Visitors in town: Anthony Atamanuik, Jen Kirkman, Kate Berlant, Michelle Wolf.
At Zanies: Russ Williamson (Chicago and St. Charles), Joe List (Chicago), Dulce Sloan (Chicago and Rosemont), Larry Reeb (Rosemont and St. Charles).
At The Improv: Finesse Mitchell.
At Riddles: Damon Williams Comedy Series 2019 presents MLK Weekend with Rodney Perry.
FOUR Chicago festivals this week with comedy offerings: Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, Fillet of Solo, Tomorrow Never Knows and Rhinofest.
In the news: The third season of (Chicago comedian) Pete Holmes’ Crashing debuts on Sunday, January 20 on HBO. The first episode is “Jaboukie” as in Chicago comedian (and Daily Show correspondent) Jaboukie Young-White.
Following is this week’s Spotlight. Please confirm all details before leaving home!
MONDAY, JANUARY 14
Maggiano’s Serves Something Funny at Maggiano’s Little Italy, 307 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, 6:00 p.m. Ricky March hosts Laura Hugg, Mike Wiley and headliner Reena Calm. A production of Funnier by the Lake Comedy. 0 p.m. Sammy Arechar hosts Grace Thomas (Clickhole), Jillian Ebanks (Second City), Jerry Tran (NBCUniversal).
2POC at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. A diverse line-up and new show every week.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15
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 comedyofchicago.com. 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. Pat Chase, Kenyon Adamcik, Sarah Vulpio, Taneshia Rice
9:00 p.m. Doc Love, Liz Greenwood, Manny Acosta, Abi Sanchez
Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:00 p.m. Nicky Martin hosts Arish Singh, Lily Schulder, Audrey Jonas, Zach Peterson, Conor Delahanty, Devin Middleton. ChUC debut of Michelle Spies.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16
Fillet of Solo at The Heartland Event Space, 7006 N. Glenwood Ave., 7:00 p.m. Free festival kick-off event. An evening of performance and conversation.
Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Jonah Jurkens host Jacob Lowrey, Jeanie Doogan, Conor Delehanty, Clark Jones, Allison Dunne, Drew Frees.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17
Mother Cluckers at Andersons Bookshop, 26 S. La Grange Rd., La Grange, 8:00 p.m. The Mother Cluckers present “I’m Not Pale. You Are!” After party at Barrel House Social.
Jen Kirkman at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 8:00 p.m. Jen Kirkman has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and on the New York Times bestseller lists. Her Netflix specials are I’m Gonna Die Alone and Just Keep Livin’? She is also a writer on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Anthony Atamanuik at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 7:30 p.m. The creator and star of Comedy Central’s President Show is here for the Dump Trump: American Tantrum Book Tour.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
Funnier By The Lake at Small Town Brewery Tap Room, 1000 N. Rand Rd. #204, Wauconda, 8:00 p.m. Larry Bloom and Bobby Hayes host this free stand-up show featuring Darius Kennedy, Heather Morgan, Annie Russell, and Christina Lundin.
The Kates at Fillet of Solo, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s all-women stand-up group created and produced by Kelsie Huff. Always hilarious, memorable, and diverse. Check out Fillet of Solo’s complete line-up which features some of Chicago’s best, funniest, most interesting storytellers.
T Murph at @North Bar, 1637 W. North Ave., 9:00 p.m. T Murph’s credits include guest hosting on Windy City Live and appearances on Key & Peele, Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks, Chicago Fire and BET’s Comic View. Kevin Hart sought him out to star in an episode of Comedy Central’s Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19
Kate Berlant at The Hideout, 1354 N. Wabansia, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Kate Berlant is here as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival. She is a comedian and actor who also voices characters on HBO’s Animals and Netflix’s Bojack Horseman.
Michelle Wolf at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Michelle Wolf is one of comedy’s most outspoken and original voices. Her no-fear style defined her headlining gig at the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner and her HBO special Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady. The Daily Beast said she is “the future of stand-up comedy.”
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20
Scenes From a Mental Health Center at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., 5:00 p.m. A show by the Therapy Players, Chicago’s award-winning, premier all-psychotherapist comedy improv troupe. Performed by Dave Carbonell, Eric Cho, Niquie Dworkin, Jackie Gnepp, Michael Greenbaum, Bob Haas, Kristin Krueger, Nina Riccardi, Ruth Richman, Sara Rusk, and Cliff Saper. Artistic Director: John Abbott.
The News with Maggie Smith at Second City’s Judy’s Beat Lounge, 6:00 p.m. A comedic look at the news taped live at The Second City. “The show dives into this week’s politics and next week’s problems.”
Blanket Fort at The Crowd Theater, 3935 North Broadway, 7:00 p.m. “A comedy variety show with some of Chicago’s weirdest acts–all within the comforts of a giant blanket fort.” Third Sundays.
Everyone’s a Lawyer at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 9:00 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 (great line-up!): Sean Flannery (Comedy Central), Adam Burke (Man of the People, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!) and returning champion Joe McMahon (Just for Laughs!).
Stay up to date with Comedians Defying Gravity by typing your email address in the box and clicking the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam, spam, spam, spam free, and you can opt out at any time.