Chicago comedy spotlight for Tuesday, July 5 – Sunday, July 10, 2022

Chicago comedians in the news:

Sean Bair-Flannery’s long-awaited memoir Places I Can’t Return To has just been released. Order your copy here. Sean has been featured on Comedy Central, written one-man shows (which sold out week after week) and is the creator of Blackout Diaries (now at Lincoln Lodge), one of the most critically acclaimed shows in Chicago. He is also releasing each chapter as a podcast.

Reena Calm’s new album Calmedy debuted in the #1 spot on Amazon. Details here. Reena has opened for Arsenio Hall, Laurie Kilmartin and Eddie Pepitone. Her appearances include WGN Radio, Doug Loves Movies and The Jackie and Laurie Show. As Clear Water Comedy has stated, Reena is “one of the best independent comics in the country.”

Matteo Lane appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live hosted by Chelsea Handler last week. The episode will repeat on Thursday and you can also see the interview on YouTube.

Mandy Patinkin and wife Kathryn Grody will star in Seasoned, a comedy pilot ordered by Showtime. The series is based on their relationship. Variety reported the story here.

A Transparent Musical will debut in May 2023 in Los Angeles. Joey Soloway, who created the hit Amazon Prime series, will write the book with MJ Kaufman. Joey’s sister Faith, who was also a writer on the series, will compose the music and lyrics.

iO announced its new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Advisory Board: Mesha Arant, Kim Iheme, Luis Cortes, Terri Lynne Hudson, Mark James Heath, Max Thomas and Natty Galde. iO is currently hosting online classes and accepting pitches and proposals for new works. Details here.


July 17: Steven Springer’s Early Bird Showcase with Henry Spoon, Laurie Milbourn, Dan Brennan, Donny Williams, Bob Jay at Laugh Factory

July 20: Sean Bair-Flannery at The Comedy Bar

September 22-24: Cristela Alonzo at The Den Theatre. (Announced at Tickets not yet on sale.)

Upcoming shows at The Hideout:

August 27: Brandon Wardell

September 30: Dulce Sloan

September 30: Shalewa Sharpe

Coming to The Vixen in McHenry:

August 26: Lynne Koplitz

October 1: Jamie Kennedy

October 15: Vicki Barbolak

November 12: Pat Tomasulo

PLUS, here is a small fraction of all the original comedy taking place this week only in Chicago. Thank you to the Chicago comedy community. Please confirm all details before leaving home!


Zanies Chicago: Tahir Moore, Dustin Nickerson, Jimmy Dore, Dr. Bill Miller, After Hours with Calvin Evans, Frankie Quinones

Zanies Rosemont: Chicago’s Best Showcase (Vince Carrone, Pat Tomasulo, Larry Reeb, Calvin Evans, John DaCosse), Jimmy Dore, Dustin Nickerson

Riddles: Damon Williams, Robert Kane, Suzy Q, Leon Rogers, Riddles’ Clean Open Mic,

The Improv: Frankie Quinones, Joey Villagomez


Sketchtest at Bughouse Theater, 7:30 p.m. “An open mic for solo and group sketch! It’s a super relaxed environment where performers can ask for feedback from their peers.”

The Limelight at The Hideout, 9:30 p.m. A comedic beauty pageant.


Hey Comedy at Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights, 7:30 p.m. Mike Fountain hosts Blake Burkhart, Aaron Putnam and headliner Sarah Perry.


Las Locas Comedy presents Chingona Comedy Hour at Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Gwen La Roka, winnter of the 2021 HBO Entre Nos Comedy Competition. With Maria Acosta, Lalita Dee, Monica Andrade, Marci Deloney. Hosted by Janice Rodriguez & Jess Martinez.


Funny Ha Ha at The Hideout, 6:00 p.m. The hit funny storytelling series returns! Claire Zulkey hosts Dance Dance Party Party den mother Jennon Bell Hoffmann, 80 Minutes Around the World immigration series producer Nestor ”The Boss” Gomez, The Frunchroom producer and host Scott Smith, Edu-tainer, whiskey lover Carmenita Peoples,   filmmaker Steve Delahoyde and more TBA.

Blackout Diaries at Lincoln Lodge, 10:00 p.m. Created by Sean Flannery, this is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed comedy shows. Featured on NPR and Comedy Central.  “Standup comedians, plus ‘regular’ people (cops, firefighters, teachers, etc) tell incredible true drinking stories. Then you, the audience, can dive even deeper by asking questions.”


Dopeness: Black by Popular Demand at The Annoyance, 7:00 p.m. “The group came together to create their own brand of sketch and improv that speaks to their unique perspectives, experiences and most importantly, unadulterated black joy. Made up of all rising stars the cast and crew has performed literally all over the world and  has worked on or currently works on The CHI (Showtime), Shameless (Showtime), Empire (FOX), Chicago Med (NBC), Chicago Fire (NBC), Chicago P.D. (NBC), The Big Leap (FOX), Hot Date (Netflix), Laugh Factory, Second City, Zanies.”

Neal Brennan at The Den Theatre, 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Neal Brennan is an on-air correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and is critically acclaimed for his one-man shows, comedy specials and films. He was also the co-creator of Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, among many other credits. Tickets selling out fast!

Terrence Hartnett 1 Ball Show at Lincoln Lodge, 7:30 p.m. “Something finally happened to Terence Hartnett and now he has to make sense of it. Join him as he struggles to piece together a moral from his brush with the funniest kind of cancer.”

Earthquake, Donnell Rawlings, Just Nesh, Damon Williams, Leon Rogers at Chicago Theatre, 8:00 p.m. A rare opportunity to see some of comedy’s greatest headliners together in one night.

Kristen Toomey & Aaron Putnam at The Vixen, McHenry, 8:00 p.m. Two powerhouse headliners. Kristen has consistent rave reviews, including from the A.V. Club, and and Chicago Tribune. Aaron is the founder of Stand Up In Recovery bringing laughter to treatment centers across the country and hosts the podcast Manchild and the Yogi with his wife. Kristen and Aaron are both regulars at Chicago’s top comedy clubs.


Are You Smarter Than Your 8th Grade Nun? at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2:00 p.m. Opening night of Vicki Quade’s newest interactive game show. This evening is for everyone! Show off what you remember from 8th grade! Laughing guaranteed because God Knows we need it. This show is for every denomination.

Jimmy and Johnnie at Bughouse Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Jimmy Carrane and John Hildreth with special guest TJ Jagodowski.

Jeff Dye at Laugh Factory, 8:00p.m. “A nationally touring comedian, actor, host, prankster and Bigfoot enthusiast.” He is also known as one of the stars of NBC’s comedy adventure series Better Late Than Never with Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Forman and Terry Bradshaw, now streaming on Hulu.

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