Chilarious

Lincoln Lodge 10th Season Kicks Off October 1st and 2nd

There is a chance I'm a biased party concerning The Lincoln Lodge.  After all, the kitschy, diner-tastic alternative standup and variety showcase has been my home room the last two years.  And how excellent it has been to grow as a comic under the wing of one of Chicago's most dedicated comedy producers.  The Lincoln Restaurant's waffle fries and straight-talking waitresses haven't hurt the experience either.

The Lodge kicks off its 10th season this week with special guests Brent Weinbach - read up on Brent thanks to Chicago's Kristy Mangel for the Apiary - and Natasha Leggero, and those shows will be rad.  But...did I just type 10th season?  That is the real kicker.

Almost every Thursday and Friday night, October to May, for the past ten years, Brit turned Chicagoan Mark Geary has helmed this show.  Ten seasons.  He's put up the likes of Neil Hamburger and Fred Armisen - big deal alt guys that might not have played anywhere else in Chicago a few years back when they rolled through.  And the Lodge remains a homecoming room for many off-to-the-coasts success stories including TJ Miller, Kumail Nanjaini, and Kyle Kinane

In its ten seasons, the Lodge has seen other great alt venues enter the ring.  Now-established rooms like Chicago Underground Comedy and grand theater spaces like the Lakeshore Theater have helped ensure that Chicago pulls in big name, avant-garde standup acts from around the country.  Newer rooms like Riot Comedy add the energy and focus that can sometimes dissipate in a well seasoned room.  As a result, our scene is pretty darn full to brimming with alternative - and by that I mean not brick-walled comedy club - spaces to work out material without the constant scrutiny of bookers and industry folk.  Comics who have done their first five years of standup in Chicago are tending to melt brains on the national scene.  If Chicago is an incubator for solid, original comedy, the Lodge is one of its brightest lights.  (Did that just make you think of teeny baby comics wiggling around after just being born?  Sick!  You are sick.)

When I moved to Chicago four years ago I got one piece of advice from a friend who had done standup in the city before: Play the Lincoln Lodge.  I had my first opportunity to do so after a year in the scene.  Kumail was on that show.  He destroyed.  I did ok.  But more importantly, I had the chance to watch Kumail work the room, and learn from it.  And since then I've seen Matt Braunger, Mike Olson, Mike O'Connell, and many more tear the place down.  I'm a muich better comic because of it. 

Ten years in and you tend to know some people.  Thankfully Mark Geary and the Lodge put those connections to work for Chicago comedy. 

 

 

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