Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, July 15-Sunday, July 21, 2019

Visitors in town: Marc Maron, Johnny Pemberton, Renee Taylor, Michael Che, Daniel Sloss, John Grimes and Terrence Murphy. Jeff Garlin returns to his hometown to raise money for the Special Olympics.

At Zanies: Mike E. Winfield (Chicago and Rosemont), Dwayne Kennedy (Chicago), Leanne Morgan (Chicago), Chad Zumock (Chicago), Vince Maranto (St. Charles). Also at Zanies Rosemont this week: Top Ten Tuesdays and on Saturday, Introduction to stand-up class begins with Bill Gorgo, one of stand-up’s best.

At Riddles: Prince T Dub with Blair Christian and Mr. McGriff.

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


Marc Maron and Joe Swanberg at The Music Box Theatre, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Marc Maron and Joe Swanberg are here for their new movie Sword of Trust. They’ll have a Q&A following the 7:00 p.m. show and will introduce the 9:30 show. Update 7/15: Q&A with Marc Maron just added to 9:30 p.m. screening.


Johnny Pemberton at The Hideout, 7:00 p.m. Johnny Pemberton is an actor, writer and comedian. His TV credits include NBC’s I Feel Bad and Superstore, plus animated series Bob’s Burgers and Pickle & Peanut. His podcast is Live to Tape with Johnny Pemberton on Starburns Audio.



Ra Ra Ra at The Hideout, 6:30 p.m. Live recording of the new podcast by Sonal Aggarwal and Meg Indurti. All about purpose, life, laughter and rage.

Renee Taylor’s My Life on a Diet at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, Skokie, 7:30 p.m. The fabulous award-winning comedian and actor is here through August 4 with her new one-woman show. She was Fran Drescher’s mom Sylvia Fine on The Nanny and in 2016, starred in the Netflix movie The Do-Over with Adam Sandler and in the TV show Rock in a Hard Place, among many other unforgettable roles on TV and Broadway. Don’t miss the chance to see this true comedy legend in person! Follow link for performances throughout the week.

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.




The News with Maggie Smith at Second City, 8:30 p.m. “The show dives into this week’s politics and next week’s problems.” Maggie Smith’s comedy also includes work with The Onion, Second City Theatricals, McSweeney’s, and WCIU’s The Jam.



Michael Che at Lincoln Hall, 8:00 p.m. Michael Che is currently the co-head writer of Saturday Night Live and co-anchor of the iconic “Weekend Update.” His father gave him the middle name Che after Che Guevara. He was born Michael Che Campbell. Featuring Cipha Sounds. Through Saturday, July 20.



Funnier By The Lake Comedy Showcase at Small Town Brewery Taproom, Wauconda, 8:00 p.m. Larry Bloom and Bobby Hayes host Tim Cox, Ashley Lusk, Jakie Cooper and Mike Stricker. 

Michael Che at Lincoln Hall, 8:00 p.m. Through Saturday, July 20.

Dope Comedy Show at @North Bar, 9:00 p.m. Three-year anniversary of this show created and produced by Dave Helem. It’s an anniversary and lineup to celebrate: Taneshia Rice, Kristen Toomey, Russell Williamson, Meechie Hall, more TBA and always the possiblity of surprise drop-ins.

Suited State at The Revival, 9:30 p.m. John Grimes and Terrence Murphy are here from L.A. Featuring Jarrell Scott Barnes, Kristen Toomey, and Felonious Munk.


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.

The Momedians of Momedy at Terminus Theatre and Events, Lake Villa, 7:30 p.m. Join Momedians Kat Herskovic, Colleen Brennan, Denise Medina, Michelle Krajecki, Eunji Kim and Jessica Besser-Rosenberg “as we joke about the perils of life, pregnancy, relationships, parenthood & more…Why? Because we said so.” More about The Momedians here.


Daniel Sloss at The Athenaeum, 8:00 p.m. This award-winning comedian from Scotland has sold out over 150 performances, eleven consecutive Edinburgh Fringe series, and appeared on Conan eight times. That’s in addition to his Netflix specials and acclaim across the globe.


Michael Che at Lincoln Hall, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Featuring Cipha Sounds. Last night!

Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster and Friends at Park West, 7:30 p.m. This benefit for the Special Olympics is “a fun and unfiltered late night talk show hosted by former Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster featuring untold stories and laughs” with an impressive group of his friends: Anthony Rizzo, Moises Alou, Jeremy Roenick, Jeff Garlin and more TBA. Not cheap – tickets are $100-$125. But a great cause and fabulous lineup.



Adrienne Brandyburg and B.A.P.S at Hull House, 2:00 p.m. Free comedy workshop and showcase! Part of Hull House’s Summer of Theater.

Matt Damon Improv at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. Matt Damon Improv is all women of color who have created an improv show that demonstrates what it means to listen.


Ghostbusters at Ravinia, Highland Park, 8:00 p.m. A celebration of the original film’s 35th anniversary with a full film screening, accompaniment by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Peter Bernstein) and a pre-concert discussion with WGN’s Dean Richards.

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