Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, April 28-Sunday, May 5, 2019

Visitors in town: Nikki Glaser, Howie Mandel, Lee Camp, Paul Reiser, Greg Fitzsimmons, Bill Maher, Omar Covarrubias.

At Zanies: Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson (Chicago), Dr. Bill Miller (Chicago), Jackie Fabulous (Chicago), Derek Hughes (Rosemont), Doug Benson (Rosemont), Sonya White (St. Charles).

At The Improv: Kevin Bozeman, Loni Love, Brian Hicks.

At Riddles: Jay Deep’s birthday weekend with Cocoa Brown.

Ticket alerts:

May 8: From Super Troopers and TruTV’s Tacoma FD: Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan at Thalia Hall.

May 9-12: Margaret Trudeau (mom to Justin) at Second City in Certain Woman of An Age.

May 21: Debut recording of the new podcast Ra Ra Ra with Sonal Aggarwal and Meg Indurti at The Hideout.

May 24: Comedian and writer Julio Torres (Saturday Night Live) at Museum of Contemporary Art

July 18-20: Michael Che at Lincoln Hall.

May 8, 2020: Russell Howard at Thalia Hall. It’s a year away, but this U.K. superstar’s show will sell out long before then. It’s worth locking down tickets now! If the sun were a stand-up comedian, it would be Russell Howard.

In the news:

On May 5 beginning at 5 p.m. CST, Oak Park native Kathy Griffin will host the Shorty Awards. You can livestream on Twitter, YouTube and at

Hell in a Handbag’s The Golden Girls: The Lost Episode, Vol. 3 is now underway at Mary’s Attic through August 31.

On April 25, the Chicago Tribunes Nina Metz wrote about sketch/improv group 3Peat which got its start at iO and is now writing and starring in sketches for Comedy Central’s YouTube channel, and about Chicago comedian Tim Robinson who has a new sketch series on Netflix (“predicated on social anxiety run amok”).

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


Cabaret Goes to the Movies at Victory Gardens, 7:30 p.m. Not comedy, but one of Chicago’s best comedians also has a beautiful voice: Jan Slavin. With director Carla Gordon, and music director Beckie Menzie. Featuring Lindsey Jane Bullen, Cynthia Clarey, Evelyn M. Danner, Jeff Dean, David H. Edelfelt, Laura Freeman, Vaughn Holleran, Tom Michael, Jan Slavin, Kevin Wood and Irwin Berkowitz (percussion).

Helltrap Nightmare Tour 2019 at The Hideout, 8:00 p.m. Chicago Magazine said, “Best Underground Comedy Show in Chicago.”

Who Dis?! at iO, 8:30 p.m. A variety show starring “Chicago’s talented health warriors who identify with disability, chronic illness, and with mental health issues.”



Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues Foundation Room, Music at 6, comedy at 7:00 p.m. Anthony Bonazzo hosts Jaime de Leon, Jessica Misra, Prateek Srivastava, Marty DeRosa and closer Mickey Housley. RSVP for free admission.


Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 9:00 p.m. Chad Weaver hosts Molly Kearney, Matt Brown, Erin Grotheer, Joe McMahon, Kimi Arquines, Stephanie Weber, Drew Michael.



The Second City’s Greatest Hits ‘70s Edition at Second City, 8:00 p.m. “Re-booted and re-imagined for today … far-out sketch comedy and original songs created by all-star alumni like John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy and more …”

Howie Mandel at The Arcada Theatre, St. Charles, 7:30 p.m. A night of stand-up with this versatile comedian, game show host,  America’s Got Talent judge and author of the entertaining, moving, insightful memoir Here’s The Deal: Don’t Touch Me.



To Divinity & Beyond at Second City’s Judy’s Beat Lounge, 8:30 p.m. “A slightly mystical, always whimsical, satirical religion sketch show.”



Arguments & Grievances at @North Bar, 8:00 p.m. Live podcast recording.

Lee Camp at Beat Kitchen, 7:00 p.m. The host of Redacted Tonight with special guests Eleanor Goldfield and comedian Krish Mohan.

Paul Reiser at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 8:00 p.m. A rare return to his roots from with the comedy, film and TV star (Mad About You, Stranger Things).

Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Gould at Park West, 8:30 p.m. “The Show with Two Heads!”

Nikki Glaser at Thalia Hall, 8:00 p.m. Sold out, but we’ve had good luck last-minute at



Lee Camp at Beat Kitchen, 7:00 p.m. The host of Redacted Tonight with special guests Eleanor Goldfield and Comedian Krish Mohan.

BAPS Comedy Spring Showcase at Steppenwolf, 8:00 p.m. A variety showcase starring women of color. BAPS includes stand-up, solo sketches, music and storytelling.

Greg Fitzsimmons at The Den Theatre, 7:00 p.m. The Emmy Award-winning comedian, writer and TV star has a new comedy special on Comedy Central and stars in Season 2 of TruTV’s How to Be a Grown-Up.

Bill Maher at The Chicago Theatre, 8:00 p.m. You never have to guess what he thinks!

Comedy & Craft Cocktails at CH Distillery, 7:00 p.m. Tyler Fowlder hosts Vic Pandya and Meg Indurti with headliner Mickey Housley. $20



The Roast of Marvel Villains at Laugh Factory, 7:00 p.m. Featuring James Fisher Jr, Andy Fleming, Kent Carney and more TBA.

Cinco de Mayo Comedy Jam at Joe’s Bar, 7:30 p.m. From Los Angeles, the Great Omar, Omar Covarrubias, magician and comedian.

Everyone’s a Lawyer at Laugh Factory, 9:00 p.m. The championship round.

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