Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, November 25-Sunday, December 1, 2019

Visitors in town: Nick Nemeroff, Sara Hennessey, and Pete Davidson. Kyle Kinane returns to his hometown.

There’s a long list of illustrious folks performing at Second City’s 24-hour marathon Monday through Tuesday! See below.

At Zanies: Kristen Toomey (Chicago), Dame Grant’s Birthday Bash (Chicago), John Caponera (Chicago, Rosemont), Calvin Evans (Chicago, Rosemont), Tuesday Ten Showcase (Rosemont), Larry Reeb (St. Charles).

At The Improv: Taylor Williamson.

At Riddles: Wednesday: The “Go Stuff a Turkey Comedy Showcase” with Joe Lauer, Katie Meiners, Brooks Sullivan, Headliner Dan Brennan and host Phil Landrio. Friday & Saturday: Myra J.

Following is this week’s Spotlight. Because it’s Chicago, there is comedy on Thanksgiving. There’s always a chance, too, that celebs who are home for the holidays will pop up at shows around the city. Follow Zanies and other clubs and showcases on social media. It happens every year! Please confirm all details before leaving home!


Second City’s 24-Hour Improv Festival at Second City, 5:00 p.m. Through Tuesday. With Steve Albini, The Blisters, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Ryan Dempster, Jeff Garlin, Joe Nunez, Chris Redd, Horatio Sanz, Ty Segall, Sally Timms, Jeff Tweedy, Melissa Villaseñor, George Wendt, Yo La Tengo and many more TBA. This 18th Annual 24-hour long improv and music marathon benefits Poverty Alleviation Charities’ “Letters To Santa” program. Tickets and details here. If you can’t make it, there is a “watch online” option here.


Kyle Kinane at Thalia Hall, 8:30 p.m. Kyle Kinane is an internationally touring comedian from Addison, IL who got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on Drunk History, @Midnight, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Workaholics, This Is Not Happening, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and many more, including Netflix’s Season 2 The Standups. According to his bio, which he may not have written, he invented science and has ESP. He is a recurring character on Netflix’s Love created by Judd Apatow. He has three Comedy Central Specials, including Kyle Kinane: Loose in Chicago.

This One Woman at Hopleaf, 7:30 p.m. Tonight’s show features performances inspired by Jane Austen. With Brittny Congleton, Cali Olivares, Julie Jurgens, Kathy Pulkrabek, Mare Swallow, and Onicia Muller. Hosted by Kyna Lenhof and Danielle Young. Produced by Neil Arsenty and Kyna Lenhof.

Nick Nemeroff and Sara Hennessey at The Hideout, 7:00 p.m. These two comedians are here from Canada.



Second City’s 24-Hour Improv Festival at Second City CONTINUES through this evening. This 18th Annual 24-hour long improv and music marathon benefits Poverty Alleviation Charities’ “Letters To Santa” program. Tickets and details here. If you can’t make it, there is a “watch online” option here.

Kyle Kinane at Thalia Hall, 8:30 p.m.

Dolemite: A Salute to Rudy Ray Moore at The Promontory, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Just Nesh. A screening of Dolemite and of Rudy Ray Moore’s rare live Chic-A-Go-Go performance. Also, an opportunity to meet Dolemite actor Perry “Dancin’ Man” Kanlan.

Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues, 6:00 p.m. Music at 6. Comedy at 7 with Big Keef, Scott Duff, Jessica Misra, Marcus Shakes, Abi Sanchez, Joe Kilgallon.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 9:00 p.m. Meredith Kachel hosts Annie Russell, Grace Thomas, Michael Njuguna Robinson, Joe McMahon, Tommy McNamara and the ChUC debut of Lancey Joe.

Stable Manners Presents Falling for You at iO, 10:00 p.m. The women of Stable Manners present a variety of a night with an improv finale performed with one of their iO crushes.


Messing with Mason at The Annoyance, 9:30 p.m. People travel from around the world to study improv with Susan Messing and Rachael Mason. Messing with Mason is a chance to see two comedy powerhouses perform together.

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. The First Annual “Sweeps Week” Special Event.

7:00 p.m. Jonah Jurkens hosts Alex Kumin, Marilee, Dale McPeek, Joey Villagomez, Kevin Williams, Russ Williamson and a Special Guest TBA.

9:30p.m. Blake Burkhart hosts Em Brown, Adam Burke, Kelsie Huff, Joe Kilgallon, Matty Ryan, Abi Sanchez, Liza Treyger.

No Doy at iO, 10:00 p.m. The Thanksgiving edition.


Do You Believe in Madness at Second City, 8:00 p.m. The brand new 108th Mainstage Revue. Chicago Tribune review by Chris Jones here. ChicagoNow review by Rick and Brenda McCain here.

Grinning From Fear to Fear at Second City, 8:00 p.m. The e.t.c.’s current revue. Read about it in The Chicago Tribune here.

Deck the Hallmark at Second City, 8:00 p.m. A holiday movie parody and the one I’d rather see on TV.


Shitfyre at The Annoyance Theatre, 8:00 p.m. A take on “the biggest musical catastrophe in history.”

Christmas Bingo at The Royal George, 8:00 p.m. “Get into the Christmas spirit with Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night. Brush up on your Yuletide trivia, play for actual prizes in this uniquely interactive show. Vicki Quade, co-creator of the smash hit Late Nite Catechism, tackles the wackiest myths and most outrageous facts about Christmas, including jolly old St. Nick’s origins and where candy canes come from.” Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m. through Dec. 29.

Family Affair at iO, 8:00 p.m. The perfect Thanksgiving post-mortem. “Directed by Liz Allen, A Family Affair is an improvised show in which personal, sometimes hilarious, but always true, stories are told from the perspectives of a real-life mom, dad, and daughter. Their insights and conflicts provide the inspiration for the resulting scenes by that night’s cast.” Tonight: Brooke Bell, Sarah Frasco, Darren Hale, Cara Larson, Cameron Mahai, Claire McDonald, Nick Murhling, David Tarantino, and the Dougherty Family (our real-life Mom, Dad, and Daughter).

The Young Hustle Show at Laugh Factory, 10:00 p.m. Featuring Clay Hurlbut, St James Jackson, Nick Ogle, Skyler Higley and more TBA. Zach Freeman wrote about “5 reasons you need to check out Young Hustle Comedy” in the Chicago Tribune.

Felt at iO, 10:00 p.m. The Black Friday Edition.


Hustle Jokes Presents: Comedy Night at DuSable Museum, 6:00 p.m. Hosted by Just Nesh (Comedy Central) with Meechie Hall (toured with Deray Davis and Hannibel Buress) and Marlon Mitchell (Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes & BET Comic View) and actor/comedians Damn Fool and Mike Samp.

The Blackout Diaries at The Newport Theater, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Special live television recording for a network whose identity is still secret. The Blackout Diaries is one of Chicago’s biggest comedy hits. “Stand-up comedians, plus ‘regular’ people (cops, firefighters, teachers, etc) tell true drinking stories. Then you, the audience, can ask questions.” Created and hosted by Sean Flannery, one of comedy’s most talented storytellers and also “Best Drunk in Chicago” according to The Chicago Reader.

Pete Davidson at The Vic, 7:30 p.m. Pete Davidson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at age 20, making him one of the youngest cast members ever. His SNL audition came about after he met Bill Hader during the making of Trainwreck. On SNL, he comes across as a very talented, uncomplicated laid-back guy, but he’s already had more than his share of hard life events, including losing his dad, a firefighter, on 9/11. UPDATE 11/29: If you’re going to the show, you’ll want to read this first.



Wild Comedy Club Showcase at Celtic Knot Public House, Evanston, 7:00 p.m. Free show.

Mean to Me: An OCD Odyssey at iO, 7:30 p.m. A one-woman show written by and starring  iO performer and instructor Emily Anderson.

Plus Prov at iO, 7:30 p.m. “Great comedy doesn’t have to look a certain way.”

Jimmy and Johnnie at Second City, 8:00 p.m. Two of Chicago’s favorite improvisers with a special guest TBA.

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