Your Chicago comedy calendar November 23-29

Thanksgiving is no exception to the Chicago rule of great comedy every night of the year. Snow, sleet, ice, insufferable temps, holidays and faux holidays. None stand in the way. Comedy, as always, is a refuge and  celebration in its own right. Escape the Thanksgiving table when the conversation turns twitchy. The next day you can sleep in, avoid the stampedes and tramplings and shake off "Black Friday" FOMO knowing there's nothing you can buy to match the experiences the Chicago comedy community offers year around.

Festivals to attend this week: The Mary Scruggs Works by Women Festival continues at Second City and the Corn Comedy Palooza is still on at Corn Conservatory. Lots of unique-to-Chicago holiday shows, too.

In town this week: Jamie Kennedy, JJ Williamson, John Caponera and Sebastian Maniscalco. Plus, Brandon Wetherbee has traveled nationwide with his podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody!, but he chose Chicago as the site for the sixth anniversary celebration and that's also happening this week.

In Chicago comedy news:

Jamie Campbell releases Stocking Stuffer on November 24th. Tune in that morning to Chicago's Comedy Scene Radio at 8:15 a.m. to hear about it directly from Jamie. Stocking Stuffer is new material, plus exclusive audio from Jamie's Chicago farewell show. It's an excellent antidote to holiday stress and when you download the EP and share the link this week, Jamie will record a personalized "thanks" just to you.  Here is the link to download the EP and receive an early holiday gift of a video shout-out from Jamie.

Jamie's album Tell Me You're Proud of Me flew up the Amazon and iTunes charts when it debuted earlier this year. The Chicago Reader named Jamie "Best Stand-Up" in 2013. He was kind enough to speak with me here.

Sean White talks about his most nightmarish gig on brightestyoungthings. When the Onion A.V. Club rated "The Best Albums of 2015 So Far," meaning all albums, music and comedy, it included Sean's Dead & Gone. Highly recommend seeing him while we're still fortunate enough to have him in Chicago. He was also named one of sixteen best by Chicago Magazine in 2014.

Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher's premiere appearance on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls YouTube channel is now available. See it here. Cameron and Rhea began their careers here in Chicago and now live in L.A. where they are appearing in film and television and touring nationally. They will be at Thalia Hall on December 10. An early show is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the 10:30 p.m. show.

If you have any events you would like me to add, please email me at temewring@gmail.com.

Please confirm all details in case anything has changed, frozen or been carried off by ecstatic shoppers.

Thank you to all who make this calendar possible.

Please share and help spread the word!

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23

“The Second City That Never Sleeps: 2015” at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 6:00 p.m. Monday thru 6:00 p.m. Tuesday. This annual event is 24 hours of improv, music, visits from Second City alum and an auction of unique items and experiences. An example: a Jeff Tweedy concert at your house! (He is auctioning off two.) The event will be streamed at no cost and online bidding is also available. The evening includes a "Q and A" with Aidy Bryant which sold out within three hours of being announced ... BUT check in with Second City if you're interested. If there are no-shows, you may be able to get in.

“Stupid Smart Comedy” Inaugural Show at Geek Bar, 1941 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. Hosted by Derek Graff. Featuring Jamie Carbone, Kaitlyn Grissom, David Philips, Rebecca V. O'Neal. Headliner: Marty DeRosa.

“Sadsacks and Wisecracks” at High Hat Club, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Weekly comedy showcase hosted by Natalie Jose.

“Best Night Ever” at the GMan Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 8:00 p.m. Free showcase produced by Mike Cronin, Sam McHale, Thomas Brady and Dave Losso. Tonight with: Toler Wolfe, Danny Maupin, Lainie Lenertz, Tommy Mac, Jim Flannigan, Chris Redd. Please enjoy a classic set by Chris Redd:

 

Dr. Bill Miller’s “Bedside Manners” at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. A comedian/doctor reveals what doctors are really thinking.

“100 Proof Comedy” at Comedy Sportz, 929 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Tonight: Jeffrey Jay, Michael Meyers, Kahlil Wilson and more TBA.

“Hill ‘n Bill: A Billary Broadway Musical Karaoke Spectacular” at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Can Hillary and Bill resolve their marital issues by turning them into Broadway tunes? Perhaps.

 “The Cricket” at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. You’ll never think of “The Moth” the same way again.

 “The Armando Diaz Experience” at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s longest running improv show founded by Adam McKay, Dave Koechner and the actual Armando Diaz. This iconic Chicago comedy experience is a two-act long-form show where one person’s personal stories become fodder for the improv team.

“Wild Out Mondays” at SLR Bar & Grill, 16409 S. Halsted, Harvey, 9:00 p.m. Improv, stand up and music hosted by Just Nesh.

“The Mixer” at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 10:00 p.m.  “The Mixer is a show Monday nights where everyone who shows up gets to play! Each week starting at 10pm we have a workshop from some of the top performers and coaches in Chicago. At 10:30pm we break into teams and run a long form show. Hosted by Kevin Reader and Bryan Duff of Lumberjack Tsunami, The Mixer is for anyone interested in improv whether you're brand new or old hat.”

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Jamie Campbell Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio at your place, 8:15 a.m. Follow link (or download the app) to hear Tony Carr and Steve Touhy talk with Jamie Campbell about his just-released holiday EP!

 

“The Tuesday Ten” at Zanies, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. “A mix of ten headliners, rising stars and surprise guests!”

Kevin Bozeman’s DePaul University Showcase at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Graduates of Kevin Bozeman’s stand up class. Kevin Bozeman headlines nationally and appeared this past summer on Last Comic Standing. He is very funny and memorable so this has got to be a great show.

104th Mainstage Revue at The Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Directed by Jeff-award winning Director Ryan Bernier. Shows throughout the week.

“The Comedy Bowl: It’s Raining Men” at Diversey River Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey, 8:00 p.m. Comedy and trivia showcase hosted by Mona Aburmishan. Featuring: Sean White, Harold Pierre, Rodney Lumpkins and Michael Issac with special guests: Phil Burns & San Dro.

“Hill ‘n Bill: A Billary Broadway Musical Karaoke Spectacular” at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Can Hillary and Bill resolve their marital issues by turning them into Broadway tunes? Perhaps.

“Comedy Secrets” at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m.  May be the only show in the world where the audience takes an oath of confidentiality. In return, comedians will reveal secrets they’ve never told anyone. Expect comedy, tragedy and everything in between. Presented by Chicago Underground Comedy.

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25

“Miss Spoken” at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley, 7:00 p.m. The theme of tonight’s all-female live lit showcase is online dating. Featuring: Beth Spencer, Gina Watters, Gina Wynbrandt, Brittany Meyer, Nancy Hightower. Hosted by: Rosamund Lannin & Special Guest: Alicia Swiz.

“You, Me, Them Everybody” Live 6-Year Anniversary Show at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Brandon Wetherbee. Co-host Esmeralda Leon. House band Jeremy Tromburg. Guests include Stephanie Hasz, Goodrich Gevaart, The Puterbaugh Sisters, The k.i.d.

“Drunk Science” with Sean Flannery at The Comedy Bar, 500 M. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m. Sean Flannery’s drinks and high jinx stories are legendary. At “Drunk Science” you’ll find out what’s going on in the mind – literally - when that stuff is happening. The science of comedy combined with the comedy of science by a master comedian and storyteller.

“Chicago’s Best Stand Up” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8: 00 p.m. Featuring Abi Sanchez, Ali Clayton, Mickey Housley, Taneshia Rice, Paul Farahvar and more TBA.

John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m.

“Flabbey at the Abbey” at The Abbey, 3420 W. Grace, 8:30 p.m. Weekly showcase.  Check site for line-up.

“Comedians You Should Know” at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:00 p.m. Six you should know.

“Brass Chuckles Comedy” at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, 9:00 p.m. Weekly showcase featuring stand up, improv, musical comedy, burlesque and more. Hosted by Tamale and featuring Catye Palomino, Adam Burke, Miz Jellie Mae Jones, Joseph Ivan, and Those People!

 

“Hill ‘n Bill: A Billary Broadway Musical Karaoke Spectacular” at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:00 p.m. Can Hillary and Bill resolve their marital issues by turning them into Broadway tunes? Perhaps.

TJ and Dave at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. They are internationally acclaimed long-form improv stars.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26

 TJ and Dave at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 12:00 a.m.

“Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?” at Second City, 1608 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The Second City’ s e.t.c. stage’s 39th revue.

“Fishbowl” at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. “Fishbowl hosted by Sight Unseen features a rotating selection of independent groups to open the show. Then, Annoyance Students will get a chance to enter their ID’s into a fishbowl. 5 students selected will perform in an improv jam with 5 Annoyance veterans, including teachers and current performers. The night will close out with a set from Sight Unseen.”

“Laugh Factoria” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m.   A “noche de risa” hosted by Joey Villagomez.

 

JUST ANNOUNCED 11/26:  Hannibal Buress, Drew Michael, Clark Jones, Danny Kallas, Music By: DJ Oreo at The Tonic Room, 1447 N. Halsted, 9:30 p.m. "A last minute Thanksgiving Spoken Word Extravaganza." Just announced today! Drop everything and go!!!

“Singles Only” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m.  Horror stories from the dating world. Audience members will have a chance to share their own relationships from the devil and win prizes. Master plan: (1) Comedy heals the pain (2) Enjoy the mixer after the show. Hosted by Paul Farahvar.

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27

The Mary Scruggs Works By Women Festival at Second City, 1608 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. A program of new sketches written by women.

“A Series of Random” at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. A revue by Empire’s Antoine McKay.

Jamie Kennedy at The Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall Store K120B, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m., 10:15 p.m.

Please enjoy some classic moments from The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.

 

“Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio” at Crazy Pour, 105 E. North Ave., Villa Park, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Melissa Richelle, Marty DeRosa, Frank Nielsen and a special guest.

J.J. Williamson at Jokes and Notes, 4641 S. King Dr., 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. Featuring Erica Clark. Hosted by Calvin Evans.

John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Russ Williamson at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.

“Lincoln Lodge Showcase” at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m.  One of Chicago’s classic showcases. Featuring: Natalie Alford, Drew Michael, Tommy McNamara.

“Black Friday Comedy” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.  First show: Kristin Toomey, Chris Redd and more TBA. Second show: Jeff Steinbrunner, Clark Jones, Paul Farahvar, Chris Redd, Mark Simmons and more TBA.

"It’s A Wonderful Santaland Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story … Jews Welcome” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 8:15 p.m. “Spend time with family and friends amidst a fun flurry of excitement that combines dozens of the world's most beloved holiday stories in one festivous, cheeky, exciting show! Back by popular demand, audiences are taken on a seasonal adventure with singing, dancing, stories, interactive games and non-holiday specific eggnog.  Directed by Brian Posen, with choreography by Matter Dance Company, this is an all holiday and all ages show.”

“The Boys/We Make it Worse” at Second City, 1608 N. Wells, 9:00 p.m.Susan Messing and Rachael Mason improvise with Norm Holly, Ryan Archibald and Craig Uhlir.

“The Dave Maher Coma Show” at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:00 p.m. “After being in a month-long diabetic coma, during which he was almost taken off life support and subsequently eulogized on Facebook, Dave Maher woke up to find himself like Tom Sawyer at his own internet funeral. “Dave Maher Coma Show” is the comedian’s story of what happened and how, plus all the jokes and questions it spawned: What’s the grossest part of coming out of a coma? What’s the best way to flirt with nurses in physical rehab? What now?” Fridays through December 18.

Jeremy Scippio at The WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 10:00 p.m. “Not really the class clown, he was the person who sat behind the class clown and made fun of his antics. Jeremy's really good at evaluating inconsistencies in life and various cultures while being highly entertaining.”

“Pimprov” at CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 10:30 p.m. This famous night of comedy features pimps improvising. Back at CIC for a limited run.

“Corn Comedy Palooza” at Corn Conservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 11:00 p.m. A month of sketch, stand-up and improv with comedians from all over the city.

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28

“Greatest Story Never Told” at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 11:00 a.m. “The audience members are invited to volunteer themselves to come up on stage and help us create: THE GREATEST STORY NEVER TOLD!! Every original performance is adapted by a professional writer and artist. Our design team turns the one time performance into a digital & physical storybook the audience may purchase and keep forever.  Show starts at 11:00am, doors open at 10:30am. Join us for pre-show activities including: arts & crafts, board games, dress-up clothes, coffee drinking and more! This is an ALL AGES SHOW. Children not yet 2y.o. get in FREE.”

"Paper Machete" at Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway, 3:00 p.m. This weekly spoken-word showcase features comedians, actors and writers. Lots of famous names, but you don’t have to be famous to participate. If you would like to audition, be on the look-out for your opportunity.

Sebastian Maniscalco at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This native Chicagoan was selected by Vince Vaughn to be part of Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show. In 2014, he was a nominee for the American Comedy Award for Best Club Comedian and has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Lopez Tonight, Conan and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has also been a guest on Marc Maron's WTF  and records his own podcast The Pete and Sebastian Show podcast every Friday night. His Showtime special Aren't You Embarrassed? was filmed in Chicago.

“It’s A Wonderful Santaland Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story … Jews Welcome” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 5:00  p.m. “Spend time with family and friends amidst a fun flurry of excitement that combines dozens of the world's most beloved holiday stories in one festivous, cheeky, exciting show! Back by popular demand, audiences are taken on a seasonal adventure with singing, dancing, stories, interactive games and non-holiday specific eggnog.  Directed by Brian Posen, with choreography by Matter Dance Company, this is an all holiday and all ages show.”

“Comedy Sportz" at Comedy Sportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. Classic Chicago improv show. Two teams compete based on audience suggestions to create the best comedy scenes, songs and games. For all ages. Check schedule for many shows throughout the week.

“A Pilot Reading” at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 6:45 p.m.  “One of Michael McCarthy’s students from his TV Pilot Presentation class stages a reading of their pilot script in the Chris Farley Memorial Cabaret. It’s free, there’s usually food, and we would love to know what you think. All are welcome! *ADMISSION IS FREE.”

"Simmer Brown 6-Pack" at Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park Rd., 7:00 p.m. Special reception at 7:00  p.m. for prepaid ticket holders only. Showcase at 8:00 p.m. with headliner Sydney Adeniyi.

John Caponera at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 11:15 p.m.

Jamie Kennedy at The Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall Store K120B, Schaumburg, 7:00, 9:15 p.m.

Another favorite ...

"The Two-Hour Comedy Hour" at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley, 7:00 p.m.

“A Series of Random” at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. A revue by Empire’s Antoine McKay.

“The Revival Hour” at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 8:00 p.m. An hour of improv on the exact same corner where The Compass Players got their start.

"Charismatic Comedy" at Madison Street Theatre, 1010 Madison St., Oak Park, 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Rob Hines. Featuring Seth Davis and hosted by Rudy Ruiz.

“Blackout Diaries” at High Hat Club, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Sean Flannery, this evening features comedians and regular folk telling their own legendary drinking stories. The audience will have a chance to ask questions. Featured on NPR, Comedy Central and in all the major Chicago papers as one of the city’s most recommended events. Get tickets soon – sells out fast!

Russ Williamson at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.

“Cupid Has a Heart On” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s longest running musical comedy is a sketch show about body image, love, relationships and the way they haunt us. Created by Chicago comedy icon Brian Posen who is also Stage 773’s creative director. He directs the play and provides the musical accompaniment. This production has toured nationwide. Most Saturdays through December.

Jeremy Scippio at The WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 10:00 p.m. “Not really the class clown, he was the person who sat behind the class clown and made fun of his antics. Jeremy's really good at evaluating inconsistencies in life and various cultures while being highly entertaining.”

J.J. Williamson at Jokes and Notes, 4641 S. King Dr., 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. Featuring Erica Clark. Hosted by Calvin Evans.

“Based on a True Story with Paul Meinke” at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 9:00 p.m. “We invite a special guest, interview them about their life and improvise scenes based on those stories.”

“Whirled News Tonight: Late Edition” at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. This satirical take on current events has won rave reviews from The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Reader and the Onion A.V. Club. Weekly.

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29

"Sunday Morning Stories" at Second City, 1608 N. Wells, 10:00 a.m.  For new and seasoned storytellers with opportunities for storytellers-to-be. Please click here to learn about sign up. Hosts: Kevin D'Ambrosio, Justin Flowers, Lauren Huffman, David Slattery, Billy Sullivan and Ranjit Souri who is the creator and executive producer of the show. Technical Director: Zach Stinnett

"Sunday Morning Stories" is followed by ...

"The Sunday Morning Open Mic" at  Second City, 1608 N. Wells, 11:00 a.m. Please click here to learn how to sign up. Hosts: Adam Bowman, Kevin D'Ambrosio, Justin Flowers, James Knowles, Val Jencks and creator and executive producer, Sanjit Souri. Technical Director: Zach Stinnet

“Improv Nerd” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 5:00 p.m. Jimmy Carrane interviews iO instructor and performer, Matt Higbee.

"It’s A Wonderful Santaland Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story … Jews Welcome” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 3:15 p.m. “Spend time with family and friends amidst a fun flurry of excitement that combines dozens of the world's most beloved holiday stories in one festivous, cheeky, exciting show! Back by popular demand, audiences are taken on a seasonal adventure with singing, dancing, stories, interactive games and non-holiday specific eggnog.  Directed by Brian Posen, with choreography by Matter Dance Company, this is an all holiday and all ages show.”

“Blipsters on Broadway” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. An alternative comedy show hosted by The Nightly Show’s Felonious Munk and Dave Helem.  Expect anything: music, commentary, comedians touring through who drop in to test stuff out. All possible. The show’s mantra is “If you think you’ve seen this, you haven’t.”

Jamie Kennedy at The Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall Store K120B, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.

“Tuxedo Cat Comedy” at 1935 W. Thomas St., 7:00 p.m. Free showcase, donations appreciated and go to the performers. Featuring Ali Clayton, Sammy Arechar, Tommy McNamara, Caitlin Checkeroski, TCC Producer Rebecca Fass and more TBA. Produced by Sean White, Rebecca Fass, David Philips and Jerry Tran.

Comedy of Chicago Showcase at Henry’s, 18 W. Hubbard, 8:00 p.m. A showcase curated by comedyofchicago.com

Michael Issac at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Michael Issac is a comedian and actor and a Zanies regular. He describes his comedy as “Good. Clean. Funny.”

“Pour Humor – Service Industry Night” at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 9:00 p.m. Tonight welcomes and honors bartenders, servers, and bar and restaurant workers. Featuring Alex Orozco and Kris Flanagan and more TBA.

 

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