Visitors in town: Shane Torres, Katt Williams and Lewis Black. Nate Staniforth is here on Friday. He’s not a comedian, but he’s got some real magic.
At Zanies: Pat McGann, Sam Morill, Jared Logan, Bret Ernst.
At The Improv: Kevin Bozeman, Ralph Harris.
In the news:
Chicagoans and comedy fans will want to make Jamestown, NY their new vacation destination. The National Comedy Center, a long-time dream of Jamestown's home girl Lucille Ball, is due to open there in early August. Earlier this month, the NCC announced the acquisition of Shelley Berman's archive. Shelley Berman was born in Chicago and studied at the Goodman Theatre. He died last September. He was a member of the Compass Players, the earliest incarnation of Second City. Most recently, he starred as Larry David's dad on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but he was long known for his Gold Records, for recording the first Grammy-winning comedy album and as one of the defining comedians of the '50s, '60s and beyond. His archive includes scripts, photos, calendars, correspondence, audio diaries, his Gold Records and other one-of-a-kind materials.
If you missed Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, you can see it here.
Following is this week's spotlight. Please confirm all details and also check out the new Directory of Comedy Venues and (recurring) Shows. Thank you for reading and thank you to the Chicago comedy community.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12
Stand Up for Autism at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:00 p.m. Starring Bradley Kent and Ali Clayton. Bradley has autism and Ali was his caretaker for eight years. They are now good friends and partners in this third annual show which is “all about raising awareness, acceptance, and inclusion.” Also featuring Shane Torres, Reena Calm, Sean Flannery and more TBA.
Having It All at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. “Stories and improvisation about being female.” With Shelby Plummer, Clare Austen-Smith, Audrey Schiffhuar, Mary Catherine Curran, Caitlin Joseph, Olivia Nielson, Jo Scott, Leila Gorstein, Brittany Bookbinder, Rebeccah Singer, Laurel Zoff-Pelton, and Elizabeth Andrews.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13
Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. One of Chicago’s best known comedy showcases. Lots of famous folks launched from here. Tonight: Shane Torres, Matt Brown, Dante Powell, Allison Dunne, Jack Bensinger, Cameron Little, Jacob Lowrey and Kellye Howard. Produced by Meredith Kachel.
Generation Latinx at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. A variety show featuring performers of Latino/a heritage.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14
My Funny Valentine at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
7:30 p.m. Featuring Chris Bader, Adam Burke, Reena Calm, Kellye Howard, Abi Sanchez and more TBA.
9:45 p.m. Featuring Lainie Lenertz, Aaron Sutherland, Tim McLaughlin, Dale McPeek and more TBA.
Second City’s Black History Month Show at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. Cast: Andy Bolduc, Terrance Carey, Kiley Fitzgerald, Maya Haughton, Asia Martin, Seth Thomas, and Rob Wilson. This show is a retrospective of material created by Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Angela Shelton (Frangela), Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Dave Pompeii (The Pomp Show), Sam Richardson (Veep and Detroiters) and more. Also February 21 and 28.
Valentine's Day at ComedySportz, 929 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. You can also purchase a "Date Night," "Matchmaker" or "Galentine" package.
Valentine’s Comedy Showcase at The Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 8:00 p.m.
Love Me Tinder at Laugh Out Loud Theater, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg, 8:00 p.m. “A comedy show about modern romance.”
Kevin Bozeman at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. A special Valentine’s Day show with an optional dinner package.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Ten at the Store, 2002 N. Halsted, 9:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase. Featuring Raghu Adibhatla, Tucker Brookshire, Rashad Clarke, Darius Kennedy, Merrit Landsteiner, Eric Oren, Brad Rickert, Alydar Skyy, Caroline Twyman, and Sarah Vulpio.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16
The 7th Annual Mary Scruggs Festival Works By Women Festival at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 6:00 p.m. Through Saturday with performances and free workshops. Follow link for all details.
Therapy Players at The Outta Space, 6840 32nd Street, Berwyn, 7:30 p.m. Chicago’s all-therapist award-winning improv group.
Nate Staniforth at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 7:30 p.m. Adults often forget how to feel wonder and where to find magic. Magician Nate Staniforth will restore amazement to your life during an evening of real magic. Interview with Nate here ... in which he asks and answers one of the best questions (and answers) I've ever heard: "Why are adults so stern?"
Lewis Black at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 8:00 p.m. The Grammy Award-winning comedian, author, and former Daily Show commentator is here tonight and Saturday night.
WANTED: An Ebony Essence Jet Variety Show at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 9:30 p.m. “EEJ's signature brand of topical and conscious humor, guest poets, stand-up comedians and musical comedy. What you've heard is true: these four African-American women bring their unique humor each and every time.” Ebony Essence Jet is Ashley Bland, Briane Goodrum, Kimberly V. Banks and Lele Mason.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17
I Shit You Not at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 1:00 p.m. Annual Storytelling Show & Chili Cook-Off with an outstanding line-up: Hosted by: Seth Davis and Michael Sanchez. Featured storytellers: Marilee Marilee, Don Hall, Lia Berman, Sean Flannery, Lily Be, Jeremy Owens, and Marz Timms. JUDGES: Monica Eng (WBEZ food writer), Gary Wiviott (Pitmaster, Barn & Company)
The 7th Annual Mary Scruggs Festival Works By Women Festival at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 2:00 p.m. Performances and free workshops. Workshops begin at 2:00 p.m. Shows begin at 6:00 p.m. Follow link for all details.
Lewis Black at North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 8:00 p.m.
Las Locas Comedy Showcase at Busy Beaver Button Co., 3407 W Armitage Ave., 8:00 p.m. This ¡El Primero Anniversary Show! has a fabulous line-up: Las Locas Producers Soli Santos & Janice V. Rodriguez with Audrey Jonas (Hoo Ha Comedy), Lily Be (The Stoop), Kelsie Huff (The Kates, The Jam on the U, Windy City Live), and Deanna Ortiz (Lincoln Lodge, 2 Hour Comedy Hour). Free show. Donations appreciated. Reserve your ticket now. These shows become standing room only and sold out very fast!
A Valentine’s Comedy Show at the Raue Center, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Rachel Bradley and Kevin Bozeman.
Katt Williams at Wintrust Arena, 200 E. Cermak Rd., 9:00 p.m. Katt Williams is a comedian, rapper and actor with numerous television and film credits, including The Tracy Morgan Show, Friday After Next and My Wife and Kids. Controversial, high energy and volcanic, Katt Williams is known for his always fresh perspective. Interesting fact: he emancipated himself as a teenager and before he hit comic success, was a door-to-door salesman. Expect some on-point Chicago-centric humor. I loved this article about him in the Chicago Tribune.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18
The Black Wakanda Panther Party at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 7:00 p.m. Hosted by BAPS Comedy with Nev, Estefany Guzman, Tee Munoz, and Correy Bell.
Prime Day! at The Annoyance Theatre, 861 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. “An Amazonian musical.”
Dad Style Comedy, Live! at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. A comedy talk show for dads with dad guests and dad jokes.
You can stay up to date with Comedians Defying Gravity by typing your email address in the box and clicking the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam, spam, spam, spam free, and you can opt out at any time.