Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, October 7-Sunday, October 13, 2019

Visitors in town: Bianca Del Rio, Randy Rainbow, Ireland’s Foil Arms and Hog. Pop-Up Magazine brings a star roster to town which includes comedians Jo Firestone, Jordan Carlos and Chris Duffy. Pete Holmes and Bashir Salahuddin return to their hometown to open Chicago Ideas Week.

At Zanies: Pat Tomasulo (St. Charles), Mike Cannon and Mike Feeney: The Irish Podcast (Chicago), Michael Quu (Chicago, Rosemont, St. Charles), Andy Woodhull (Chicago, Rosemont), Frank Caliendo (Chicago), Jake “The Snake” Roberts (Chicago), Tuesday Top Ten Showcase (Rosemont), Ian Edwards (Rosemont).

At Riddles: Mike Bonner.

At The Improv: Harland Williams.

Sign-up recommendations:

Paul Farahvar, lawyer, comedian, producer and game show creator has a new YouTube channel:

Second City announced the 60th Anniversary Edition of Second City: The Essentially Accurate History. Pre-order the book directly from Second City before December 8 and you’ll be eligible to win some fabulous prizes. Details here.

Ticket alert (these two shows will sell out way in advance!):

March 21, 2020: Nikki Glaser at The Vic.

March 28, 2020: Gary Gulman at The Vic.


Serve Something Funny at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Vernon Hills, 6:00 p.m. Ricky March hosts Hari Rao, Marz Timms and headliner Jeanie Doogan. A “Funnier By the Lake” production.


Sad Chonga at iO, 8:00 p.m. “Sad Chonga is a one woman show that explores the hilarity of DEPRESSION! Life is HARD and no one gets out ALIVE so why not laugh along the way?! TW: Depression, PTSD, Suicide, Eating Disorders, AND some nice things too.”

Monkey Wrench at The Hideout, 9:00 p.m. Arish Singh’s stellar comedy showcase celebrates its 2-year anniversary with Sunny Grissom, Devin Schiff, Brian Bennett, Kate O’Connor and more TBA.



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.”



Campfire at iO, 10:00 p.m. “All-true spooky stories and terrifying tales, inspiring improv by some of iO’s best performers. Featuring stories from paranormal experts, ghost hunters, and historians from Chicago Gangsters and Ghosts Tours, Chicago Hauntings Tours, and more!” Cast: Alan Giles, Annie Sullivan, Georgie Caldwell, Rachel Smith, Brad Pike.

Something Rotten at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, 1:00 p.m. What if you were able to predict the hit music of the future and 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.” Through October 20. Most Wednesdays-Sundays. Follow link for all show times.



Ghost Wauk at The Waukegan Theatre, Waukegan, 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m. This is not comedy. It’s less haha and more haunted, but sometimes I see events I have to mention. A one-hour walking tour of the theater. “Ever since The Genesee opened in 1927, claims of ghost sightings and unexplained phenomena have surrounded this historic theatre. Learn about the paranormal activities that have been reported, the fascinating history of the theatre and the unsettling stories that simply cannot be explained.” Tickets are limited. Reservation recommended.

House of Ha! At House of Za Vegan Pizzeria, 7:30 p.m. Free stand-up showcase. Larry Bloom (Funnier By the Lake) hosts Lancey Joe, Matt Brown, Amy Sumpter.


Ghostbusters at select theaters A 35th anniversary screening including a new introduction starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and director Ivan Reitman, which will air before the film.

Bianca Del Rio at The Vic, 8:00 p.m. The “It’s Jester Joke” Tour. Sold out as if this posting, but I’ve had good luck before on Bianca Del Rio a drag queen, comedian, actor, and costume designer and the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 6.

Molly at iO, 10:30 p.m. One night only! An improv show starring Susan Messing and Norm Holly. A chance to see two of Chicago’s world famous improv stars.


The Kates at The Book Cellar, 7:00 p.m. Always an unforgettable evening with Chicago’s all women stand-up group created and produced by Kelsie Huff (Windy City Live, The Jam).

Holy Ghost Bingo: God, Goblins and Games at Royal George Theater, 8:00 p.m. A hilarious Halloween interactive comedy by Vicki Quade. Review coming soon. Highly recommend! Every weekend through November 10. Follow link for all show times.

Back Room Comedy at aliveOne, 9:00 p.m. A free show with a fabulous lineup. Limited seating and sometimes SRO. Early arrival recommended. Colleen Brennan hosts Casey Larwood (Producer-Tuxedo Cat Comedy; The Laugh Factory; Comedians You Should Know), Mike O’Keefe (10,000 Laughs in Minneapolis; Appearances on Sirius XM Radio; Buddy of the Groom: The Search for Multiple Idiots Podcast), Michael Robinson (The Martin Luther Kings of Comedy troupe; The Laugh Factory; Zanies), Jessica Besser-Rosenberg (Zanies; Momedians of Momedy; Chicago Women’s Funny Festival), Mary Zee (Co-producer of Arguments and Grievances; Beast Women Cabaret; Milwaukee Comedy Festival). Produced by Colleen Brennan, Courtney Buckwalter, Lauren Hooberman and Jessica Besser-Rosenberg.

Randy Rainbow at Genesee Theatre, Waukegan, 8:00 p.m. This Emmy-nominated comedian is known for coming up with ingenious political commentary in the form of musical parody within about six seconds of whatever crazy thing happened today.



Pop-Up Magazine: The Escape Issue at Athenaeum Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Stars of stage and page tell escape stories that have never been heard before. Audience members are invited to hang out with contributors after the show. Featuring Jo Firestone (Shrill, The Tonight Show), Jordan Carlos (Black Mirror, Adulting, Divorce, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Colbert Report), Chris Duffy (Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas, he has written jokes for Dan Rather), poet Sarah Kay (Project VOICE), writers Clio Chang (Jezebel, The New Republic), Keri Blakinger (Houston Chronicle), Lolly Bowean (Chicago Tribune), musician Left at London, and photographers Lucas Foglia (International Center of Photography, SF MOMA) and Lisette Poole (Time, The Atlantic, The New York Times). Interview with Jo Firestone and producer Aaron Edwards here.

Creativity is Power at Chicago Ideas Week at Harris Theater, 7:00 p.m. This star-studded opening night panel includes comedians Brian Babylon, Pete Holmes, and Bashir Salahuddin, as well as Eve Ewing, Hebru Brantley, David Lynch, Jamil Smith and Elise Swopes.

T Murph’s Faded at The Promontory, 7:30 p.m. This nationally touring headliner is a Chicagoan who recently won a starring role in the new Hulu comedy series Woke. Faded features the country’s top stand-up comedians.


Foil Arms and Hog Live at Park West, 8:00 p.m. This Irish comedy trio brings its “Swine” tour to Chicago. If you don’t yet know them, they post new, original sketch comedy videos every Thursday at Sold out as of this posting, but I always believe in contacting the venue to see if there’s any flexibility and checking

Foil Arms and Hog


Chicago’s Best Stand-Up at The Laugh Factory, 7:00 p.m. Featuring Ronnie Ray, Jeremy Scippio and more TBA.

Matt Damon Improv at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. “Women of Color slaying improv w/ a special guest white male/female improv comedy veteran (Matt Damon/Lena Dunham), who can only speak by repeating things that we have already said in the show.” Cast Members: Surena Marie, Allison Reese, Angela Oliver, Phylicia Mcleod, Yazmin Ramos, Maria Konopken, Tina Arfaee, Ana Silva.

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