The Ricky Gonzalez Interview

Ricky Gonzalez is a Chicago favorite with a well-earned resume: Co-producer of Comedians You Should Know on Wednesdays, cast member of the great Lincoln Lodge (longest running comedy showcase in America) on Fridays, co-producer of CYSK in Aurora (2 nd Saturday of each month), cast member of the Lincoln Lodge in Hyde Park (Sundays, coming soon). On top of that he teaches a stand up class on Tuesday nights, he’s a pre-school teacher during the day, and during the summer he runs his own summer camp for kids.

His debut album is being recorded all weekend at the notorious Comedians You Should Know venue, Timmothy O’Tooles. His first show is tonight at 8PM and again at 10:30PM, hosted by Danny Kallas. Then, tomorrow’s 8PM & 10:30PM shows are hosted by Jeff Steinbrunner. In this interview, Ricky discusses his days of playing college baseball, preparing for an album, and setting goals in comedy. Enjoy!

How to Properly get Hammered: A Comedian's Guide to Drinking

Personally, I love drinking whiskey before, during, and after a show. You'll hear many working stand-ups giving you unsolicited advice telling you to not drink. This is because they are trying to make you like them, and in my experience, I don't want to be like them because usually they're fat, they smell, and I don't respect them or their comedy. But we are all unique flowers who like to fuck drunk ugly flowers late at night, so if you prefer not to drink, keep it to yourself fatso.

Regardless, this guide is for the people, who enjoy drinking alcohol and have that drug work for them. Alcohol is the comedians coffee. We use it to wake up that part of the brain where we hate, love, and hate again. But there are a lot of mistakes that I've made that I'd like to share to prevent you from walking five miles in the snow because your "friends" didn't want you to drive drunk. The morning hangover, discovering morning texts/phone calls, and finding yourself with an empty wallet is the most common scenario you might find yourself in. Here's ten steps for you to help and prevent you from falling into these common traps.

The Ronnie Ray Interview

Ronnie Ray is an improvisor, actor, and stand up comedian who is infamously known for being on both Playboy TV and Nickelodeon. He has numerous television and film appearances in shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Totally Busted, and in films such as C'mon Man and Save The Last Dance.

After spending years in Los Angeles, he is now back in Chicago where he runs two comedy shows at The WIP Theater: The Ronnie Ray Show, which is an improv, sketch, & stand up variety show on the 4th Friday of every month. And also, The Underdogs of Comedy, which is a stand up comedy show every 2nd Sunday of every month.

In this interview, Ronnie Ray talks about his start in improv at Second City, his TV acting experiences, and words of wisdom for us all. Enjoy!

Weekend Shows!

Stand-Up Comedy at The Virgin Hotel Chicago!
Chris Distefano at Zanies
Chris has worked at all of the top comedy clubs across New York City including but not limited to Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines on Broadway, and The Comedy Cellar.
1548 North Wells St.

The Comedy Bar
Comedian Andrew Norelli performs thru Saturday
500 N LaSalle Street, Chicago IL.
In River North!
(312) 836-0499
Fri - Sat

Some of us Need This....

Comedian Bob Keen
(Editors note: "Swoop" is a slang term coined recently, some say derogatory, for newer comedians in the Chicago scene). 

Happy Swooptober everyone. That magical time of year when college comes back into session and all over the north side of Chicago, young folk with sparkles in their eyes and a hot tinder bit in their notebook wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at noon, counting the minutes until the open mic they're hitting tonight. Their friends told them they're funny; their co-workers insist they're "even funnier than Kevin Hart" around the water cooler. This is their dream, and they're chasing it, dammit! They shelled out the money and took that Second City class and it's time to spread those wings and fly, Icarus, fly!

Hope springs eternal for many new comedians. Fitting, that a group of people notorious for depression would find such hope during the season which serves as such a metaphor for entropy and the withering of vitality. Every night, at open mics all over Chicago, fledgling comedy careers begin in bars, cafe's, and anywhere else one can find a mic, speakers, and somebody willing to listen. This is where it starts. This is where the people that make Chicago America's funniest city hone their craft. Because of the plethora of stage time, Chicago is America's comedy dojo. Nowhere else is such a large, cosmopolitan market; while at the same time safely tucked away from the entertainment industry so as not to fear failing in front of anyone "important." For so many of us, Open mic time is paramount to our development. To keep the teeth sharp, so to speak.

11 Hot Comedy Shows To See This Fall

Well it's official. Its autumn and you can feel the warmth slowly drain out of the air... and your soul. It really was a sweet summer and no one in their right mind is looking forward to another long Chicago winter. But, even though the season is changing, the comedy scene doesn't really suffer. In fact it only gets better. One of the best kept secrets about Chicago is that as the weather gets colder more people actually go out for shows. Any manager of a Chicago club will tell you summer is the slow season. That, coupled with the fact many of Chicago's more famous comedians come back to town for the fall and holiday seasons makes it almost a perfect time for the scene. This fall season is no exception. Here are ten hot local/indie shows that should definitely be on your radar.

Why It's Cool To Give A Shit About The Show You Run

I've ran a lot of shows since I started doing comedy. For the first two years I did stand-up, I lived in an area where if I wanted to get on stage, I had to put together a show. I then moved to bigger area (Chicago) where multiple shows are happening each night. Most of time during these different points in doing comedy, I'd immediately begin running shows with nearly any venue that'd be "willing to give comedy a try". Some of the shows I helped produce, I'm very proud of. Other shows I helped produce, I wish I could use that memory erase thing from Men in Black to make my poor friends who attended those shows forget they ever witnessed that shit. Nothing is cooler than taking a risk and pursuing a dream. Nothing is more embarrassing than taking that risk, and falling on your face in front of people who were in your life before you decided to chase your dreams for 9 to 36 months.

What's Popping

It's another great week of outstanding comedy shows in the Chicago scene which is jumping with hot lineups from national headliners like Dave Attell to local favorites like Russ Williamson. Not only that, but the usual suspects of outstanding indie shows are happening all over town as well. Check out what's popping.

100 Proof Comedy
at The Comedy Sportz Theatre - 929 W Belmont Ave, Chicago Il.
Weekly Monday showcase at a legendary comedy venue. Puts together a great show.
Cody Melcher - Host
Jerry Tran
Kaitlyn Grissom
Dave Metz
Duane Jason Deering
Molly Fite
Sonia Denis
Jacob Williams - Headliner (MTV2)