Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, September 9-Sunday, September 15, 2019

Visitors in town: Nick Offerman returns home.

Also in town: Manon Mathews, J Smiles, Hampton Yount, Dan Cummins and Napoleon Dynamite. That’s right! Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) are at the Genesee Theatre to celebrate the film’s fifteenth anniversary. What are they doing? Whatever they feel like they wanna do. Gosh!! More details below.

At Zanies: Vince Maranto with special guest Pat McGann (Chicago) (Pat is sampling material for next Sunday’s live recordings), Shuler King (Chicago), Big Jay Oakerson (Chicago, Rosemont), April Macie (Chicago, Rosemont), Tuesday Top Ten Showcase (Rosemont), Dr. Bill Miller (St. Charles).

At The Improv: Brandon Rogers, Chris Hardwick.

At Riddles: Bigg Jah, Minks and Barry Brewer’s The Whole Crew is Stupid Comedy Tour.

Chicago comedians in the news: Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin are creating a podcast with WBEZ based on their new Comedy Central hit series, South Side. The podcast will be called South Side Stories. The writing partners will appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday, September 9.

Following is this week’s Spotlight. I may have fallen into a tots coma during a 215th viewing of Napoleon Dynamite, so please confirm all details before leaving home!




Maggiano’s Serves Something Funny at Maggiano’s, Vernon Hills, 6:00 p.m. Larry Bloom hosts Paige Blair, Amy Nico Schwartz and headliner Anthony Bonazzo. A “Funnier By The Lake” production.

CAMP: A Comedy Show at Village Tap, 8:30 p.m. Tessa Orzech hosts Joe Kilgallon, Alex Kumin, Joe Fernandez, Sonal Aggarwal, Carly Ballerini and CAMP’s Samantha Berkman.

“Later With Leon” Viewing Party at Bureau Bar UIC, 9:30 p.m. A celebration of tonight’s premiere of the new late night show hosted by Leon Rogers and Tia Ewing. Later With Leon will air Monday-Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on WFLD-Channel 32.



Peanut Butter Jelly Time at Second City, 8:00 p.m. Created by Max Thomas, Asia Martin, Terrence Carey, and Marcel Wilks featuring PREACH! and special guests. “Featuring sketch comedy, stand-up, and music, Peanut Butter Jelly Time leaves its audience members epiphanized and inspired after witnessing some of the multi-dimensional complexities of people of color–think Chapelle’s Show meets In Living Color meets Afro-Futurism meets The Muppet Show.”

The Winnetka Comedy Series at Avli Restaurant, Winnetka, 6:30 p.m. Richard Laible hosts Kenyon Adamcik, Maddie Weiner and headliner Brian Hicks.


This Much is True at Mrs. Murphy and Sons, 7:30 p.m. Free storytelling show. “An all new cast takes the stage each month to let you in on the heartbreaking, the hilarious, and everything in between.” Scott Whitehair hosts Beth Horner, Jill Hopkins, Aviva Levavi, Drew Love, Fred Rubin, Karen Stein.



108th Mainstage Revue at Second City, 8:00 p.m. This season’s brand new Mainstage Revue! “This is the most exciting time to see a show on our stages. The cast is fresh, new material is worked into the show every night, and your laughter in the audience helps shape the final show!” The ensemble: Mary Catherine Curran, Sarah Dell’Amico, Andrew Knox, Asia Martin, Jordan Savusa and Adam Schreck. Tickets are selling out fast! Follow link for show times throughout the week. Second City says: Use code SEPTEMBERSAVINGS for $5 off Tuesday/Wednesday performances of ‘The Second City’s 108th Mainstage Revue’ all month long. Good for General Admission seating only.

Something Rotten at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, 1:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. What if you got a sneak peek into the future’s hit music and you got to write it first? That’s what happens to two brothers in Shakespeare’s time. Will they successfully pen the first hit musical and confirm their place in the pop culture stratosphere? Something Rotten was a hit on Broadway and New York Magazine called it “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared!” Read Rick and Brenda McCain’s review in Let’s Play here. Through October 20. Most Wednesdays-Sundays. Follow link for all show times.


Feminist Happy Hour at Touhy Park, 5:00 p.m. Hosted by special guest Alicia Swiz. Featuring performances by Brianna Wellen, Amy Young, Carly Lauren, Julia Weiss. “Dedicated to amplifying the voices of women, femme & non-binary performers in comedy and beyond.”

Five Presidents at Stage 773, 7:30 p.m. West Wing and House of Cards writer Rick Cleveland wrote this play about what may have happened when five US presidents collided in the same room waiting to enter Richard Nixon’s memorial service. Special preview tonight with discounted tickets. Through October 19.

Colt Cabana Does Improv at iO, 8:00 p.m. “Watch a real-life pro wrestler learn the ins and outs of improv in real time. Colt Cabana is allowed to pause the show at any time to ask improv and comedy related questions for his knowledge and YOUR entertainment!”



The cast of Napoleon Dynamite at The Genesee Theatre, Waukegan, 7:30 p.m. I’d like to make you a delicious … evening!! A screening of Napoleon Dynamite AND!!!! A live in-person conversation with Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico). It’s the fifteenth anniversary of this classic comedy gem.


House of Ha! At House of Za Vegan Pizzeria, 7:30 p.m. Laura Hugg hosts Soli Santos, Nick Dlouhy, Kayla Pulley. Free show, but donations appreciated.

Arts & Culture Club at iO, 8:00 p.m. Curated by hosts Courtney Crary, Sadie Lancrete, Alex Collyard, Devin Middleton and Sam Cuellar. Poetry, stand up, improv, solo sketch, music, storytelling, drag, burlesque and more with priority given to work by POC and LGBTQIA.

Comedy Tub: Jokes and Jokers at Chicago Joe’s, 8:00 p.m. Adam Bowman hosts Jarrell Scott Barnes, Lilly Allison, Denise Medina, Tim Weichselbaum and Lancey Joe. Free show.



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 great, memorable evening of hilarious, diverse talent. Tonight Elizabeth Gomez hosts Denise Medina, Colleen Brennan, Tocarra Mallard, Liz Greenwood, Liz Stockwell, Katie Meiners, Katie Colt. Arrive early for seats!

FBTL Comedy Showcase at Small Town Brewery Taproom, Wauconda, 8:00 p.m. Larry Bloom and Bobby Hayes host Laura Hugg, Mike Wiley, Rebekah Gibson, Darius Kennedy, Kat Herskovic, Tim Brennan. Fabulous lineup for this last show at the Taproom before it closes! Check out more Funnier By the Lake comedy events here!

Manon Mathews at North Bar, 8:00 p.m. Manon Mathews earned one of the most prestigious honors in stand-up this past year when she was named a “New Face” at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Tonight and tomorrow night.

Hampton Yount at Schubas, 7:30 p.m. Hampton Yount is originally from the DC area. He wrote for MTV and Adult Swim before deciding to take his comedy on the road.

J Smiles at The Revival, 7:00 p.m. J Smiles is here from Atlanta with her original, hilarious “conscious intelligent comedy.”

Dan Cummins at Thalia Hall, 8:30 p.m. Dan Cummins blasted the roof off Pandora with 300,000+ fans creating stations solely based on his comedy. He is currently working on his eighth fearless album.



An Evening with Patti Vasquez at The Continental Restaurant, Buffalo Grove, 6:00 p.m. Doors open at 6, show at 8:00. Good luck getting tickets for this one! This show sold out a month in advance. That’s because of the lineup of top talent: Patti Vasquez, Denise Medina and Kat Herskovic. It’s worth checking if seats have become available: (847) 459-4095.

Tom Dreesen at The Laugh Factory, 9:15 p.m. Just announced 9/12: the great Tom Dreesen will be one of the comedians in this show’s lineup.

Sonny and Chernobyl at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, 10:00 p.m. “A reactor. A duet. An explosion. A variety show.”

Manon Mathews at North Bar, 8:00 p.m. Manon Mathews earned one of the most prestigious honors in stand-up this past year when she was named a “New Face” at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.




Pat McGann at The Vic, 5:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Live special taping executive produced by Sebastian Maniscalco. Pat McGann is a Chicagoan and one of the funniest comedians of our times. Don’t miss this highly anticipated event! Pat was kind enough to speak with me here. This is an all-ages event.

Nick Offerman at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Nick Offerman’s “All Rise” Tour. Nick Offerman won multiple awards for his work on Parks and Recreation. He is also a master carpenter, author and Megan Mullally’s husband.

Moms Love Us!?! at Second City’s Judy’s Beat Lounge, 8:00 p.m. “A diverse group of men focusing on a psychoanalysis of fear and passions based on true life stories and acted out in comedy.”

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