Chicago comedy spotlight for March 13-19, 2017

Visitors this week: David Spade, Joe Rooney, Thunder Levin, Carlos Mencia, Nate Craig and Tom Segura. Michael Palascak returns to his comedy hometown!

Ticket alerts: 

Jim Gaffigan added a third show to his stop in Chicago this fall. His Noble Ape Tour will now be at the Chicago Theatre on Friday, October 13 (7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and on Saturday, October 14 (7:00 p.m.) October 14 presale begins March 15 at 9:00 a.m. here.

The 20th Chicago Improv Festival is March 27th-April 2nd. Just a sampling of this year's shows: headliner and Northbrook native Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Harmontown, Katie Rich and Heidi Laurent, Antoine McKay, Rob Belushi with Jon Barinholtz (Superstore), Kevin Dorff (writer for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien) with TJ Jagodowski and a special edition of Messing with a Friend with Susan Messing, Scott Adsit and Kevin Dorff. Full schedule here.

TruTV, The Onion, A.V. Club and Clickhole  present the  4th Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival on May 31-June 4. Scheduled to appear: Patton Oswalt taping his new special, Aparna Nancherla, Christopher Guest, Mike Judge, Ian Abramson, Bitch Sesh, Nathan Fielder, Eugene Mirman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jena Friedman and more. Details here.

In the news:

TJ Miller's The Gorburger Show will premiere on Comedy Central on Sunday, April 9. The show started as a Funny or Die web series and then as a pilot on HBO. Comedy Central picked it up for an eight-episode run. Gorburger is about “a giant blue extra-terrestrial who, after invading a Japanese television variety show and enslaving its staff, settles in as host in an attempt to understand what it means to be human.” The first season's specimens include Reggie Watts, Larry King, Rob Corddry, Kenny G, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Tig Notaro. TJ Miller got his comedy start here at The Lincoln Lodge and Chicago Underground Comedy.

Charna Halpern, founder and director of iO,  appears on NBC's Chicago Justice this Sunday with her adorable recent rescue dog, Violet. Charna Halpern told the Chicago Tribune that the audition happened last minute when Violet was with her and the telegenic maltese-shit tzu mix insisted on being included. The network happily agreed.

The Chicago Sun-Times'  Michael Sneed reported that Francis Ford Coppola and his wife were at a luncheon for wine retailers at Chicago Cut Steakhouse on Friday. On his Chicago agenda: a show at Second City.

Following is this week's spotlight. Please confirm all details before heading out and check out venues' other shows. This is just a fraction!

 

MONDAY, MARCH 13

The Riff at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley, 7:00 p.m. A unique open mic hosted by the kates. Comedians get a last-minute topic and deliver a surprise four-minute riff.

SNL Sketch Packet Show at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:00 p.m. One of two student graduation shows tonight (see below). At iO, Michael McCarthy’s students present sketches created over the past eight weeks. Free show.

Kevin Bozeman’s DePaul University Showcase at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Chicago’s student graduations have great energy and up-and-coming talent. SNL’s Alex Moffat was one of those students several years ago. Kevin Bozeman is a nationally touring headliner who just last week appeared on Fox’s Laughs.

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St., 8:30 p.m. Free stand-up showcase. Tonight Mike Cronin hosts Derek Smith, Bill Gevirtz, Kristin Lytie, Dane Arden and Deanna Ortiz. Please check out my interview with Mike Cronin here.

Manic Music Mondays at SLR Bar & Grill, 16409 Halsted, Harvey, 9:00 p.m. Comedy and music hosted by Taneshia Rice and Marilee.

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 14: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOBIE MAXWELL!

Cinema Science: Sharknado at The Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Screening and discussion with the film’s screenwriter Thunder Levin and the Field Museum’s shark expert, Kevin Feldheim.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

 

Pure & Weary’s Roaring in Our 20s at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Pure & Weary’s show was a success at Second City and has now been picked up at The Annoyance for a 6-week run through April 18th. This show takes place during the 1920s and celebrates flappers, comedians and other non-conventional women and the things we all have in common. “Come watch as Pure & Weary Charleston through the ups and downs of their 20s.”

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. Chicago Underground Comedy is one of comedy’s most groundbreaking showcases where Cameron Esposito, Beth Stelling, TJ Miller, Dan Telfer, Kumail Nanjiani, just to name a few, got their start. Produced by Meredith Kachel.

Winner … of Our Discontent at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. The 105th Mainstage revue. Tickets sell out fast. Check site for additional shows throughout the week.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

David Spade at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. David Spade is an Emmy-award nominee for Just Shoot Me and Saturday Night Live and is one of SNL’s most memorable cast members. He won an MTV Movie Award with Chris Farley for Tommy Boy. He published his memoirs, Almost Interesting, in 2015.

Drunk Science at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m. A great show to see in honor of St. Patrick's Day and all year around. Hosted by Sean Flannery, one of comedy's best storytellers.

Stand Up Stand Up presents Mikey Manker at 1367 N. Milwaukee Ave., 8:00 p.m. Headliner: Mikey Manker. Featuring Reena Calm, Dale McPeek, Jake McKenzie, Rudy Schultz and a special guest. Hosted by LiZ ZiNER.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

Joe Rooney at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 9:00 p.m. Joe Rooney is one of Ireland’s top comedians and an internationally touring headliner. He's chosen to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Chicago with some of the city's best: Adam Burke, Rebecca V. O’Neal and Timothy Rice.

 

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct. Actually, no show tonight, but I love the explanation: "No show this week in Chicago because it's St. Paddy's week and we're in an Irish bar and it's Chicago and you get it." CYSK adds: "see you on 3/22 with a line-up of Chicago's best comedians!"

Having it All at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. This show has been extended by popular demand three times! The show’s creator describes it as a combination of The Moth and all-women improv show. Each week has a different theme. Tonight: religion. Featuring Jo Scott (Seriously Unprepared, the Mission Ensemble), Eunji Kim (CIC and iO House Teams) and other top Chicago talent.

TJ & Dave at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Long form improv by internationally renowned legends TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi who "improvise a one-hour play filled with elaborately imagined characters whose relationships reveal the wildly funny quirks of human nature." TJ & Dave have inspired both a book (Improvisation at the Speed of Life) and a movie (Trust Us, This is all Made Up). Check out TJ and Dave's web site, too: http://www.tjanddave.com/

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 16

David Spade at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. David Spade is an Emmy-award nominee for Just Shoot Me and Saturday Night Live and is one of SNL’s most memorable cast members. He won an MTV Movie Award with Chris Farley for Tommy Boy. He published his memoirs, Almost Interesting, in 2015.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

Just Dickin’ Around’s Rachel McCartney Goodbye For Now Show at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 7:30 p.m. A show to to wish Rachel McCartney well in New York. Hosted by Marla Depew (JDA member). Showcase guests: Krista Atkinson (JDA member), Tim Cox, Dina Nina Martinez (JDA member), Rachel McCartney and Kevin Wood.

 

Parlour Car at Bar DeVille, 701 N. Damen, 9:00 p.m. Free weekly showcase produced by Matty Ryan and Stephanie Hasz. Chicago Magazine named Parlour Car the “Best Standup Show in Chicago” in 2014.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. This is a show where the improvisers morph from character to character before your eyes. Believable and magical at the same time. A little bit dangerous, too. Anything can happen. Susan Messing was named “Best Improviser” by the Reader and “Improviser of the Year” at the Chicago Improv Festival. Tonight's friend is Nnamdi Ngwe, who performs in Chicago and around the country, including at  Second City and iO where he is a member of the acclaimed improv group 3Peat. He teaches improv at both theaters.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 17

Carlos Mencia interview with Chicago's Comedy Scene Radio, 7:30 a.m. You don't have to go anywhere-this conversation comes to you! Follow link or download the CCSR app to hear Tony Carr and Steve Touhy's interview's with this week's Improv headliner!

Nate Craig at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Nate Craig is a nationally touring headliner from L.A. He was recently featured at the nationwide What A Joke Comedy Festival which raised funds for the ACLU over the inaugural weekend.

St. Patrick's Day with Bootycandy at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park, 8:00 p.m. A comedy and drama by Robert O'Hara about growing up gay and black in the midwest. Rave reviews from The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader and Windy City Times. Shows every Wednesday thru Sunday. Follow link for all times.

St. Pat's Pot of Gold at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 8:00 p.m. Storytelling, music and comedy about growing up Irish with Megon McDonough and Susan O'Halloran.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Carlos Mencia at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Through Sunday.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

The Lincoln Lodge at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. The Lincoln Lodge is known for the comedians it helped launch: Cameron Esposito, Hannibal Buress and TJ Miller and more. Always high quality comedy with local and visiting performers. Dedicated to making comedy accessible and affordable. Tonight: Taneshia Rice, Jack Bensinger and more TBA.

Lola Balatro opens for Pimprov at CIC, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 10:30 p.m. The acclaimed longest-running pimps-improvising show. My favorite band opens for them tonight.

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 18

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:00, 9:00 p.m., 11:15 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

Carlos Mencia at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Through Sunday.

Nate Craig at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Nate Craig is a nationally touring headliner from L.A. He was recently featured at the nationwide What A Joke Comedy Festival which raised funds for the ACLU over the inaugural weekend.

Tom Segura at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The “No Teeth No Entry Tour.”

 

Jury Doody at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 7:30 p.m. A Main Stage theatrical and a long form improv piece which “flash[es] forward and backward into the lives of 10 unlikely jurors to see how we are more alike than different. Nine professional comedians play 118 characters in a story packed with wild fantasy, unlikely heroes, and a hint of the 90’s.” Saturday nights.

Jewish Joke at at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 8:00 p.m. A one-man show about a Jewish comedy screenwriter fighting the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s. Starring Phil Johnson. "Armed with stories about the great era of Jewish humor, this poignant solo comedy shows one small man facing the tough American events of the mid-20th century."

Fuck Trump: A Collection of Songs to Demonstrate What a Horrible Person Donald Trump Is at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Directed by Mick Napier, the world renowned founder and director of The Annoyance.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 10:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 19

B.A.P.S.: A Comedy-Variety Showcase at The Public House Theater, 3914 N. Clark St., 7:00 p.m. "Adrienne Brandyburg, Adrienne Brown, Isabeau Dornevil and Jillian Ebanks felt a void in the performing arts scene around Chicago. As standup comics, improvisers and actresses themselves, these four took the initiative to create a safe space for all the talented women of color they’ve met along their own, individual, creative journeys." One Sunday each month. Follow link for details.

Carlos Mencia at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.

Tom Segura at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The No Teeth No Entry Tour.

 

Nate Craig at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 7:30 p.m. Nate Craig is a nationally touring headliner from L.A. He was recently featured at the nationwide What A Joke Comedy Festival which raised funds for the ACLU over the inaugural weekend.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Michael Palascak at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Michael Palascak is at Zanies this week as part of the club’s “Welcome Home” series. Michael is an award-winning comedian from Indiana and got his comedy start in Chicago. He has appeared on every major late night show and was a finalist – and fabulous – on Last Comic Standing.

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