Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, July 29-Sunday, August 4, 2019

Visitors in town: Renee Taylor, Brendan Eyre, Judah Friedlander.

At Zanies: Michael Issac (Chicago), Aida Rodriguez (Chicago, Rosemont), Melissa Villasenor (Chicago, Rosemont), Cash Levy (Chicago, St. Charles), Dr. Bill Miller (Rosemont).

At Riddles: Damon Williams, Hope Flood, Marc Henderson, Jay Deep.

At The Improv: Jeremy Hotz.

Chicago comedians in the news:

On Wednesday, July 31, Oak Park native Kathy Griffin’s  A Hell of a Story opens in theaters for one night only. Kathy’s new movie is a docu-comedy about the joke that brought the Secret Service knocking and (nearly) destroyed her career. But nothing tramples the Kathy Griffin spirit. A Hell of a Story promises to be a legendary behind-the-scenes adventure chronicling her comeback. She will also appear on-screen for a live Q&A. Find a screening near you here.

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


Manic Music Mondays at Frances’, 7:00 p.m. Live music and comedy hosted by Just Nesh (Comedy Central).

An Evening of Mayhem with Megan Stalter at The Hideout, 8:00 p.m. The first stop on Megan Stalter’s world tour.

Poster Child Presents: The Chosen Ones at iO, 8:00 p.m.The comedy collective, Poster Child, hosts Chicago’s favorite POC/Queer/Disabled comedians at iO Chicago.”

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 8:30 p.m. Free stand-up showcase.

Time Travel for Petty Revenge at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. A solo sketch revue by Libby Marshall. What if you could right some wrongs with time travel? Is it a responsible use of a super power? Find out.



[LAST WEEK!] 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 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.


Brendan Eyre at the Den Theatre, 8:00 p.m. Brendan Eyre is a nationally touring headliner and co-host of the Rad Dudecast Podcast. He has performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, and Gotham Comedy Live and is a regular on Sirius XM Satellite. Chicago’s Chelsea Hood opens.

Pussypedia at The Hideout, 8:00 p.m. The new website launch. Hosted by Sarah Squirm.

[LAST SHOW!] 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!”

Stable Manners at iO, 10:00 p.m. With Heather Elaine Abbott, Kait Burch, Kayla Cole, Caraline Connor, Nikki Hartung, Katie Kincaid and featuring Eunji Kim.



Judah Friedlander at The Hideout, 8:30 p.m. Judah Friedlander’s “Future President” Tour is all new material. Chicago’s Arish Singh opens. Tonight and tomorrow night.

Head Space: The Mental Health Variety Hour at iO, 10:00 p.m. Storytelling, solo sketch, improv, stand-up, music, and poetry by performers whose lives have been impacted by mental illness.



Funny First Thursdays at The New Bureau Bar, 8:00 p.m. Doc Love hosts Damon Williams and Correy Bell.


Judah Friedlander at The Hideout, 8:30 p.m. Judah Friedlander’s “Future President” Tour is all new material. Chicago’s Arish Singh opens.

Go Hard Comedy at The Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. “A culture variety show” featuring Skyler Higley, Nick Ogle, Sammy Arechar and more TBA. After-party follows.



SNL Showcase at iO, 7:30 p.m. iO, 7:30 p.m. “Come see some of our best performers put up their strongest 5 minutes of comedy and characters!” As of this posting the show is sold out, but I’m including it because it’s always worth calling the box office or even showing up to see whether seats have opened up or if they can get a couple more people into the theater.

Drink Date Laugh at The Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. A very interactive standup showcase/game show with prizes! Featuring Andy Fleming, Sarah Perry, Paul Farahvar, Kyle Scanlan, Joe Kilgallon, Rob Gleeson, Skyler Higley, Jeanie Doogan and more TBA.

Diamond Comedy at The Laugh Factory, 10:00 p.m. Monthly standup showcase featuring Chicago’s best female-identifying and GNC comedians. Featuring Alex Kumin, Erica Clark, Kellye Howard and more TBA.



Headscarf Above Water at Second City, 9:00 p.m. “Have you ever felt like you’re treading water and can barely keep afloat? Mariam knows that feeling. She’s been trying to navigate her identity as an American woman who happens to be Muslim and all the baggage that everyone else seems to associate with it. Join her as she shares a peek into the secret world of Muslim women and what they’re really thinking.” Written and performed by award-winning journalist, news anchor and Second City alum Mariam Sobh. Directed by and in collaboration with Kim Schultz.

Cocktails & Humor at CH Distillery, 7:30 p.m. Team US Comedy presents an evening of standup and craft cocktails. Mickey Housley hosts Meg Indurti, Sarah Perry and headliner Abi Sanchez. Early arrival recommended.

Toasted at The Comedy Clubhouse, 7:00 p.m. A toast and a roast.



Hull House Summer of Theater: PREACH at Hull House, 3:30 p.m. Free workshop with PREACH, a “fiery collective of poets and comedians ‘spit and lift’ each other up with the gospel of spoken word and sketch comedy while seeking truth and raging against the machine.” Follow link to RSVP.

Jimmy & Johnnie & Lori & Mary Jo at Second City, 8:00 p.m. “Jimmy Carrane, the Improv Nerd and Second City alum John Hildreth improvise with Chicago comedy veterans Lori McClain and Mary Jo Bolduc.” Musical director: Kathleen Gibson.

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