Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, November 4-Sunday, November 10, 2019

Visitors in town: Adam Mansbach, Shane Todd, Jenny Slate, Shuli Egar, Penn & Teller, Pete Correale, Bert Kreischer, Sarah Vowell.

At Zanies: Pat Tomasulo (Chicago), Jeff Dye (Chicago, Rosemont), BlueChew Comedy All Night Competition (Chicago), Michael Palascak (Chicago, St. Charles), Tuesday Ten Showcase (Rosemont), Andy Woodhull (Rosemont), Skippy and the Comedy Warrior (Rosemont),

At Riddles: TBA

At The Improv: Anjelah Johnson Pop-Up Show (Tuesday), Comedy School Graduation, Christopher Titus with “Stories I Shouldn’t Tell.”

Chicago comedians in the news/ticket alerts!

Sean Flannery’s The Blackout Diaries will be recorded live for a series by a well-known streaming service whose identity is not yet public. But don’t wait to get tickets here for one of two tapings on November 30. Tickets will sell out for sure! Use code vip for complimentary tickets through November 8 while supplies last.

I bet a million pieces of gelt that this show will sell out fast, too: The Nice Jewish Girls Chanukah Chomedy Show at the Skokie Theatre on Thursday, December 19 starring Eunji Kim, Jan Slavin, Jessica Besser-Rosenberg, Kat Herskovic, Lia Berman, Aimee Kleiman and Rebecca Fass. Don’t let your dreidel fall on “nun” – get tickets here.

Paste Magazine assessed The 40 Best Comedians of the 2010s. Chicago comedians dominated the list and even took the top four spots (#4 Key & Peele, #3 Tina Fey, #2 Hannibal Buress, #1 John Mulaney).

Tom Thakkar’s Comedy Central Half Hour premiered on November 1. He will open for Cameron Gillette at “Comedians You Should Know” on Wednesday.

Jimmy Pardo launches a new web series Jimmy’s Records & Tapes this Tuesday. He will be at Zanies in Rosemont for a live recording of his podcast Never Not Funny on November 17. Tickets here before they sell out!

Steve Gadlin announced his new comic venture “Odd Box.” Steve is known for ingenious projects designed to astound and confuse while simultaneously making profound statements about the human condition. He previously dazzled The Shark Tank and most of the country with “I want to draw a cat for you.” (We have six!)  All about Odd Box here.

Chicagoans on talk and late night comedy this week:

Tuesday, November 5: Megan Gailey on The Tonight Show, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Wednesday, November 6: Lil Rel Howery on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jim Gaffigan on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Thursday, November 7: Pete Holmes on Lights Out with David Spade, Steve Carell on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Friday, November 8: Joel Kim Booster on Late Night with Seth Meyers (repeat of 10/30), Terrence Howard on The Late Late Show with James Corden (repeat of 9/24), Nick Offerman on A Little Late with Lilly Singh (repeat of 10/24)

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


The Peanuts Papers at The American Writers Museum, 6:30 p.m. A celebration of the new book The Peanuts Papers with “a fun-filled night of Peanuts discussion and appreciation with editor Andrew Blauner, contributing artist Chris Ware, and cartoonist Ivan Brunetti.” The evening will include a book signing.

Monkey Wrench with Arish Singh at The Hideout, 9:00 p.m. With Casey Larwood, Devin Schiff, Stephanie Skora, Brian Bennett, Christopher Santiago.

Snake is Long at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. “A deeply personal sketch show about mental illness, absurdity, and joy …”

Serve Something Funny at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Vernon Hills, 6:00 p.m. Funnier By the Lake presents a great evening of dinner and comedy. Larry Bloom hosts Michelle Krajecki, Bobby Hill and headliner Jeanie Doogan. Seats are limited. Advance reservation recommended.



Adam Mansbach at Volumes Bookcafé, 7:00 p.m. Adam Mansbach is the bestselling author of Go The F*ck to Sleep and You Have to F*cking Eat. His newest bedtime story for “grown-ups” is F*ck, Now There are Two of You! Adam will be joined by Chicago author, poet and educator Kevin Coval. Volumes adds, “There may or may not be a live recoding of Coval’s Corner Store Podcast for WGN.”

After Hours Comedy Night at The Book Stall, Winnetka, 7:00 p.m. Comedy in a bookstore is the best of all worlds! Richard Laible hosts. Featuring Paul Farahvar and headliner Patti Vasquez.

Thunderdome at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. A fast-paced experimental variety show featuring top Chicago talent.


James Wesley Jackson/The Bridge at The Promontory, 8:00 p.m. Emmy Award-winner James Wesley Jackson is the world’s only enviromedian. For years, he toured worldwide with Funkadelic/Parliament. Also appearing tonight is The Bridge, a French-American collaborative.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The Cameron Gillette album recording. Tom Thakkar (whose Comedy Central half hour premiered on November 1) opens the early show. The late show features opening sets from Tom and a special guest TBA.

Second City’s Mainstage Revue at Second City, 8:00 p.m. The new 108th Mainstage Revue. Name just revealed: “Do You Believe in Madness?” Follow link for show times throughout the week.


Mother Cluckers at Anderson’s Bookshop, LaGrange, 8:00 p.m. “The holidays are coming! Let’s hide!” Comedy from Joyce Hagen-McIntosh, Katie Meiners, Laura Mullen, Heather Morgan Dethloff, Barbara Legan and Amy Sumpter. After-party at Barrel House Social.

Funny Bone at iO, 5:30 p.m. A benefit with homeless pets as special guests of honor. Charna Halpern will present Chicago’s hottest up and coming sketch and improv stars.

Free Comedy Night at The Bay at Galway Bay, 8:30 p.m. Shane Todd is here on tour from Belfast, Ireland. With Sean Flannery and Lael O’Shaughnessy.


Tight Ship Comedy at Half Sour, 7:30 p.m. Jacob Lowrey hosts AJ Marroquin, Maddie Wiener, Molly Kearney.



The Kates at The Book Cellar, 7:00 p.m. The always excellent, unforgettable all-women stand-up showcase created and produced by Kelsie Huff (Windy City Live, The Jam). Arrive early to get a seat and browse!

The Therapy Players at The Cornservatory, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s excellent award-winning all-therapist improv group. Tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight benefits the Friendship Center Food Pantry.

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

EbonyEssenceJet at The Storefront, 7:30 p.m. EbonyEssenceJet’s fifth anniversary. “EbonyEssenceJet brings its signature brand of topical and conscious humor to The Storefront in Chicago with WANTED. Hear these four African-American comediennes deliver their unique humor through improvisation.”

Lucy’s Comedy at The Raue Center, Crystal Lake, 8:30 p.m. Curated by WGN Radio personality, John DaCosse.

Shuli Egar at Reggies, 7:00 p.m. From the Howard Stern Show.

Jenny Slate at The Vic, 8:00 p.m. Jenny Slate’s new book Little Weirds is out on November 5 and tonight’s ticket includes a copy!


Penn & Teller at The Chicago Theatre, 8:00 p.m.


The Therapy Players at The Cornservatory, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s award-winning all-therapist improv group.

Pete Correale at Park West, 7:30 p.m. The “For Pete’s Sake” Tour. With Paul Farahvar. Pete Correale co-hosts The Pete and Sebastian Show with Sebastian Maniscalco. His specials include The Things We Do for Love (2009), Give it a Rest (2013) and Let Me Tell Ya (2015).


Bert Kreischer at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m. The “Body Shots World Tour.”



Sarah Vowell at The Francis Parker School, 5:00 p.m. In addition to her humorous cultural commentary and history books, Sarah Vowell is the voice of Violet in Pixar’s The Incredibles. Presented by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

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