Category: Interviews

The COVID Council of Comedians: Pandemic Purchases Revealed!

It happened again this morning. It happens every morning. The ominous thuds on the doorstep. The whump whump of objects thrown against concrete. An engine revs then accelerates outside. Again the dreaded question: What the heck did I order this time? To paraphrase a current game on social media, following are five items I may... Read more »

The COVID Council of Comedians Convenes!

Turn to the comedians! That’s how I get through good times and bad. Let’s say it’s pouring torrential rain in the midst of a global pandemic. Several weeks ago your hair went Cruella de Vil and your spouse is stomping around the house because of … well, whatever the latest quaranscream irritation is. And you’re... Read more »

The Unstoppable Momentum of Brendan Gay

Talking with Brendan Gay, something sprang to mind. It was a conviction I have, but don’t often say – that comedians are the high priests of our culture. They articulate issues that we don’t know how to express. They reveal perspectives we hadn’t considered. They’re unflinchingly honest. Whatever insight they bring, they lift us up... Read more »

Hold On, But Don’t Hold Still! Kristina Kuzmic’s new memoir will change your world

If Kristina Kuzmic were a different type of person, she would be traveling to Chicagoland this Thursday to promote a cookbook. She would be sitting on top of a cooking show empire. She could have been the new face of culinary artistry. That’s the dream that television execs offered her just a few years back.... Read more »

D’s Mixed Nuts will crack you up! A Q&A with Denise Medina

She may not have known it at the time, but Denise Medina was well-prepared to become one of Chicago’s fastest rising comedy stars. Now 52, the mom of two teenage daughters has blazed her own path since she was a student at Northeastern Illinois University. Back then, she envisioned becoming an intern at one of... Read more »

The legendary Practical Theatre Company returns for four nights only! A Q&A with Paul Barrosse

In just a few short days, if you’re in the right place at the right time, a rare comedy portal will open and you’ll have a chance to step through it. That’s the vision I had as I spoke with Paul Barrosse. I saw a capsule filled with laughter, raucous originality, comedians, music, and Saturday... Read more »

When Joel Chasnoff is in town, Christmas is for everyone

The last trick-or-treater had just departed. Seconds later all of it started. Jingle bells. Ho ho ho. Happy shouts. Biggest birthday party in the world … Not invited. Left out. Actually that’s no longer true. Now major winter celebrations include all us Jews. Santa’s not the only one traveling the globe. There’s also a holiday... Read more »

John Stoops and The Revival: How improv returned to Hyde Park

There’s a northeast corner in Chicago’s Hyde Park, specifically the corner of 55th Street and University Avenue that emits an energy so powerful that astronauts can see it from space. I can’t swear that’s true but if it’s not, it should be. During a sweltering July in 1955, comedy as we know it was born... Read more »

Comedian Daniel Van Kirk's new album is one of the reasons he's saying "Thanks Diane"

A few years back, two nine year-olds bought a hand grenade at a flea market in Princeton, Wisconsin. When mom found out, she marched the boys back to the vendor and demanded an explanation. Being a salt-of-the-earth Midwesterner, he had a memorable reply. This explosive story really happened to Daniel Van Kirk’s family. I badly... Read more »

The doctor is in and he's got an all-star lineup! A Q&A with Dr. Bill Miller about “Comedians Helping Comedians”

If laughter is the best medicine, I want to see a top expert! Problem is, it can take months to get an appointment with the best doctor. But this time you don’t have to wait. Zanies can get you in to see Dr. Bill Miller and his team of premier comedic talents next Wednesday, November... Read more »