreamboat at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. A new comedy variety show with the spotlight on iO performers who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Includes the the iO signature Harold, solo performance and an all-cast improv set. Through September.



Marina Franklin at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Free album recording! Marina Franklin returns to her hometown to record her album Single Black Female. She is an internationally touring headliner, actor and writer. She was a featured comedian on Conan this summer and has appeared on HBO’s Crashing, Inside Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show and many more. Follow link to register for tickets.


Draw It at Wicker Park Lit Fest, Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:30 p.m. Literary Pictionary hosted by one of Chicago’s funniest storytellers, Jeremy Owens, the creator of You’re Being Ridiculous. Local authors and prizes.

Taneshia Rice at Astoria Lounge, 3208 N. Kostner, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Taneshia Rice toured with Dick Gregory and starred in several Kevin Hart specials on Comedy Central. She is in demand as a nationally touring headliner. Follow her on Facebook to catch her comedy when she is in town.

Russell Peters at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 8:00 p.m. The “Deported Tour.” Russell Peters is an Emmy- and Peabody-award winning comedian from Canada. Growing up, he experienced a lot of bullying about his South Asian heritage. He is known for using comedy to blast away at racism. He is also famous for his audience interactions.


Cambridge Footlights at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. From Cambridge University in the U.K., the Footlights are one of the world’s most renowned comedy sketch groups. The group is on tour with their new show Pillow Talk. Their U.S. dates are limited, so tonight could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Footlight alums include John Oliver, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook, Emma Thompson, David Frost and Martin Bergman (who is married to comedy icon Rita Rudner). Surprising alums I wouldn’t guess: Salman Rushdie, designer Cecil Beaton, Hitchhiker’s Guide author Douglas Adams and writer Germaine Greer.

Just last week, Emma Thompson talked about her Footlights experience with Stephen Colbert:


Tracy Morgan at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., 8:00 p.m. His observations on life have become even sharper since his accident in 2014. Tracy Morgan is a Saturday Night Live alum and star of the big and small screen.

Lebowski Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., 6:30 p.m. Celebrating The Dude’s 20th anniversary. Creedence tribute band followed by “massive” outdoor screening of The Big Lebowski. Chicago’s Lebowski Fest is so famous that it was a CBS Sunday Morning calendar pick this week. Bowling party tomorrow night.



Paul Rodriguez at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., 8:00 p.m. Paul Rodriquez is known for comedy and philanthropy. He is also part owner of The Laugh Factory. Originally, he thought he would become an attorney after his military service and college. Instead, he became a doorman at the world-famous Comedy Store in L.A. and from there started doing stand-up. His first big break was as a warm-up on the Norman Lear show Gloria with Sally Struthers. He has since added producer and actor to his credits. He was one of the stars and executive producers of the The Original Latin Kings of Comedy.


Gina Yashere at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 9:00 p.m. Gina Yashere is the British correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Her comedy specials are on Netflix and Showtime. She is the only British comedian ever to appear on Def Comedy Jam. With Correy Bell.


Don’t Tell Comedy at [an undisclosed location in Fulton Market] at 7:00 p.m. This is all the information available at the moment. Follow link to request details.

Lebowski Fest Movie Bowling Party at Diversey River Bowl, 2211 W Diversey, 8:00 p.m.



Wayne Brady at Genesee Theatre, 203 Genesee St., Waukegan, 7:00 p.m. Comedy, spontaneity, audience interaction and music. Wayne Brady also hosts the ever fresh game show Let’s Make A Deal-which I catch as often as possible – and he’s a five-time Emmy Award winner. What hasn’t he done? Star in Hamilton? Yup, he did that, too, in the Chicago production, in fact.

Crowd Work Show at Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 9:00 p.m. All audience interaction.

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