Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, November 19-Sunday, November 25, 2018

Visitors in town: Kate Willett and David Sedaris. Kyle Kinane returns to his comedy hometown. Plus, two events where there are too many celebs to list:  Second City’s 24-hour marathon on Monday and “Comedians You Should Know Tenth Anniversary Show” on Wednesday. Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd (a Chicagoan!) is expected at both! Details below.

At Zanies: Adam Burke (Chicago), Cash Levy (Chicago), John Caponera (Chicago and Rosemont), Pat McGann (Rosemont), Larry Reeb (St. Charles).

At Riddles: Damon Williams Comedy Jam with Talent Harris.

At The Improv: Dov Davidoff

In the news: On The Late Show last Friday, guest Timothee Chalamet asked Stephen Colbert what is was like to collaborate with Steve Carell at Second City. Videos from their Chicago years are on YouTube and Timothee Chalamet had been watching them as he got ready for his interview. The conversation sparked some interesting reminiscing. (Timothee Chalamet currently stars with Steve Carell in the movie Beautiful Boy.)

Following is this week’s Spotlight. Please confirm all details before leaving home. Thank you, as always, to you for dropping by and to the Chicago comedy community. You all make this blog possible. Happy Thanksgiving! If you need some laughs, Second City will be open on the holiday!



To the Moon and Back, Buddies at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 5:00 p.m. Second City’s annual 24-hour marathon featuring celebs of comedy, music and theater. Follow link for details.  Nonstop through 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Second City is holding its fifty best seats for anyone who stays all 24 hours. All proceeds benefit Onward Neighborhood House.

Essay Fiesta at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Essay Fiesta’s 9th birthday celebration! Essay Fiesta is one of Chicago’s best storytelling events and tonight is a prime example why! Tonight Karen Shimmin and Willy Nast host You’re Being Ridiculous’s Jeremy Owens, storyteller Archy Arch J, The Answer to the Riddle is Me author David MacLean and Miss Spoken’s Rosamund Lannin. Free show. All happy birthday donations go to the 9 year-olds at 826CHI.

Just Us Gals at Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Comedy and music party. Tonight: Grace Thomas (ClickHole), Skyler Higley (Laugh Factory, ClickHole), Lele Mason (The Second City). Musical guest TBA. Hosted by Naomi Spungen, Clare Austen-Smith and Rima Parikh. Music curated by Kate Barutha.


Kate Willett at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. Kate Willett is a comedian, actor and writer known for “raunchy feminist storytelling.” She was one of the headlining comedians on Netflix’s Comedy Lineup in August 2018. She was a correspondent for the Jim Jefferies Show and appeared on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening. Look for her album Glass Gutter. The San Francisco Weekly said, “Kate Willett is a woman on the rise. Willett achieves a perfect blend of smart and filthy when she takes the stage.” Featuring Alex Kumin.



To the Moon and Back, Buddies at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, All day through 5:00 p.m. It began Monday, Second City’s annual one-of-a-kind 24-hour marathon featuring celebs of comedy, music and theater. All proceeds benefit Onward Neighborhood House.

David Sedaris at Paramount Theater, 23 East Galena Blvd., Aurora, 7:30 p.m. David Sedaris is known for hanging out in the lobby with fans and generally keeping everyone laughing and feeling at home the whole time. His work is as funny when he reads it as it is to read as a reader… maybe even funnier, if that’s possible.

Ratas de Dos Patas at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 7:30 p.m. Bilingual sketch and improv with a focus on teaching the audience Spanish through comedy. Show opens with an audience poll asking what you’d most like to learn to say en español.

Kyle Kinane at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 9:00 p.m. Kyle Kinane got his start in Chicago and is an internationally touring headliner. He has appeared on Drunk History, @Midnight, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Workaholics, This Is Not Happening, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and Comedy Bang! Bang! He is one of the featured comedians in Season 2 of Netflix’s The Standups (2018). He is a recurring character on Judd Apatow’s Netflix series Love and has three Comedy Central specials, including Kyle Kinane: Loose in Chicago. Speaking of letting loose, he would also like people to know that he invented science, he has ESP and has been known to fart.

The Book of Mormon at The Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, 7:30 p.m. A return to The Oriental Theatre through December 2 with evening shows and matinees. Follow link for all show times.



Comedians You Should Know Anniversary Show at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. 10-year anniversary show with a once-in-a-lifetime lineup: Blake Burkhart, Chris Condren, Marty DeRosa, Allison Dunne, Ricky Gonzalez, Kellye Howard, Jonah Jurkens, Joe Kilgallon, Mike Lebovitz, Marilee, Chris Redd, Mike Sheehan, Jeff Steinbrunner, Kristen Toomey, Nick Vatterott and more TBA.

Pat Tomasulo Half Hour Special Live Recording at Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Pat Tomasulo is a WGN morning news anchor and puts a fresh Chicago spin on late night television with the fearless and hilarious Man of the People. Tonight he records his first comedy special. One show only!



107th Mainstage Revue at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The new Mainstage Revue. Already sold out, but it’s always worth calling and asking for there’s room for more. Two more great options, too …

Gaslight District at Second City’s e.t.c. Theater, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m.The Second City e.t.c.’s 42nd revue invites you along on a frenzied frolic that translates our modern world into the common language of laughter.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Sweater at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. All that’s lovely and loathe-ly about the holidays.



Funny Ladies at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, 7:30 p.m. Jan Slavin, Pam Peterson, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Heather Currie, and the Queen of Chicago Cabaret, Denise Tomasello pay tribute to funny ladies including Barbra Streisand, Gilda Radner, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Madeline Kahn, Bea Arthur, Pearl Bailey, Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Fanny Brice and more.

An example of what Jan Slavin and Pam Peterson can do:


Oh Hell Yeah at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Improv with a party vibe featuring teams Wet Bus and Alter Boyz. The teams are friends who started out in class together, stayed close and are now Chicago improv vets.



A 7 PM Variety Show at Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 7:00 p.m. A free variety show.

The Greatest Holiday Show Alive Ever at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, 8:00 p.m. “This farcical interactive vaudeville is our love letter to everything Looney Toons, Borscht belt, and Monty Python.”

Whirled News Tonight at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. A welcome comedic view of the news and current events.


[LAST SHOW!] Ray & Kannan Present A Free Tote Bag at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, 230 W. North Ave., 6:00 p.m. Sketch, improv and solo comedy about friendship, heritage, and food. Written by and starring Ray Hui and Kannan Arumugam. “Ray and Kannan purport that their revue has too many laughs for one sitting, so every audience member will receive a complimentary Ray & Kannan™ tote bag to take home the extras.”

Ben Hollis: Sex, Booze and Candy Bars: A Wild Man’s Musical Memoir at Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 7:00 p.m. Why do we love behind-the-scenes stories about celebrity lives? Well, their secrets are intriguing and often their lives are a lot like ours and it’s possible to connect through both the hardships and joys. But how often are celebrities really that honest? Here’s one who is- Ben Hollis is 100% authentic, inspiring, and nothing is sugar-coated in this show about his life, his rocky adolescence, his early missteps, his Emmy Award-winning TV show Wild Chicago, his marriages – the wrong one and then the beautiful one – and his recent brain surgery. He’s been through a lot and isn’t hiding any of it. This is a chance to truly meet this beloved Chicago television personality. Through December 2.

Everyone’s a Lawyer at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s hit comedy game show created and hosted by by comedian and attorney Paul Farahvar. Paul was 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. Tonight’s comedians at law: Jim Flannigan and more TBA.

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