October 24, 2014

Interview with Mike Lebovitz!

Everything about Mike Lebovitz is hilarious. His wildly energetic, off-beat yet "classic comedy" style has made him a well deserved Chicago favorite. One of the founding members of the popular Chicago-based collective, Comedians You Should Know, Mike is recording his debut album in his home town/club this weekend (Fri at 9PM & Sat at 8:30PM & 10PM), at Timothy O'Toole's. We sat down with Mike inside the showroom of Timothy O'Toole's (the very home of CYSK) to get the low down on his new album recording.

THE ALBUM

COMEDY OF CHICAGO: What are your thoughts about your set going into this album recording?

MIKE LEBOVITZ: I don’t want it to be TOO polished, ya know what I mean? Like, I want to be able to be strong and hard hitting and have the material work, but I still want to be able to make a connection with the people in the room. When you listen to it, I want you to feel like you’re part of the crowd.

COC: Is there any particular theme for the album?

ML: Eh, basically I just kinda wanna put it all down. I want to make an imprint and say, “This is where the act was at on October, 2014.” And that will be there forever. I feel like I have an hour that I like and I won’t always have that hour. So, I feel like it’s time to put it on record—literally!

October 23, 2014

The Controversial Definitive Answer To Your Halloween Comedy Show - By Jeff Hansen

On the surface, it would seem the marriage between stand-up comedy and Halloween is a perfect one.

Right? Wrong.

Beneath the surface of this "white, picket fence, two and a half kids, great business jobs" relationship lies a dark underbelly of controversy, lies, hate, and malice. Is it North side Halloween? Is it South side Halloween? East side? West? Northcoast Halloween? South by Southwest Austin Halloween? Are there more ghouls than ghosts? Are you an all ghost show? Do too many of your ghosts have beards? Do you have at least one skeleton on the show to keep it REALLY Halloween? Can you even really say you're a Halloween show WITHOUT a skeleton?
Put on your favorite mask, think of a half-assed backstory twelve minutes before your set, tell a few play-on-word jokes, and VOILA. You just did Halloween Comedy.

Good. Fucking. Christ.

Yeah. It's a lot to handle.

October 22, 2014

Interview with Yannis Pappas

Yannis Pappas (international headliner from Brooklyn) is bringing his variety show to Chicago at the UP Comedy Club this weekend. Yannis has been featured on CBS, ABC, BET, MTV, AXS TV, VH1, and Comedy Central. He's well known for his characters, Maurica Rodriguez and Mr. Panos who have become internet sensations generating millions of views on YouTube.

Yannis’ comedic journey has been nothing close to ordinary. He survived being shot, and he’s also been struck by lightning. A true survivor who is one of a kind, and was nice enough to share his crazy tales, along with tips on how to prepare for a TV special, and what it takes to have a long, successful career in this industry.

October 20, 2014

Clean Makes Green

Dobie Maxwell
As I sat around looking at my laundry list of topics, subtopics and tangents I wanted to address concerning the subject of standup comedy, the one I think is most important to get to before even thinking about getting started with anything else is the term “clean”. What does it mean exactly?

I’ve been around a long time and this has always been a major point of heated discussion to the point of bitter argument. The term itself is rather cloudy, and has a different meaning to everyone who uses it. It’s like describing a potential blind date’s looks to a friend using the word “cute”.

October 17, 2014

Stewart Huff Album Recording - MONDAY!

Stewart Huff Album Recording!
at 100 Proof Comedy

This entire post is just a big plug for a great show on Monday. Stewart Huff will be recording his new album at The ComedySportz Theatre as part of the 100 Proof Comedy presents showcase. This is a rare opportunity to catch Huff performing in Chicago. Highly Recommended. Check out the press release then get your tickets before it sells out.

"Stewart Huff, who just premiered his five star one-man show at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival, will be appearing for ONE NIGHT ONLY to record his next album at The ComedySportz Theatre on Monday, October 20th for two shows at 8 and 10pm. He is teaming up with the producers of 100 Proof Comedy (named Chicago’s “Best Venue for Stand-Up” by The Chicago Reader) for an unforgettable evening of laughs.

Huff has performed in comedy clubs nationally and internationally, including the Improv in Los Angeles and New York, the Punchline in Atlanta and the Funny Bone in Omaha, as well as countless others. A finalist in the 2006 Boston Comedy Festival, Huff was also invited to perform in the HBO Las Vegas Festival and the Aspen Comedy Festival. He was also featured in the documentary Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages and recently appeared on Laughs on FOX. He is often considered by other comedians–as well as audiences–as one of the best working comics today."

October 16, 2014

HACK - By: Martin Morrow

Webster's Dictionary describes a hack as "a rough cut, blow or stroke".

Any number of comedians would say a hack is something entirely different. Some believe it comes down to being unoriginal - something that has been done before being done again. I've seen a thousand Barack Obama impressions. Out of that thousand maybe 2 were good. I've seen a thousand Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions. Same thing. But if that's "hack" then wouldn't that make abortion, race, and drug jokes hack too? 

Johnny Carson was making pot jokes to the point where NBC execs told him to lay off or it might bring trouble. So is it any "edgier" now that marijuana is mainstream or would that indeed make jokes about smoking weed hack? Maybe the mainstream itself is what's hack. Jokes of celebrities, current events, politics or saying the word "hashtag" in a bit are THE mainstream now but if what's new is hack and what's old and worn is hack then...what are we left with?

October 15, 2014

James Fritz @ The Comedy Bar!

Although we plugged a ton of shows on Monday - we wanted to be extra certain to make sure this particular show was on your radar.

James Fritz @ The Comedy Bar
at The Comedy Bar
157 W Ontario
Chicago, IL 60654
773.387.8412

Fritz is back in Chicago! Catch him performing 4 shows at The Comedy Bar this weekend, Oct 17-18. James was a staple of the Chicago comedy scene before he moved to L.A. This is a don't miss opportunity to catch Fritz perform at proper club venue before he leaves again. Recommended!

Check out this short clip then use the code below for 1/2 price tickets!

October 14, 2014

8 Mics In One Night!


Conor & Nick at Shit Creek
On 9/31/14 - Conor Cawley and Nick Martin tried to hit every Tuesday Open Mic in Chicago (or at least as many as possible). They had fun, learned lessons, and were issued expensive citations by the Chicago police. Here’s what happened…

Shit Creek
Nick: The night started off amazingly thanks to this must try room. You have good hosts, a non-comic crowd, cheap drinks, a stage backdrop made from an abandoned fence and elaborate poo-based marketing tactics. There’s contests and trophies and they raffled off a bottle of whiskey to comics. Seriously, Miles and Levi go out of their way to make the room accepting and fun. As for my set, this was the first time I did the material I did all night and I watched it improve in the span of three hours.