Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, April 22 – Sunday, April 28, 2019

Visitors in town: Leslie Jordan, Chelsea Handler with Sean Hayes, Poppy Champlin, Trevor Noah, Tim Allen, Brendan Burns, Basketmouth, and Olivia Grace and Eric Freedman.

At Zanies: Vince Carone (Chicago), Taylor Williamson (Chicago and Rosemont), Larry Reeb (Chicago), Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson (Chicago), Jared Logan (Rosemont), Tim Walkoe (St. Charles).

At The Improv: Anjelah Johnson.

At Riddles: Mike Faverman, Brian “DA Wildcat” Smith.

Chicago comedians in the news: BET has ordered a second show from Lena Waithe called Twenties. The network recently renewed her series Boomerang for a second season.

Laurie Metcalf and Eddie Izzard will star in a new Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Broadway World notes that Laurie Metcalf has “the rare distinction of performing major starring roles on Broadway in four contiguous seasons, following A Doll’s House, Part 2; Three Tall Women; and, currently, Hillary and Clinton.” 

The Chicago Tribune interviewed Mike Eagle about his new Comedy Central series The New Negroes with Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle and his support of Chicago comedy.

Ticket alerts:

July 16-August 4: Renee Taylor’s My Life on a Diet at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts.

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



Comedy Central Showcase at iO, 5:00 p.m. Comedians audition for Comedy Central’s Clusterfest. Free to the public and a great opportunity to support Chicago comedy.

Headliner at The Hideout, 7:00 p.m. This series presents Chicago’s best up-and-coming comedians. Tonight stars Alex Collyard. Followed by Freakfest at 9:00 p.m.

Something Festering Comedy Tour with Olivia Grace & Eric Freedman at @North Bar, 9:00 p.m. Olivia is a vet of Jeff Ross’s Roast Battle on Comedy Central.  Eric is a comedian and international road manager for the band Sublime with Rome and has the stories to prove it.



VHS Comedy Presents: Easter Eggs at iO, 10:00 p.m. Chicago’s funniest comedians’ original takes on weird, forgotten videotapes. Ian Erickson, David Phillips and Elsie How host Carly Ballerini (Cards Against Humanity), Skyler Higley (The Young Hustle Show) and improv from Junior Varsity (iO Theater).



Leslie Jordan: Exposed at Chicago Theater Works, 8:00 p.m. The comedian and actor is here with his one-man show through Saturday. He currently stars in Fox’s The Cool Kids on Friday night. He won an Emmy for his work on Will & Grace and appeared on American Horror Story among many other memorable roles.


The Very Funny Spring Comedy Showcase at The Improv, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Starring Chicago’s up and coming stand-ups. Follow link for details.

Miss Spoken at Gallery Cabaret, 7:00 p.m. Live lit. Tonight’s theme is “Petty.” Featuring Stephanie Weber, Eunji Kim, Elizabeth Gomez, Maggie Hendricks. Hosted by Jasmine Davila and special guest co-host Carly Oishi.

Comedy Central’s Up Next Comedy Showcase at The Hideout, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Comedy Central’s selection of the country’s most diverse and exciting new voices. Presented by Parlour Car.



Mother Cluckers at Andersons Bookshop, La Grange, 8:00 p.m. The Mother Cluckers birthday show! After-party at Barrel Social.



Chelsea Handler with special guest Sean Hayes at The Athenaeum, 7:00 p.m. Chelsea Handler’s Sit-Down Comedy Tour includes a discussion of her new book Life Will be the Death of Me. Ticket includes a copy of the book! The show is sold out, but I always suggest turning to



The Kates Celebrate April at The Book Cellar, 7:00 p.m. This always memorable and excellent all women comedy showcase was created by Kelsie Huff (Windy City Live, The Jam). An evening of headliners and hit comedy. Tonight Kelsie Huff hosts Jessica Besser-Rosenberg, Meghana Indurti, Kate Wooters, Elyse Nylin, Portia Turner, Elizabeth Gomez, Marsden Kelly.

Trevor Noah at The United Center, 8:00 p.m. His Loud and Clear Tour.

Brendan Burns at Lincoln Lodge/Under the Gun Theater, 8:00 p.m. The Edinburgh award winner, author, playwright and prolific comedian. The Guardian called him “the William Burroughs and Charles Bukowski of stand-ups.”

You’re Being Ridiculous at Writers Theater, Glencoe, 7:30 p.m. One of Chicago’s funniest, most moving storytelling shows.


Tim Allen at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Fox just renewed Tim Allen’s new sitcom Last Man Standing. This is a rare stand-up appearance by the TV and film star (a/k/a Buzz Lightyear).

The AV Club at The Crowd Theater, 8:00 p.m. “The 1000th BIG event.”



The Queer Queens of Qomedy at Laugh Factory, 4:30 p.m. Featuring Poppy Champlin, Gwen La Roka, Sonya White and more TBA. VIP option includes a meet and greet before the show with the comedians with wine and cheese and preferred seating.


Basketmouth at Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. Basketmouth is one of Nigeria’s most successful comedians and sells out arenas around the world. Check out his interview on Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy, Episode 4 on Netflix. Featuring Brian Babylon.


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.


Leave a Reply