Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, July 25-Sunday, July 31, 2022


There’s a great interview with Ray Chao in the July 11 edition of Shout Out L.A. Ray talks about how he went from courtroom to comedy, and Chicago to Los Angeles where he is a comedian and actor, and creator and director of two film festivals.

Second City alum Quinta Brunson will play Oprah in Roku’s upcoming Weird Al biopic. Quinta also made history this month as the first Black woman to be nominated in three Primetime Emmy categories all in the same year and at 32, the youngest ever nominated in comedy acting. She is also nominated for writing and overall outstanding comedy series, all for Abbott Elementary which she created. Watch the 74th Emmy Awards on September 12.

Craig Robinson is safe after a scary active shooter situation during a July 16th show in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the comedian prepared to go onstage, the suspect entered the Comedy Zone, threatened the audience with a gun and fired several shots. Fortunately, no one was harmed and the club’s staff was able to get everyone to safety. More on Craig’s Instagram here.

The storied Comedy Shrine in Aurora needs your support! Please check out the GoFundMe here.

Jay Chandrasekhar directs and appears in Jo Koy’s new movie Easter Sunday, which will be released on August 5. Easter Sunday is described as “a love letter to the Filipino community.”

Amanda Cohen’s The Battle of the Capitol is quite timely! Thank you to Mark Klaber for posting it!


Every Tuesday in August: Bobcat Goldthwait works out new material at Lincoln Lodge

August 4: Gwen La Roka premieres her one-woman show Mi Casa Es Tu Casa at Aguijon Theater

August 19-20: Gianmarco Soresi at The Comedy Bar

August 19-20:  Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi at Blues Brothers Convention at Old Joliet Prison

August 21: Susan Messing with Jimmy and Johnnie at Bughouse Theater

August 25: Rudy Ruiz album recording Alopecian American at Two Brothers Roundhouse, Aurora

September 23: JB Smoove at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, Skokie

October 6: Steven Wright at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, Skokie

October 21-22: Michael Ian Black at The Den Theatre

November 10-12: Jon Lovitz at The Improv, Schaumburg

December 8: Nigel Ng at Thalia Hall


Zanies Rosemont: New Material Night, Carolanne Milijavac, Jamie Lissow

Zanies Chicago: Casey Frey, Super 6 Showcase, Nathan MacIntosh, Sean Patton, Calvin Evans, Anthony Bonazzo

Riddles: Open Mic with Will Hill, Stephan the Christian Comedian, Dave J, Howie Bell, Mike Samp Birthday Weekend, Sean Larkins, Robert Kane

The Improv: Guy Torry

FOLLOWING is just a fraction of all the original comedy happening only in Chicago this week. Since we’re still in a plandemic, please confirm all details before leaving home!


The Late Nite Mic at the Comedy Bar, 8:00 p.m. DJ Rybski hosts the Comedy Bar’ favorite comedians followed by a one-on-one interview.

Laughs in Lakeview at Shaker’s On Clark, 8:00 p.m. “Where great jokes get developed.” Hosted by Derrick J.

Discount Therapy at Pearl’s Southern Comfort, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Joe Medoff, Sara Snyder and Tori Kilkenny.


Freshly Squeezed at Bughouse Theater, 7:30 p.m. Pulp and friends present a juicy night of improv.

Ronnie Ray & the Underdogs of Comedy at Brauer House, Lombard, 8:00 p.m. Starring Ronnie Ray and featuring Eric “Mitch” Mitchell, Kim KB Marion, Alex Tsakanikas, Big Country.


OnlyFans Presents LMAOF at The Den Theatre, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by OnlyFans creator Lyssa Laird. Featuring Chris Higgins, Sarah Perry, Calvin Evans and Just Nesh.

Tornado Presents: Loppalapooza Official Pre-After Party Show, Presented by TORNADO at The Hideout, 9:30 p.m. A Lollapalooza-themed comedy variety show featuring Heet Deth, Mr. and Mrs. Wednesday Night, Masked Animals, The III, Jamie Shriner, Jolly Bean, Mount Rushmore and more TBA.


My Best Friend is Black at Lincoln Lodge, 8:00 p.m. “A live comedy variety show that focuses on providing a platform for Black performers. Of course, we encourage people of all backgrounds to come out and laugh with us!”


Kristen Toomey at The Comedy Bar, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Kristen Toomey is a nationally touring headliner and Chicago favorite. In New City Stage, Zach Freeman wrote, “Toomey’s hilarious 2019 album Mother. Fucker. provides ample examples of how she seamlessly blends crowd work with written material, roasting audience members relentlessly while always ultimately turning herself into the butt of the joke. Read the interview here.

Daphnique Springs at The Den Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Daphnique Springs appeared at Just For Laughs New Face comedy festival in Montreal and stars on Amazon’s Inside Jokes. She has been featured on late night and won New York’s She-Devil Festival and the American Black Film Festival “Comedy Wings Competition” sponsored by HBO.

Celeste Barber at The Chicago Theatre, 7:00 p.m. The Australian Queen of Comedy.


Paper Machete at Green Mill, 3:00 p.m. Lineup TBA, but it’s always excellent, filled with Chicago and visiting talent.

Ghost Baby at Bughouse Theater, 7:30 p.m. A comedy variety show.

Baby Wants Candy at Second City, 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The internationally celebrated ensemble is at Second City for a limited engagement.


Anthony Bonazzo at Zanies Chicago, 7:00 p.m. “Recording his Debut Special Northside/Southside where one set will be a set refined from working on the Northside of Chicago, and one will be a set refined on the Southside.” Mike Sampson hosts with a guest appearance by Steven Springer and featuring Prateek Srivastava. I’m sure these tickets will sell out very quickly. Advance purchase recommended.

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