Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, December 23-Sunday, December 29, 2019

Visitors in town: The Harlem Globetrotters.

Janelle James will be at several Laugh Factory shows this week. Details here (too many to list).

Two comedy festivals bring VIPs: DeRay’s Comedy Count Down Festival of Funny with Michael Blackson, Lil Duval, Rickey Smiley, Bruce Bruce, Red Grant, B Simone, Howie Bell, Chico Bean, Chicago’s Sky Days, Mike Tyson and Chicagoans DeRay Davis and Leon Rogers. Comedy Laugh Fest stars Cedric The Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, Nephew Tommy, and returning to his hometown, Deon Cole.

Lots of Chicago stars returning to their hometown this week: Joel Chasnoff, Dewayne Perkins and several original founding members of The Practical Theater Company: Victoria Zielinski, Paul Barrosse, Dana Olsen, Gary Kroeger, Steve Rashid. They bring Eva B. Ross, Daniel Rashid, Emilia Barrosse and Reilly Anspaugh.

All details below.

At Zanies: Pat McGann (Chicago), David Scott a/k/a Mr. Showtime (Rosemont).

At The Improv: Frank Townsend, Rob Schneider.

At Riddles: TBA

Following is this week’s Spotlight. New Year’s Eve calendar is here. Please confirm all details before heading out!

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23

The Mixer at The Playground Theater, 8:00 p.m. Forget holiday stress and get in the real holiday spirit! Improv workshop by top coaches and performers followed by your participation in a long-form show. The Mixer is for everyone at every level of experience from beginners up.

Deck the Hallmark at Second City, 8:00 p.m. “A Greeting Card Channel Original.”

Second City’s Best of the Holidays at Second City, 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Holidays From Hell at iO, 8:00 p.m. “Chicago’s best comedians and improvisers make light of their own nightmare holiday stories.”

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24

Oy to the World at North Bar, 7:00 p.m. “A Very Jewish Christmas Eve” Hosted by Le Aboav and Reena Calm. Stand Up Comedy and Free Chinese Food.

 

Is Comedy Dead? Annual Christmas Eve Comedy Show at Weinstein & Piser Funeral Home, 5:30 p.m. With Rabbi Barry Schechter and Brett Walkow.

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25

Joel Chasnoff’s Christmas for the Jews at City Winery, 6:00 p.m. Doors at 6, show at 8. My favorite holiday tradition! This year features comedy from Joel Chasnoff and Sohrab Farouzesh and mind-blowing feats by mentalist Jason Suran. Joel was kind enough to speak with me here this month and here in 2017.

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26

The Harlem Globetrotters’ Pushing the Limits World Tour at The United Center, 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. “There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt and unforgettable family moments.”

 

Chicago’s Best Stand-Up at The Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. TBA. Includes a special guest.

I’m Not a Comedian … I’m Lenny Bruce at The Royal George Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Review by The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones here.

 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27

Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho Ho Holy Night at The Royal George Theatre, 8:00 p.m. Extend the true holiday spirit with lots of laughs, fun and even prizes! You don’t need to observe Christmas to enjoy. This show is a celebration for everyone! Also Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Last weekend!

A Dope Pop Up Show at The Silver Room, 7:00 p.m. Dave Helem hosts Felonious Munk, Em Brown, Correy Bell, Amy Shanker.  Musical guests ADD-2 and Matt Muse.

Drink Date Laugh at The Laugh Factory, 8:00 p.m. Interactive comedy game show created and hosted by Paul Farahvar. Tonight: Sarah Perry, Amy Shanker, Janelle James and more TBA.

The Young Hustle Show at The Laugh Factory, 10:00 p.m. Featuring Janelle James, Joe McMahon, Clay Hurlbut, Skyler Higley, St James Jackson, Nick Ogle and more TBA. The Chicago Tribune’s Zach Freeman has more about Young Hustle here.

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28

The Practical Theatre Company Presents A “Big Holiday Bag O’ Fun!” at Studio5, Evanston, 8:00 p.m. The Practical Theatre company returns to Chicago with classic and new material! PTC was one of the funniest, most influential companies in Chicago comedy history. Original cast members Victoria Zielinski, Paul Barrosse and Dana Olsen are here with Steve Rashid, Gary Kroeger, Eva B. Ross, Daniel Rashid, Emilia Barrosse and Reilly Anspaugh. Tonight through New Year’s Eve.

Epic personal history of The Practical Theatre Company by Paul Barrosse here. (They were all scooped up by Saturday Night Live.)

 

Dewayne Perkins at North Bar, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Early show sold out fast. Late show just added! The Chicago Tribune’s Nina Metz just talked to Dewayne Perkins this week.

DeRay’s Comedy Count Down Festival of Funny at Arie Crown Theater, 8:00 p.m. Four shows through New Year’s Eve. Different lineups each night and they’re all fabulous. Michael Blackson, Lil Duval, Rickey Smiley, Bruce Bruce, Red Grant, B Simone, Leon Rogers, Howie Bell, Chico Bean and starring DeRay Davis and co-hosted by Black Ink Crew: Chicago’s Sky Days and Mike Tyson. Follow link for details.

Bi-Polar Express Comedy Show at Terminus Theatre, Lake Villa, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Ryan Webb.

Comedy Show: Ugly Sweater Edition at The Watering Hole, 9:00 p.m. Netra MsAlready (Houston Improv, Laugh Factory, Comedy Store) hosts Melissa Richelle (Improv, Zanies, Laugh Factory), Antoine McNeail (Madison, WI 2019 Funniest Person) and special guest BET Comic View Comedian Kevin D. William.

Comedy Laugh Fest at Wintrust Arena, 8:00 p.m. Starring Cedric The Entertainer, featuring D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, Nephew Tommy, and Deon Cole.

 

Chicago’s Best Stand-Up at The Laugh Factory, 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. Great lineups for both shows. Follow link for all details.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29

Sensory Friendly Show at ComedySportz, 2:00 p.m. “A sensory friendly production of our hilariously, long-running ComedySportz® show.”

DeRay’s Comedy Count Down Festival of Funny at Arie Crown Theater, 8:00 p.m. Four shows through New Year’s Eve. Different lineups each night and they’re all fabulous. Michael Blackson, Lil Duval, Rickey Smiley, Bruce Bruce, Red Grant, B Simone, Leon Rogers, Howie Bell, Chico Bean and starring DeRay Davis and co-hosted by Black Ink Crew: Chicago’s Sky Days and Mike Tyson. Follow link for details.

The Practical Theatre Company Presents A “Big Holiday Bag O’ Fun!” at Studio5, Evanston, 8:00 p.m. The Practical Theatre company returns to Chicago with classic and new material! PTC was one of the funniest, most influential companies in Chicago comedy history. Original cast members Victoria Zielinski, Paul Barrosse and Dana Olsen are here with Steve Rashid, Gary Kroeger, Eva B. Ross, Daniel Rashid, Emilia Barrosse and Reilly Anspaugh. Through New Year’s Eve.

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