Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, July 8-Sunday, July 14, 2019

Visitors in town: Kristina Kuzmic (interview here!), Jen Smedley and Kristin Hensley (#IMomSoHard), Kleon the Comedian, JB Smoove, Jimmy Dore. Two Chicago favorites return to their hometown: Lil Rel Howery and Nick Vatterott.

At Zanies: Kevin McCaffrey (Chicago, St. Charles), Emma Willmann (Chicago, Rosemont), Sarah Tiana (Chicago), Jagoff Comedy with Jimmy Dore and Friends (note: Jimmy Dore’s appearance is sold out at Thalia Hall. See him at Zanies!), Charlie Berens (Rosemont). Interview with Emma Willmann here!

At Riddles: Leon Rogers’ Birthday Takeover.

Ticket Alert: Marc Maron and Joe Swanberg at The Music Box on July 15 for a special screening of Sword of Trust.

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


Serve Something Funny at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Vernon Hills, 6:00 p.m. Ticket includes 3-course dinner, wine and comedy with headliner Kevin Kellam. Hosted by Ricky March. Featuring Mona Aburmishan and Laura Hugg. Limited seating. Reservations required.


CAMP: A Stand Up Comedy Show at Village Tap, 8:00 p.m. Tessa Orzech hosts Correy Bell, Erica Nicole Clark, Mandee McElvey, Andy Fleming, Clare Austen-Smith and CAMP’s Samantha Berkman. Free show.

Laughs for a Cause: Benefit Show for RAICES at iO, 8:30 p.m. Musical improv, sketch, improv, and stand up. Raffle prizes include a four- week musical intensive at iO. RAICES is the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Lil Rel Howery Pop-Up Show at The Revival, 10:00 p.m. This award-winning star of the big and small screen (The Carmichael Show, Rel, Insecure, Get Out, Bird Box, Angry Birds 2) is returning home for a surprise stand-up show. One show only! Only two tickets left as of this posting!



Winnetka Comedy Series at Avli Restaurant, Winnetka, 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 5:30/6. Show at 7:30. Follow link for available packages. Headliner: Rocky LaPorte (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Top 5 Finalist on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central). Featuring Liz Greenwood and Aaron Klopfer. Hosted by Richard Laible.


Cancer is Gorgeous at The Crowd Theater, 8:00 p.m. Comedian and storyteller Jonathan Euseppi met the love of his life, got married and within four months of marriage was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Cancer could have shut down his life, but he decided otherwise. “If he was going to die he promised himself he was going to look gorgeous! Through drag, makeup, and totally overhauling his wardrobe Jonathan began a journey of self love and self acceptance. Cancer is Gorgeous is the queer cancer love story you have been waiting for!” Tuesdays through the end of July.

Kleon the Comedian and Friends at The Promontory, 6:00 p.m. Kleon the Comedian is here from Baltimore.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 9:00 p.m. Stephanie Weber hosts Caleb Heron, Steve Gerard, Nick Vatterott, Megan Stalter, Django Gold, Derry Queen and the ChUC debut of Sukhjit Singh.



Megan Stalter at The Hideout, 9:00 p.m. Four new episodes of The Megan Stalter Show plus performers from the series live.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 9:30 p.m. Marty DeRosa hosts Jamie Carbone, Kelsie Huff, Paul Farahvar, Sean Flannery, Joe McMahon, Correy Bell.
Laff Mobb featuring Correy Bell:


Ce Soir with FrogProv at iO, 10:00 p.m. Frogprov performs in French and English. LatinX opens with improv in Spanish and English. A unique multilingual comedy experience.



House of Ha at House of Za Vegan Pizzeria, 8:00 p.m. Laura Hugg hosts this new stand-up showcase. Featuring Whitney Wasson, Larry Bloom, Marcus Banks. Free show, but donations appreciated.

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me at the Chase Bank Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. The hit WBEZ game show is even more fun in person and always has a memorable guest lineup.

Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Beauty Bar, 8:00 p.m. 6-year anniversary with Adam Burke, Whitney Chitwood, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Skyler Higley, and TCC’s Jerry Tran. Hosted by TCC producer Rebecca Fass.

The Excited State at The Revival, 8:00 p.m. Improv from “Chicago’s most outgoing scientists.” Tonight Dr. Marius Stan (Argonne National Laboratory).

Just Us Gals at Sleeping Village, 7:00 p.m. Free live comedy party. With Adam Gilbert (Limestone Comedy Festival), Lael O’Shaughnessy (High Dive: A Stand Up Comedy Show), Lele Mason (Second City), Odinaka Ezeokoli (Netflix), and Tyler Snodgrass (We Still Like You). Hosted by Clare Austen-Smith, Rima Parikh and Naomi Spungen.



kristina-kuzmic-show-posterKristina Kuzmic at Rialto Square, Joliet, 8:00 p.m. The Hope and Humor Tour. Kristina is a comedian dedicated to “being a cheerleader for her fellow humans.” Kristina created and hosted The Ambush Cook  on Oprah’s OWN network and is now known for her upbeat, very funny and real parenting videos. She has several million social media followers  who know they have a true friend and support in this wonderful social media star. Kristina is dedicated to getting us all to recognize that we all have star qualities and perfection is not a prerequisite. Interview here!

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s all-women stand-up group created and produced by Kelsie Huff (Windy City Live, The Jam). Always a memorable night of diverse voices and top talent. Seats go fast-early arrival recommended! Elyse Nylin, Mary Zee, Katie Meiners, Kendall Klitzke, Lindsay Williams, Sabeen Sadiq, Alexandra Tsarpalas. Hosted By Amy Sumpter.

#IMOMSOHARD at The Chicago Theatre, 8:00 p.m. Join Jen and Kristin for “Mom’s Night Out Round 2.” They have a new book! They told me about it last year and now it’s here!



JB Smoove at Thalia Hall, 8:00 p.m. This versatile stand-up can be seen on screens big and small and may be best knows as the hilarious Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm.


The Jimmy Dore Show at Thalia Hall, 8:00 p.m. This award-winning political commentator and comedian sells out shows across the country. He is the author of Your Country is Just Not That Into You and a Columbia College graduate. Sold out on the Thalia Hall website. A few tickets still available at

20×2 at Shubas, 6:30 p.m. “Twenty speakers. One question. Two minutes each.” Tonight’s question: what did we miss?

World’s Greatest Dad(?) at Second City, 6:00 p.m. Jimmy Carrane became a first-time dad at age 52 at the same time his own complicated father was dying. More with Jimmy here.

Chicago’s Best Stand-Up at The Laugh Factory, 7:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

7:15: Featuring Jeanie Doogan, Paul Farahvar, Adam Burke, Kristen Toomey, Abi Sanchez, Lael O’Shaughnessy, Joey Villagomez, Em Brown and more TBA.

9:15: Featuring Jeanie Doogan, Joey Villagomez, Joe McMahon, Kellye Howard, Dale McPeek, Chris Bader and more comedians TBA.


Debbie Sue Goodman at Euro Echo Café, Skokie, 7:00 p.m. Debbie Sue is the author of Still Single and Still Dating. She was also an advice columnist for Trib Local. She is a comedian, actor, lyricist, vocalist and impressionist. No cover charge.

Strip Joker Burns Out at Mary’s Attic, 10:00 p.m. Spencer D Blair hosts Yaz Bat, Jessie Cadle, Ruth & Elaine and headliner Molly Kearney.



Improv Brunch at Second City, 12:00 p.m. Brunch at 12, improv at 12:45 p.m.

Paper Machete Blowout at Sleeping Village, 5:00 p.m. “One part music festival. One part comedy showcase. One part muppet show.”

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