Nell Scovell: March 27 at Logan Theatre. A screening of Sabrina The Teenage Witch with the show's creator, Nell Scovell! After the show, Nell sits down with the A.V. Club's Gwen Ihnat "to discuss Sabrina's legacy, continued relevance and upcoming reboot." Nell's new memoir, Just the Funny Parts: ... And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club was released on March 20. Her writing credits also include The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown and many more. Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week.
Nell Scovell: March 28 at Venue Six10. A conversation with Nell and Mellody Hobson (President of Ariel Investments): "From the Hollywood Boys' Club to #MeToo." Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week.
Julia Sweeney: Sundays March 31-April 22 at Second City.The Saturday Night Live alum, actor and bestselling author is debuting her one-woman show Older and Wider at Second City and it's an absolute treat. Never-before-heard stories about her post-SNL life, including relatable doozies about parenting (and empty-nesting) on Chicago’s North Shore. The official run is April 24-May 30. Get tickets in advance - this show has been a sold-out hit even in workshopping mode!
Rachel Bloom and the cast and songwriters of Crazy Ex Girlfriend: April 4 live at The Vic.
Nemr: April 6 at The Laugh Factory. Nemr grew up in the United States and Lebanon. He became a comedian in Lebanon and pioneered stand-up in the Middle East where he's known for selling out 5000-seat venues. He says,"No politics, no religion, one love." His name means "tiger" in Arabic and I love that the Hebrew word for "tiger" is pretty much the same. Just as he says! Be connected, not divided. He is an ambassador to the world.
Maria Bamford: April 7 at The Genesee Theater. Stephen Colbert told Maria Bamford that she is his "favorite comedian on Planet Earth" (many would say, "same here!"). She is known for giving voice to everything universal about human dysfunction in a way that makes all of us less alone. She starred in the hit Netflix series Lady Dynamite which was based on a surreal version of her actual life.
Jeff Garlin: April 8 at Zanies. Jeff Garlin is a Chicagoan, actor, author, and co-star/executive producer of the fearlessly honest HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Paula Poundstone: April 12 at The Genesee Theater. Paula Poundstone possesses one of the quickest minds of all time. She is known for making every show different and as one of the stars who consistently makes Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! so entertaining.
Horatio Sanz: April 12 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Richard Roeper interviews SNL alum Horatio Sanz as part of the Museum's "Conversations in Comedy" series. Get tickets soon! They will sell out! And go see the Museum’s Saturday Night Live exhibit! You can take the tour tonight before the discussion or if you can't, it's here through the end of the year.
Kevin Hart: April 14 - 15 at the United Center. Kevin Hart’s “Irresponsible” Tour. Night #1 is already sold out! (He’ll be in Peoria on April 26.)
Nicole Hollander: April 19 at Swedish-American Museum: Book launch for the creator of the internationally syndicated cartoon Sylvia. She has just released her first long-form memoir We Ate Wonder Bread: A Memoir of Growing Up on the West Side of Chicago. She has also published sixteen Sylvia collections. Her memoir is a coming-of-age story “starring the gangsters, the glamorous, the bed bugs, the (enviable) Catholic girls, the police, the jukebox, the fortune teller, and the blue Hudson--the family car, always at the ready for frequent drives into better neighborhoods.” If you’re in Ohio, you can find Nicole Hollander's archives at the Cartoon Library at Ohio State, a rare honor she shares with Roz Chast and Bill Watterson.
Bill Murray: April 19 at the Chicago Theatre with Jan Vogler. A celebration of American music and literature.
Chris Kattan and Friends: April 20-23 at Zanies. Chris Kattan was on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2003. His was Mr. Peepers, Mango, Azrael Abyss, Kyle DeMarco from The DeMarco Brothers, Suel Forrester and one half of the head-bobbing “Night at the Roxbury” Butabi Brothers with Will Ferrell. This show will be rotating between Chicagoland Zanies in Chicago, Rosemont and St. Charles.
Stephen Colbert: April 21 at Northwestern University. Northwestern is not kidding when it calls tonight "A Starry Night." Stephen Colbert hosts a performance with his fellow School of Communication alums and current students. Performers include Katherine Hahn, Ana Gasteyer, Marg Helgenberger and more. Follow link for all details. Expensive, but as Northwestern says, it's a "once-in-a-generation celebration."
Arsenio Hall: April 21 at Zanies in Rosemont. The award-winning comedian, actor, and talk show host (and Celebrity Apprentice winner) returns to his comedy hometown.
John Cusack: May 4 at The Chicago Theatre. John Cusack hosts a screening of High Fidelity followed by a conversation with the audience and a Q&A.
Chris Rock and Rainn Wilson: May 12 at Steppenwolf's 2018 Gala. Emceed by Rainn Wilson with an auction co-hosted by Chris Rock. Candace Jordon broke the news on her ChicagoNow blog, Candid Candace. Rainn Wilson stars in Steppenwolf’s The Doppelganger from April 5 through May 27.
The Onion Comedy and Arts Festival: May 30-June 3. David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, John Hodgman, Chris Gethard, Jo Firestone, Helltrap Nightmare and more. Follow link for schedule.
David Cross: June 1 at The Chicago Theatre (Onion Comedy and Arts Festival). In addition to his stand-up, David Cross is known for HBO’s Mr. Show and for playing Tobias Funke in Arrested Development.
Joe Rogan: June 8 at The Chicago Theatre. In addition to being a stand-up for twenty years and an internationally touring headliner, Joe Rogan is also the creator and host of one of iTunes' most popular podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Carol Burnett: June 12-13 at The Chicago Theatre. I’ve mentioned this Carol Burnett appearance in ticket alerts before, but definitely worth mentioning again! Carol Burnett created one of the best, most legendary sketch variety shows in television - well, really, comedy history. You can see the Carol Burnett Show nightly on Me-TV. It's as funny today as it was in the '60s and '70s.
Kathy Griffin: June 28 at The Chicago Theatre. Tickets for Oak Park native Kathy Griffin's "Laugh Your Head Off" tour are going fast. Her Carnegie Hall date is already sold out! Kathy Griffin disappeared from comedy for a while after last summer’s brandishing-a-head incident. I didn't think she needed to go away. I missed her and I'm very happy she’s back.
Alan Cumming: July 13 at Ravinia. Alan Cumming brings his critically acclaimed “Legal Immigrant” storytelling show to Ravinia. Tickets go on sale on May 8.
Whoopi Goldberg: August 3 at Ravinia. She’ll be talking about current events and other topics on her mind. Whoopi Goldberg is one of only twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. This comedy genius was discovered by Mike Nichols who got his comedy start in Chicago (after he left University of Chicago's pre-med program). Tickets go on sale on May 10.
Steve Martin and Martin Short: August 12 at Ravinia. The return of their hit show “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.” Tickets go on sale on May 10.
Aparna Nancherla: October 26 at Thalia Hall. Aparna Nancherla’s Chicago shows always sell out! She is known for being honest, open, and also very, very funny about things like anxiety and anything that might be haunting her (and probably us all) at the time. She wrote for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and Late Night with Seth Meyers, voiced the character Hollyhock on BoJack Horseman and has appeared on The Jim Gaffigan Show, Crashing, Master of None and 2 Dope Queens. The Los Angeles Times calls her a “rising comic force.”
Bill Burr: November 8-10 at The Chicago Theatre. Since I saw this video, I hear all recipes in Bill Burr’s voice (especially Thug Kitchen). I'm proud to be an irate cook, too. Bill Burr's work includes the comedy specials Why Do I Do This, You People Are All The Same and I’m Sorry You Feel That Way, the Netflix animated series F is for Family and his Monday Morning podcast. Bill Burr's first two Chicago shows in November are already sold out and it's not even April - third show still available - get tickets soon! UPDATE, MARCH 23: 4th show just added.
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.