Chicago Comedy spotlight for Monday, September 24-Sunday, September 30, 2018

Visitors in town: Jim Jefferies, Hasan Minhaj and George Lopez. Brian Babylon returns with a new album! Cameron Esposito returns for an evening of all new material at The Vic!

At Zanies: John Roy (Chicago), Alex Edelman (Chicago), Michael Quu (Chicago and Rosemont), Michael Issac (Chicago and Rosemont), Ritch Shydner (St. Charles) (cool bio!).

At The Improv: TJ Miller

At Riddles: Damon Williams, Hope Flood, Avery T and Aishah Brown.

Chicago comedians in the news: On September 21, iO tweeted: “Congrats to iO alums Alison Gates, Alan Linic, and Eli Mandel on their new writing jobs at Saturday Night Live!”

Following is this week’s Spotlight. Please confirm all details before leaving home.


Chicago’s Best Stand-Up at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Toby McMullen, Chelsea Hood, Aaron Putnam and more TBA.

It’s a Date at The Crowd Theater, 3935 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Two people who have “improv crushes” on each other finally get to improvise together. Maybe they were on a larger team or spotted each other across the improv classroom. How will that chemistry show up … or blow up?


A Shel-a-bration at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. A celebration of Shel (“Where The Sidewalk Ends”) Silverstein’s birthday. Magicians, musicians, poets, performers and this promise: “weird things will happen.” Hosted by magician AJ Sacco.


Jackpot Comedy at The Laugh Factory, 3175, N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Stand-up AND all audience members have a chance to win prizes. Featuring Alex Kumin, Rob Mailloux, Matty Ryan and more TBA.



You Joke Like a Girl at Volumes Bookcafé, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. All-women open mic and showcase created and produced by Elyse Nylin.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Two shows tonight. At 7:00 p.m., twelve comedians audition for a chance to be part of this nationally renowned stand-up showcase. At the 9:30 p.m. showcase, Jonah Jurkens hosts Zach Peterson, Sam Norton, Vincent Bryant, Marty DeRosa, Whitney Chitwood and Gena Gephart.



All That Good Stuff September Showcase at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western Ave, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Mary Kate Beck. Featuring Maggie Hughes DePalo, Greg Kennedy, Marissa Driscoll, Tok Moffat and Alex Dragicevich. Headliner: Paul Farahvar

Sarah and Megan Make a Mess at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Sarah Sherman and Megan Stalter host “the most hilarious deranged acts in Chicago.”

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.



Brian Babylon Album Release Party: Interview and details to follow!

Jim Jefferies at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 7:00 p.m. The Australian comedian is known for his filter-free observations about life, especially life in the U.S. You can find The Jim Jefferies Show on Comedy Central. He is also known for being a bananaphobe. (Same here.)


Cameron Esposito: Person of Consequence at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 8:00 p.m. Cameron is originally from Western Springs. She is the founder of Chicago’s renowned Feminine Comique class. Her most recent comedy special is Rape Jokes which she released online for free with donations going to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. The Daily Beast called it the “first great stand-up set of the #MeToo era.” Her albums have hit #1 on the charts and her comedy has been featured on the late night shows. Tonight is all new material. (Watch Rape Jokes for a hint of why her tour is called Person of Consequence.) With Shannon Noll. Cameron kindly spoke with me here.

The Bill Murray Stories at the Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette Time TBA. Follow link for all details. This film has an exclusive early showing in Wilmette just blocks from where Bill Murray grew up. The Wilmette Theatre says: “Bill Murray is NOT expected to attend…but you never really know, do you?”


Stir Friday Night at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, 1616 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m. This 23-year-old Asian-American comedy group presents its new revue East by East East.

Sam Norton at the Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Sam Norton records his new album, White Noise. Featuring Jeannie Doogan and more TBA.



The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. No two shows the same! The kates are an all-women comedy showcase created and produced by Kelsie Huff (Windy City Live, The Jam). Always an unforgettable and hilarious evening of diverse and original comedic perspectives. Tonight Amy Sumpter hosts Joyce Hagen-McIntosh, Brittny Congleton, Sandy Lee, Jackie Cooper, Patty Vaccarella and Marie Maloney.

Hasan Minhaj: Before the Storm at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Hasan Minhaj was a senior correspondent on The Daily Show and the keynote speaker at the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. His first stand-up comedy special Homecoming King won a Peabody Award. His new weekly show Patriot Act debuts on Netflix on October 28, 2018.


George Lopez: The Wall World Tour at The Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. George Lopez’s hits include stand-up tours – his own and with the Comedy Get Down and the Latin Kings of Comedy – and two eponymous sitcoms and numerous television and movie roles.



Immigrant Rights Benefit Show at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 6:00 p.m. Hosted by Chelsea Holmes and Robel Arega. Stand-up by Molly Kearney, Sonal Aggarwal, Vik Pandya, Carly Kane, and Odinaka Ezeokoli. Improv by Midnight in Miami

Everyone’s a Lawyer at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s hit comedy game show created by comedian and attorney Paul Farahvar. Paul has been named one of the “Top 40 Up and Coming Comedians in America in 2017” and one of “Top 40 under 40” lawyers in Chicago, so you can expect a great night of comedy and legal drama as comedians take the stage to present the funniest arguments in real life cases. Paul hosts with comedians TBA.

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