Chicago comedy spotlight for Thursday, May 24 and Memorial Day Weekend

In town: Mel Brooks, Janelle James, Ricky Gervais, Ryan Donahue and Don Friesen. Aries Spears is back in his hometown.

Ticket alert!

Season passes are now on sale for Chicago Underground Comedy's 4th Annual Summer Series. Details here.

In the news:

Launched! Funding for Super Narcoleptic Girl Comedy Web Series by Sarah Albritton and Catherine "Povs" Povinelli. Narcolepsy and other disabilities, especially invisible disabilities, are rarely portrayed accurately in comedy and entertainment, so this series will be groundbreaking. Sarah and Povs' pilot debut was a success last year at iO. This series promises to be a game-changer. You can be part of it  here. Interview with Sarah and Povs here.

Kumail Nanjiani gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Grinnell. Sean McCarthy has the video on his site thecomicscomic.com.

Chicagoans on late night:

Wednesday: TJ Miller on Conan, Hannibal Buress on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Thursday: Laurie Metcalf on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Julie Louis Dreyfus and Matt Walsh on Conan

Friday: Pete Holmes on The Late Late Show with James Corden

Following is the spotlight for the rest of this week and Memorial Day. Please confirm all details before setting out!

-----------------

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24

Casting Asiancy at Second City, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. A comedy variety show to benefit Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago (AAAJC). Starring Elyse Ahmad, Rammel Chan, Lea Ciastko, Leah Eva, Scott Hanada, Ray Hui, Claudia Iao, Javid Iqbal, Peter Kim, Avery Lee, Louise Loeb, Brooke Montoya, Sameena Mustafa, Prateek Srivastava, Loreen Targos, Becca Tham, Tien Tran and more TBA. Food, dance, comedy and magic.

Ricky Gervais at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 8:00 p.m. Ricky Gervais brings his worldwide “Humanity” tour to Chicago. This is his first stand-up tour in seven years. With Kevin Bozeman. Tonight and tomorrow night.

 

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Danny Kallas hosts Ryan Donahue, Janelle James, Austin Lafond, Michael Robinson, Jeff Scheen and Liz Ziner.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 25

Aries Spears at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Aries Spears is originally from Chicago. He was a cast member of MadTV. Follow link for all show times. Through Sunday. 

Ricky Gervais at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 8:00 p.m. With Kevin Bozeman.

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.

Don Friesen at Zanies 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Don Friesen has won the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition twice and is the only person in its 39-year history who can say that! Follow link for all show times. Through Sunday.

 

[Last Chicago Show!] MLKs of Comedy Present Graduation at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. The Martin Luther Kings of Comedy are Jayson Acevedo, Jarrell Scott Barnes, Joel Boyd, Denny Love, Ty Riggs, and Mike Robinson.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 pm. 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. This week’s friend is James Quesada.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 26

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.

The Lincoln Lodge is on summer hiatus. Back in the fall! 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.

Funked Up Friday at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. This one-of-a-kind comedy party is hosted by AJ Lubecker, the youngest person to ever have his own show at The Laugh Factory. Tonight also features Matty Ryan, Abi Sanchez, B Cole and more TBA. Interview with AJ here about what makes this a great show and a great party where everyone is welcomed, often personally at the door by AJ.

SATURDAY, MAY 27

Second City Neighborhood Tour begins at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 10:00 a.m. The Second City Neighborhood Tour is back! Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tour is written and led by Margaret Hicks, author of Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History.

Mel Brooks at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., 3:00 p.m. Mel Brooks has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. He is an icon of American comedy and a national treasure. The Kennedy Center Honors awards and the American Film Institute both awarded him lifetime achievement awards for “extraordinary contributions to American culture.” This afternoon, Mel Brooks screens Young Frankenstein with the audience and leads a Q&A about the film and his career. Interesting fact: Mel Brooks only “appears” off-screen in this film: as the howling wolf, a yowling cat and as the grandfather.

 

 

Paper Machete at The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 3:00 p.m. Free show. You’ll want to get there at least an hour to ninety minutes early for seats. As usual, fabulous line-up: Ross Berman, Peter Kim, Bill Larkin, Rebecca O’Neal, Katie Rich, Megan Stielstra and The Defiant Thomas Brothers. Cabaret tunes from The Abbi Rajasekhar and musical headliner, The Smoking Popes.

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s all-women always-excellent comedy showcase produced and founded by Kelsie Huff. Tonight: Portia Turner, Janice Rodriguez, Catlyne Lasser, Jan Slavin, Elyse Nylin, Mary Rose O'Connor, Elizabeth Bird. Hosted by Brittany Meyer. Arrive early for seats!

The Memorial Day Weekend Comedy and Dance Party at H.O.M.E., 1227 N. Rand Rd., Arlington Heights, 7:00 p.m. With I.D., free for active military, veterans and first responders.

You’re Being Ridiculous at Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon, 7:30 p.m. Stephanie Douglass, Michael Fischer, Steve Glickman, Adrian Gonzales, TJ Medel, Chad Peterson, and Jeremy Owens (YBR creator and producer). An outstanding evening of storytelling for people who relate to cringe-worthy experiences and love to laugh about them (a/k/a everyone).

[LAST SHOW!] Simmer Brown Comedy at Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park Rd., 7:30 p.m. Second year anniversary and last show for this acclaimed and always sold-out showcase! Headliners: Felonious Munk (Comedy Central’s Nightly Show on Comedy Central), Erica Clark (Comedy Central’s Hart of the City on Comedy Central). Appearances from Simmer Brown team-members Anthony Bonanzzo (Zanies), Jerry Tran (Tuxedo Cat Comedy) and Raghu Adhibatla (Laugh Factory). Hosted by Hosted by Simmer Brown Founders Prateek Srivastava (NBC Breakout Comedy Festival) and Sameena Mustafa (Chicago Reader 2016 Best of Chicago Comedy). Show begins at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for reception for prepaid ticketholders.

Mainstage Improv Ensemble at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. A new show on Saturdays in May! The Comedy Clubhouse's best seven improvisers will improvise a 75 minute performance. There will be short form audience-interactive improv games, a long form improv set (22 minutes), and a surprise in between.

[LAST SHOW!] 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, MAY 28

Second City Neighborhood Tour begins at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 10:00 a.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tour is written and led by Margaret Hicks, author of Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History.

Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St., 7:00 p.m. Stand-up showcase with Calvin Evans, Shannon Noll, Miles Hendrix, Rebecca Loeser, Noah Rocklin and TCC producers Rebecca Fass and David Philips. Free pizza, free comedy, and free temporary Tuxedo Cat tattoo.

Calvin Evans last month on WCIU’s One Night Stand-Up:

 

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.

May 29

CAMP's Memorial Day BBQ Show at the backyard of 1726 N. Sawyer, 3:00 p.m. (party) and 7:00 p.m. (show) Summer kick-off show. Samantha Berkman hosts Jeff Scheen, Joel Boyd, Matt Kennedy, Le Aboav, Ryan Donahue,
Kendall Klitzke, Ryan J. Rader and CAMP's Tessa Orzech. Admission: $5.

Best of The Second City at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. A revue of Second City's most memorable, greatest hits.

Filed under: Calendars, Entertainment

Leave a comment