Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, October 29 – Sunday, November 4, 2018, including Halloween!

Visitors in town: Phoebe Robinson, Abbi Jacobson, Craig Ferguson, Tom Hanks, and Jo Koy.

At The Improv: Shawn Wayans – who gave me some of the best advice I ever got when I spoke with him last year – and Josh Alton.

At Zanies: Darrell Hammond (Chicago and Rosemont), Jeff Arcuri (Chicago), , Jimmy Shubert (Chicago), Michael Issac (Rosemont), Kira Soltanovich (St. Charles).

At Riddles: Mac Red Live DVD recording (November 1st).

In the news:

On Sunday, October 28, Sameena Mustafa and co-host Shana East premiered their new radio show To The Left on WCPT 820-AM. The show airs Sundays at 1 p.m.

On Tuesday, October 30, Netflix will release its new stand-up series The Degenerates. One of those half-hour specials belongs to Chicagoan (and Skokie native) Liza Treyger. Also featured: Yamaneika Saunders, Big Jay Oakerson, Joey Diaz, Christina P., and Brad Williams.

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


Phoebe Robinson at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 7:00 p.m. Phoebe Robinson is a comedian, author, and actor. She is the co-creator and co-star with Jessica Williams of 2 Dope Queens which is a hit podcast and a hit HBO series. Her first book was You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Have to Explain. Her new book is Everything is Trash, But It’s Okay. Tonight is part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Scoop, Carve and Sip at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:30 p.m. Get ready for Halloween in one of Chicago’s iconic comedy spaces. Ticket includes a pumpkin, drinks, light buffet and admission to the 10 p.m. improv show.



Made in America (Some Assembly Required) at UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Trying to make sense of our dysfunctional nation through comedy.

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. Chris Trani hosts Ed Towns, Sohrab Foroozesh and Kellye Howard

9:00 p.m. Pat Chase, Chevy Debra, Vik Pandya and Correy Boyd Bell


Spooktacular 2K18: A Halloween Comedy Show at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. Stand-up, sketch, and an improvised horror movie. Featuring Willie Griswold and Michael Burd.

The Golden Girls: Bea Afraid-Halloween Edition at Stage 773, 7:30 p.m. A special Golden Girls from “Hell in a Handbag” productions. Through November 3.



Fancy Bones and Franken-Arms at CIC Theate, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. A famous TV host and his sidekick reveal the behind-the-scenes at their spooky show.

Hope on Halloween at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. The first ever “Hope on Halloween” show courtesy of the all-female ensemble Virgin Daiquiri. Comedy, trivia, prizes, group costume contest. Proceeds benefit local women’s shelters.

The Campfire at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. True spooky stories and improv. Special Halloween edition.

Yes Andel at Second City’s Judy’s Beat Lounge, 1616 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Halloween party, variety show and send-off for Second City, iO, Boom Chicago and Annoyance vet Andel Sudik who is off to Los Angeles.

World’s Worst Witch at Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. It’s the year 666 in Ireland and a young woman is convinced she’s the “World’s Worst Witch.” Her ghost father and Magic Mythica Creatures of Celtic myths will convince her otherwise.

Helltrap Nightmare at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. A Halloween event by the “Best Underground Comedy Show in Chicago.” (Chicago Magazine).



Abbi Jacobson and Samantha Irby at The Vic Theater, 3145 N Sheffield, 8:00 p.m. Abbi Jacobson discusses her new book I Might Regret This and the lessons that came to her as she traveled the country to write it. Abbi Jacobson is the co-creator, co-star and executive producer of Broad City. She currently voices the most real princess ever, Princess Bean, star of Netflix’s Disenchantment. Tonight’s program is part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.



Witty Women at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 7:00 p.m. The Twelfth annual Witty Women Festival features four of Chicago’s wittiest writers: Stacey Ballis, Claire Zulkey, Wendy McClure, and Amy Guth.

Public Empathy #1 at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, 230 W. North Ave., 8:30 p.m. A new show from Urban Twist featuring Second City’s new diverse comedic voices from the Bob Curry Fellowship. A comedic take on our social climate and relationships. Featuring Bob Curry Fellows: Trumane Alston, Jillian Ebanks, Steve Han, Javid Iqbal, Yazmin Ramos, Shadee Vossoughi. Fridays through December.

Craig Ferguson at the Paramount Theater, 23 East Galena Boulevard, Aurora, 8:00 p.m. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning late night host, game show host and author is here on his “Hobo Fabulous Tour.” He is at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan tomorrow night.

Tom Hanks at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, 8:00 p.m. NPR’s Peter Sagal interviews the two-time Academy Award-winner about his book of short stories, Uncommon Type, his creative process and why he writes. This program is part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.


Comedy Night at The Water Hole, 1400 S. Western, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Netra MsAlready. Special Guest Host: Mickey Housley. Featuring Niles Nelson (Houston Improv), Khaleel Farooq (Laugh Factory), Eli Hamilton (Jokes & Notes), BCole (BET ComicView, HBO Def Comedy Jam).

Craig Ferguson at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., 8:00 p.m. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning late night host, game show host and author is here on his “Hobo Fabulous Tour.”

Jo Koy at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 7:00 p.m. Despite the clip below, Jo Koy credits his mom for his success as a comedian in this 2017 interview.



Jimmy and Johnnie at Second City Judy’s Beat Lounge, 230 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. Two of Chicago’s favorite improvisers, Jimmy Carrane and John Hildreth with a special guest.

Ray & Kannan Present A Free Tote Bag at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, 230 W. North Ave., 6:00 p.m. Sketch and solo comedy about friendship, heritage, and food. Starring and written by Ray Hui and Kannan Arumugam. There is actually a free tote bag, too.

Jo Koy at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 6:00 p.m.


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