Posts Tagged ‘stand-up’

Stand-up Comedy at the Second City Training Center

3220792013_2bcf949179Second City’s Training Center has cranked out some amazing comedy talent: Tina Fey, Mike Myers, and Stephen Colbert just to name a few. However, none of the luminary alumni are stand-up comics, and that is not what the theater or the training center is best known for creating.

Recently, though, the Second City training center has added stand-up comedy to its list of available classes. There is a teen program for ages 13-17 (which has a spring session beginning Saturday April 18), and an adult class taught by amazing Chicago comedian Dan Telfer.

The training center’s stage, Donny’s Skybox Theater, even has stand-up performances on Sundays. Comedy at the Don is a weekly showcase of local stand-up, sketch, and improv. You can check that out on Sundays at 9:30pm for only $5. Donny’s Skybox Theater is located on the fourth floor of Piper’s Alley, 1608 N. Wells.

Who knows? Maybe a current student will be the next big stand-up star.

(photo from Elizabeth McQuern)

Eugene Mirman Weekend

Stand-up comedian Eugene Mirman will be in Chicago this weekend to record a new comedy album at The Lakeshore Theater this Friday and Saturday at 10PM. I am a fan of Eugene Mirman’s highly imaginative comedic monologues. I became an even bigger fan after watching his coverage of the Republican National Convention this year. So if you too are a fan, you might want to head over to the threadless website. There you can submit questions to Eugene who will be hanging out at Threadless tomorrow afternoon.

Eugene Mirman
November 7th and 8th
Lakeshore Theater
3175 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL

(photo from the Eugene Mirman myspace page)

Get some music, and comedy on the cheap TONIGHT!

I love comedy, I love music, I love odd ball stuff. Tonight I’m hosting a show that combines ALL of my loves. It’s a show called Blewtenanny! It’s from Blewt! productions who brought you the hit comedy game show Don’t Spit the Water and the current hit talent compitition at the Lakeshore Theater called Impress These Apes.

The show is at 11pm tonight at the Strawdog Theater (3829 N. Broadway) and is only $5. Tonight’s show will have two amazing Chicago stand-up comics: Chad Briggs, and Robert Buscemi. The night’s music comes from the amazing Samantha Cathcart, and the odd ball stuff will come from professional prankster Ken Barnard (the guy who protested the filling of the Montrose sink hole).

If that line-up does not sell you then perhaps some philanthropy might sway you. The Strawdog Theater has a bar with inexpensive beers. By buying the inexpensive beers at the Strawdog’s bar, you help support the non-profit artistic endeavors of the Strawdog Theater. Yup, by drinking beer, you support the arts. Never been easier to do good.

Strawdog Theater
3829 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL

Here’s some stand-up highlights from a Blewtenanny! back in July (NSFW because of language):

(picture of Ken Barnard performing at Blewtenanny! from Erica Reid)

Two Chances to Laugh and Raise Money for Charity

What could be an easier way to contribute to charity then watch a comedy show? How about if that show has some of Chicago’s best stand-up comedians in it. Boom! I’m sold.

This Friday at 9 PM, amazing Chicago comedian Carrie Callahan will be hosting a benefit comedy show called “Easier Then Running a Marathon”. It takes place at the Lincoln Restaurant (home of the famous comedy showcase The Lincoln Lodge) at 4008 N. Lincoln. The cost is only $10 and all proceeds go to AIDS research.

Then, Saturday is “Angel’s Farewell Show”. This is a send off to much beloved Chicago comedy super-fan Angel Busque. The show will feature her favorite Chicago comedians which means for only $10 you can see Jason Fever [The Mockumentals], Brian Potrafka [Doug Stanhope’s The Unbookables, author of “Small & Wrong”], Dan Kaufman (The Bob & Tom Show), Sean Flannery (producer and co-host of the Internet radio talk show the Visitors Locker Room), David Kovac (Performed at the request of Mayor Richard M. Daley for the 73rd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors), Ricky Carmona (HBO Latino), Brendan McGowan (Chicago Underground Comedy), CJ Sullivan (Visitors Locker Room, Chicago Tribune’s Red Eye), Renee Gauthier (Victoria Beckham: Coming to America), Cayne Collier (producer of Chicago’s longest running stand-up showcase, the Elevated), hosted by local favorite Bradley Fojas (NBC’s Stand Up for Diversity). Plus, all the money goes toward Lupus Foundation of America, Illinois Chapter. Doors for this show open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8 PM.

Chicago Comedy Festival

Back in February of this year, I heard some rumblings about a Chicago Comedy Festival taking place on Navy Pier during the autumn of this year. It’s supposed to have 100 performers, three stages, and a partridge in a pear tree. I know it’s still summer, but we’re not too far from autumn, and I have yet to hear anything more about this Chicago Comedy Festival (the website is just a placeholder with no information). I’m intrigued, but it’s easier to find information on the Just for Laughs festival coming to Chicago in summer of 2009. I was starting to loose hope that this Chicago Comedy Festival thing was going to happen.

Then today I found this youtube channel labeled Chicago comedy festival. This channel has been uploading segments of a documentary hosted by comedy legend Bob Zmuda about the Chicago Comedy Festival from 2001 over the past two days. If you have 30 minutes (or eight chunks of about five minutes) and you have an interest in comedy, then check out these videos. The documentary is filled with comedy treats, but one of the biggest treats for me was seeing one of my favorite rooms in Chicago, The Lincoln Lodge, pop up around the 2:30 mark in this segment. During that segment you also get to see alternative comics like Neil Hamburger, and SNL’s Fred Armisen playing his character Fericito. Of course, Chicago comedy stalwart, Zanies, is there with a whole mess of amazing comedians to numerous to list. To start you off, I’ll put the first part of the documentary here:


Chicago’s Stand-Up Comedy Scene Keeps Getting Better

May I brag for a minute? By some cosmic twist, a reticent, relatively unambitious blogger (me) has become co-producer of arguably the best alternative stand-up showcase in Chicago (Chicago Underground Comedy).

Every Tuesday night, our show features four of our performers and two or three guests, including other promising up-and-comers in the Chicago stand-up talent pool, returning Chicago friends have found success on the coasts, and sometimes, comedy heroes whose resumes and upcoming projects are enough to make us stutter with awe when they take our stage.

Night before last we had what may be the strongest show we’ve ever produced. The lineup included our hugely creative and talented castmembers Dan Telfer (my co-producer, and a sometime contributor to this site), Sean Flannery, Prescott Tolk, and Adam Burke, and our pal Hannibal Buress, who’s dashing between appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Chicago Public Radio’s 848, the Craig Ferguson Show and a featured spot in the upcoming DC Comedy Festival.

Then there was the guest lineup, that had our packed house falling out of their chairs.

Get this: former Saturday Night Live writer Michael McCarthy (who’s moving to LA to write a pilot for Showtime), Chicago native Jimmy Dore, who’s about to have his first one-hour special on Comedy Central, and our pal John Roy, who comes home to Chicago every so often to sharpen up his bits for his latest Jay Leno or Craig Ferguson appearance.

Check out this ten minute highlight reel (edited by yours truly). If you’re at work, watch the audio, though, since the show included a tribute to George Carlin’s “Seven Words” bit (and because we’re comedians) there are a few naughty words included.


If you like what you see, pop into our show some Tuesday at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont). It’s well worth the $5.

The Best Free Stand-up Comedy Show in April

Jared Logan is a Chicago stand-up comedian who has been rocking the Chicago stand-up scene since 2003. Like all great Chicago stand-up comedians, though, he is moving to New York City at the end of this month. Before he runs off, he is hitting as many stand-up venues as he can. Tomorrow, he is doing a 45 minute set at the Chicago Underground Comedy at 9:30, and best of all it’s FREE. Hosting will be Carrie Callahan, and opening will be Adam Burke, and Chad Briggs. If you can’t make it tomorrow then check him out now in this video about Dungeons and Dragons.

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