Chicago, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. TBS Just for Laughs, the biggest comedy festival in the U.S.A., comes to the Windy City for a fourth go-around this year kicking off June 12 through June 17, 2012. The Fest showcases an astonishing array of comedians, sketch shows, specialty acts at some of the city's most iconic venues.
The 2012 edition takes place across 15 locations, including The Chicago Theatre, Akoo Theatre (formerly The Rosemont Theatre), Bank of America Theatre, Park West, The Vic Theatre and Victory Gardens and others.
Confirmed talent for this year includes: Vince Vaughn, Conan O'Brien, Aziz Ansari, Stephen Merchant, Bill Engvall, Billy Gardell, John Pinette, Patton Oswalt, John Oliver, Kevin Smith, Mike Birbiglia, Jeff Ross, Amy Schumer, The Dan Band and Henson Alternative’s Stuffed and Unstrung.
Highlights of this years festival.
The Chicago Theatre.
An Evening with Kevin Smith – Thursday, June 14 at 8:00 p.m.
The creative genius responsible for the films Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, the Characters Jay and Silent Bob and more... Kevin Smith is a talented writer, director, producer, actor and all-around cool guy who will host a no-holds-barred Q&A where the audience is the catalyst to the hilarious and insightful look into the life of this independent spirit.
Conan O'Brien Shows Taping - June 11, 12, 13 and 14, afternoons.
O'Brien will tape four shows at the Chicago Theater from June 11 to 14. Tickets will be distributed via a lottery. To enter go to the Stage 15 Website.
Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive – Friday, June 15 at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
After selling out four shows at the Vic Theatre at TBS Just For Laughs Chicago two years ago, Aziz Ansari returns to the Festival this summer with Buried Alive.
Vince Vaughn’s Comedy Showcase – Sunday, June 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Actor-producer Vince Vaughn, executive producer of TBS’s upcoming sitcom Sullivan & Son, is bringing it back to sweet home Chicago. Vaughn hosts and performs with a group of his comic friends for a special night of surprises and hilarity,
Tickets for the Chicago Theatre shows are available: At the Chicago Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets, Online at ticketmaster.com, By phone at 800-745-3000.
Bank of America Theatre.
Stuffed and Unstrung by Henson Alternative – Tuesday, June 12 to Sunday, June 17 – ADULTS ONLY.
Stuffed and Unstrung is a live uncensored improv show with the Miskreant Puppets and The Jim Henson Company’s renowned puppeteers. Unpredictable and irreverent, it’s never the same show twice. Expert puppeteers create twisted scenes and songs on the fly with live musical accompaniment, as suggestions from the audience prompt the improvised storylines unfolding on stage.
Tickets for the Bank of America Theatre show are available: At the Bank of America Theatre Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets and all Broadway In Chicago box offices, Online at ticketmaster.com, By phone at 800-745-3000
Patton Oswalt – Thursday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Patton Oswalt most recently starred in the feature film Young Adult opposite Charlize Theron in a role that garnered him a Critics Choice Award nomination. He also voiced Remy the rat in Pixar’s Oscarâ-winning Ratatouille, created albums, published books including "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland" that honed in on his obsession with nerdy things and pop culture, colored by traditional Oswalt-ian rage.
John Oliver – Friday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m.
John Oliver has been a writer and correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (the show’s resident Brit) since 2006 – a job for which he has won both an Emmyâ and Writers Guild Award for his writing.
Tickets for The Vic Theatre shows are available: At The Vic Theatre Box Office, Online at etix.com, By phone at 800-514-etix.
Akoo Theatre (formerly Rosemont Theatre).
Bill Engvall, Billy Gardell & John Pinette – Sunday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m.
For the first time ever, Blue Collar Tour veteran Bill Engvall, Mike & Molly star Billy Gardell and stand-up tour de force John Pinette will share the stage for one epic night of comedy at the Akoo Theatre. Tickets for the Akoo Theatre (formerly Rosemont Theatre) show are available: At the Akoo Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets Online at ticketmaster.com. By phone at 800-745-3000.
Amy Schumer – Wednesday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Amy Schumer shot to the forefront of the comedy scene as the stand-out of Comedy Central’s Roast of Charlie Sheen. She has performed on Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, The View, appeared on The Howard Stern Show, and was featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and as Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch this past year.
Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies… - Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Stephen Merchant embarks on his first ever stand-up comedy tour. “Most people don’t realize that I was a stand-up comedian before I met Ricky Gervais and his coat-tails,” says Merchant. “Life can be lonely as a TV writer so this tour is a great opportunity for me to get out there and meet my fans. And make at least one of them my wife.”
Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago – Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at 10:00 p.m.
Roastmaster General Jeff Ross returns to the festival for a second time after his much buzzed about lambasting of Cubs ace Ryan Demster last June. Fresh off his much talked about appearance on the Roast of Charlie Sheen on Comedy Central, Ross forgoes his usual celebrity smearing to set his sights on the common Chicago plebes.
Tickets for the Park West shows are available: At the Park West Box Office, Online at etix.com, By phone at 800-514-etix.
Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend- Tuesday, June 12 – Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.
In Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Birbiglia shares a lifetime of romantic blunders and miscues that most adults would spend a lifetime trying to forget. On this painfully honest journey, he struggles to find reason in an area where it may be impossible to find – love.
Tickets for the Victory Gardens shows are available: At the Victory Gardens Box Office, Online at etix.com, By phone at 800-514-etix.
House of Blues.
The Dan Band – Saturday, June 16 at 9:00 p.m.
Dan Finnerty caught America’s attention as the foul-mouthed wedding singer in the box-office smash Old School, performing his now-infamous rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart. The Dan Band has become a cult phenomenon that has garnered rave reviews from The New York Times, The LA Times, Variety and Rolling Stone among others, and prompted Entertainment Weekly to dub it “the hottest ticket in Hollywood.”
Tickets for the House of Blues show are available: At the House of Blues Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets, Online at ticketmaster.com, By phone at 800-745-3000.
About Just For Laughs.
Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group’s growth is concentrated on four major focal points: Festivals (in Montreal, Toronto and Chicago); television production (most notably Gags seen in 135 countries and on 95 airlines); live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jeremy Hotz, John Pinette, Louis C.K., the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, North American dates for Family Guy Live!); and talent management. Its inaugural Montreal Festival 30 years ago is now the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming 2 million people each summer. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and in a dark alley at the end of the street.