July 30, 2014

Weekly Top 5

It's been a few months but it's back - The Weekly Top 5! This segment gives out proper respect to events and/or artists that are rocking the scene. This list is subjective, based on opinions and only covers events we actually went to. So of course, we missed some shit. Here are the 5 BEST THINGS that happened last week.

Bill Cruz
The Roast of Bill Cruz: Chicago's favorite Gay Mexican, Bill Cruz is moving to Los Angeles so he had a "going way week" of shows which culminated in a roast of Bill at the super dive bar Galway Bay on Sunday night. I was there. It was epic and legendary at the same time. Hosted by CJ Sullivan, the line up was a nice who's who of the Chicago scene, but it was Bill himself that gave the performance of the night roasting the panel so hard (Sean Flannery, Junor Stopka, Adam Burke, Sean White & Adam Kroshus) that at one point I almost fell off my chair. Unfortunately it was such a good time that Bill, in fact did fall down after the show and practically broke his ankle. He now has a serious sprain which has thrown a small wrench in the whole going away scenario. Looks like poor Bill won't be moving until September. Get better Bill we love you.

July 29, 2014

Super Tuesday.

Tuesday night has so much comedy goodness crammed up inside of itself it's almost weird. Over 16 + shows and mics are going on tonight that are listed with lineups for showcases and links for all. Get out and support if you can...

The Three Cees
at Celtic Crown Public House - 4301 N. Western Ave.
Junior Stopka
Andrew Halter
Maggie Ednieow
Sam Norton
Jeff Steinbrunner
Jamie Campbell
Just $2!!!!!
Doors at 8pm - Show at 9pm

Hoo HA Comedy
at Hoo HA Comedy - 3700 N Clark

July 28, 2014

My 3 Weeks as a Female Comedy

"Brittany Heldson"
So, let’s start from the beginning. A few months ago I got really fed up with my pursuit of standup comedy. I was out one night and went home in a cab disgruntled and thought to myself “I’m done.”

My definition of done is kind of stupid. I still will go up from time to time if someone asks me to come out and do a show or something. I liken my current pursuit of standup comedy to The Undertaker or Triple H, I don’t do every show, but will come out for pay per views.

Fast forward about two months, I get fired from my job and was sitting at home. I was knocking around the idea of performing as a woman character. Now, I am lazy and don’t really own wigs or woman’s clothing… so I decided to make a character online before I ever performed as her. I made up the name Brittany Heldson and decided to go for it.

It’s actually surprisingly easy to find stock photos of women of all kinds on the internet. I lucked out and found a huge stockpile of photos from a burlesque performer from Missouri by just Google searching “circus headshots” (Brittany’s background was a circus/burlesque performer).

July 25, 2014

Writing Parody

Recently I was watching Last Comic Standing and it got to the episodes where the comics had to do challenges outside of stand up. Some of them were great, some of them…not performances I would want to represent me on TV.

The only real lesson I remember from my finance minor is to diversify. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, because… well, you could drop that basket and then you don’t have any damn eggs.

One comedian who is really great with this is Just Nesh (Taneshia Rice). She is always posting vines, parody videos, comedic songs, selling merchandise at her shows. That’s why it is so important to take advantage of different aspects of comedy - take some improv classes at Second City, iO, Annoyance, Comedy Sportz- they are all great for different reasons. Join a sketch comedy group, write something that isn’t stand up, go watch comedic plays.

July 24, 2014

Nothing is Off Limits

If you randomly give strangers in Burlington Coat Factory your unique views on rape, gender roles and the mentally handicap, you’re a crazy person. If you go to a comedy show and are offended simply because these topics are brought up, you’re a crazy person.

Comedy can be an effective way to actually inform and expand minds on important issues, simply because it’s the only place where nothing is out of bounds. Just within the past century, there’s been a dramatic evolution in thinking on a wide range of important issues that nobody even questioned for thousands of years. A lot of those mind shifts can be traced back to comedy—stand-up, specifically. And while we’ve come a long way, we still have a long road ahead. Stand-up will not only play a role in us moving forward, without it, we can’t and we won’t. Government PSAs and your uncle’s facebook post, just aren’t going to cut it.

July 23, 2014

Evolution of a Sh*t Show

Rasa Gierstika
The Shit Show comedy showcase has been a work in progress for a few years now. It started as a weekly open mic that had aspiring and seasoned performers come and try out new material. The premise behind the open mic was to have safe and fun place where people interested in performing would have fun in a supportive environment. When I first decided to try open mics and get rid of my stage fright, I found that the scene wasn't always the most welcoming and supportive of new comics.

Since a lot of the same comics frequented the same open mics it was easy to see that they forged friendships with each other which made it more intimidating for someone who was new and was starting out in standup. Running a show by yourself is one of the hardest jobs someone can take on so when Ever Mainard and I decided to do the open mic together the idea was to start a fun open mic where comics would feel comfortable trying out whatever material they wanted with no judgments and the show’s personality started to evolve into the show it is now.

July 22, 2014

Interview With Danny Kallas

Danny Kallas is one of the five Chicago-based comedians and producers of the tremendously successful showcase, Comedians You Should Know. Alongside Marty DeRosa, Joe Kilgallon, Mike Lebovitz, and Michael Sanchez (current members), Danny started the showcase back in 2008, and it has been rockin’ audiences ever since.

Danny’s list of accomplishments only skyrockets from there. He has been named one of funniest comedians in Chicago, was the winner of Snubfest 2009 (and host 2014), and has participated in numerous comedy festivals including Just For Laughs in Chicago and the Laughing Skull Festival in Atlanta.

After a recent performance at the “Chicago’s Best Stand Up” show at the world famous Laugh Factory, Danny was nice enough to share his advice on what it takes to not only be a great stand up, but to also run a great showcase. Danny was a little drunk during the interview, which made the conversation more enlightening and even more entertaining. Enjoy...

July 21, 2014

What's Popping

Yo! Plugging a ton of sweet comedy shows and hot mics for the week. Get out and support while the weather's great. Here's what's popping in the scene this week.

Performance Anxiety
at The Pleasure Chest Chicago
Showcase @ an adult toy store.
Brandie Posey
John-Michael Bond
Irene Tu
Brock Wilbur
Grace Lusk
Sean White

Best Night Ever!
at GMan Tavern - 3740 N Clark St
Joshua Murphy - Host
Alex Stone
Ruthie Lichtenstein
Jesse Baltes
Brock Wilbur
John-Michael Bond
Brandie Posey
Bill Cruz - Headliner!
8PM - FREE! - $4 Drafts