Want to score Chicago comedy gold and win prizes for your favorite Chicago comedian? You can do it right now whether you’re in Old Town, Tinley Park, Transylvania or Tulsa. You can do it at 9:00 a.m. or by the light of the moon. The new REQUESTS feature at Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio makes it possible.
Here’s how it works: go to chicagoscomedyscene.com. Click REQUESTS. You’ll bring up an easy-to-scroll list of over one hundred comedians. They’re all Chicagoans or have Chicago connections. Request your favorite or meet someone new. It’s like Chicago’s comedy clubs coming to you.
Your choices queue up to be aired on CCSR, which is on the air 24 hours a day. You can request ten times a day and five tracks each time.
Each month, the comedian with the most requests wins $50 and is featured on the REQUESTS page as Comedian of the Month. The first Comedian of the Month award went to Patrick O’Hara in September. October’s honor goes to Mike Wiley.
Tony Carr, the founder, producer and co-host of CCSR (along with radio vet Steve Touhy) created the REQUESTS feature “to see what people want to hear as opposed to what I want to play. It may not be the same. It’s cool to see because a lot of comics on the station are not that well known. We have Beth Stelling and Hannibal Buress and people who are doing really well. We also have comedians who are just doing open mics and those guys are getting requests. It’s good for the comedians and it’s good exposure for the station. We all get more listeners.”
Tony emphasizes that this is not a typical comedy contest which is “not usually fun for comedians. This doesn’t have that same dirty feel to it. You’re requesting to hear them. You’re not picking this comic over that comic.”
I use the REQUESTS feature to listen to favorites and to discover comedians I don’t yet know. As I was writing, CCSR posted that it’s now streaming Brian Hicks’ new album, Dibs, and you can request all of it or any tracks you want. It’s brand new and just a click away. (Chicagoans will understand Dibs’ cover art immediately.) I added Dibs to my REQUESTS list.
Interviews from Tony and Steve’s CCSR morning show can also be requested. They include conversations with Chicago icons like Dobie Maxwell, George Wilborn and Rocky LaPorte and with visiting headliners, including Rod Man, Louie Anderson and Nikki Glaser.
Of CCSR’s first winner, Tony says, “Patrick is very funny and he's able to be funny about some really challenging subject matter. He talks about beating cancer and having one nut. He's a young man that has MS and it's serious. Somehow, he walks up on stage, brings up the darkest shit in the quietest voice delivers this material and before you know it, you're laughing.”
Tony also told me about Mike. “He may be the best joke writer in Chicago. He is amazing. Mike is one of the comics that other comics look forward to watching.”
Do you know Patrick’s comedy? How about Mike’s? Whose names have you heard and thought, “I’d love to hear what they’re about!” Who are the next Chicago stand-up standouts? Who are your favorites? Who will be new favorites? Who should be the next Comedian of the Month? You can help decide while you experience Chicago’s comedy magic.
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