Wild West Comedy Festival

Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Festival (April 14 - April 19) in Nashville Tennessee, is quickly becoming one of the largest and most important comedy festivals in the country. Only in its second year, the lineup is literally a who's who list of the best comedians working today. Gotta say - I was blown away with some of the all star comics being featured this year - Kevin hart, Hannibal Buress, Doug Benson and Tig Notaro just to name a few. Furthermore the festival takes place at some of the most iconic venues and clubs in Nashville - from the historic Ryman Auditorium to the legendary Zanies comedy club. Also it's a completely doable trip for all you Chicago comedy fans. Nashville is only a 40 minute plane ride and about a seven hour drive for those of you up for it. So do your self a favor  and get your tickets ASAP. Check out the insane lineup this year:

Feminine Comique

Are you a female that has always wanted to try stand-up comedy, but for whatever reason has yet to give it a real shot. Well check out the video clip and learn all about Feminime Comique - a comedy course for women by women.

Join the FemCom revolution and get your first taste of stand up. Feminine Comique is a beginners foundation course that strives to give prospective female performers the confidence and skills they need to begin a career in comedy. The course was created by Cameron Esposito and classes are taught by Chicago comedian (and our own staff writer) Kelsie Huff.

Interview with Jeff Steinbrunner

Jeff Steinbrunner is more than just a familiar name floating around the Chicago comedy scene. He is a go-to favorite comedian, and is easily becoming a city staple. One of the producers of the Chicago Underground Comedy showcase, and also an associate producer of the popular showcase Comedians You Should Know, Steinbrenner has performed in the Limestone Comedy Festival in Indiana, he was named “Best of the Fest” at the Accidental Comedy Festival in Ohio, and he performs regularly at The Laugh Factory. He also runs a brand new open mic called "Trigger Warning" on Monday nights at The Drop Lounge, a 4AM bar in Lincoln Park next door to Bricks Pizza.

This interview took place at Chicago’s historic burger joint, Kuma’s Korner, where we talked about comedy, writing, and annoying mistakes that comics should try to avoid.


You started in Ohio. What was it like moving to Chicago for comedy?

I came here right after Hannibal (Buress) had just started making national headlines, T.J. (Miller) had already been in a couple movies, and Kyle (Kinane) had just gotten his first special. Me and a ton of other people showed up at the same time, so comics already in the scene were like, “Who the fuck are all these people?!” [laughs]

Hey Huff: How Do I Promote Myself Like A Pro?

Hey Huff is a bi-monthly advice column for stand-up comedians. Please send your anxiety riddled issues to kelsie@comedyofchicago.com

Hey Huff,
I know that you have to market yourself as a stand-up but I’m so bad at that. Where do I even start and how much is it going to cost me?! - Trying to Go Pro

Hey Trying to Go Pro -
The number one goal of a stand-up is to create tight sets but it’s also important to create a tight, accessible promo “packet”. Whether you are marketing yourself to a club, applying to a festival, or approaching an agency you will need to submit marketing material. This material may include: video clips, headshots, bios, and contact information. Having all this information in one central location is key, and that means a website. Your website should be your marketing hub and is a huge part of selling yourself like a pro.

Whats Popping...

OK, lets not beat around the bush. It's almost April and it's f**king snowing - and yeah that sucks since most of us are completely over this winter shit. But... this is exactly what makes us tougher then most right? Chicagoan's make the most of a bad winter like no other. That said, check out what's popping in the Chicago comedy scene this week.

at Zanies - 1548 North Wells St.
Chicago's own powerhouse comedian - as seen on Comedy Central, The Tonight Show & The Late Show with David Letterman. This is a real treat for Chicago comedy fans and a rare opportunity to catch Palascak, who is legitimate a Chicago comedy monster. Catch him at Zanies before he goes back on tour.Tuesday - Sunday!

Set to Scene
at iO Chicago - 1501 N. Kingsbury St
Improvised stand up sets at the world famous iO theater
Hosted by Tyson Karrasch & Nicholas Rouley
Every Monday!

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.

Video Saturday - Betting on Basketball

It's Video Saturday - The segment where we post some of the best videos we can find of Chicago comics (past and present) doing their thing.

Hannibal Buress has been slowly taking over the world and we've been his following his career ever since he left Chicago. For those of you in Chicago who live in a cave.. check out this clip from his comedy Central special.

Experimental Comedy!?

I wager plenty of readers find the term, “experimental comedy” off-putting and pretentious. It’s probably because the label is vague and boring. But strange and inventive comedy is anything but boring! I define experimental comedy as a deliberate attempt to break convention in attempt to make people laugh. Or simply, doing something that doesn't traditionally make people laugh in hopes that they, surprisingly, laugh.

Ironically, most of my stand up is traditional bits based in misdirection and strong opinions. However, I've tried a variety of experimental ideas and only a few consistently work.. As with most experiments, the results come back negative. But when they work--they really really work! Like gravity! Or those anti-impressions Zach Galifinakis invented. I throw most experimental ideas away, but I find trying them pleasurable enough.

The Dwayne Kennedy Interview

Dwayne Kennedy is legendary among the Chicago comedy scene. A major influence for comedians like C.J. Sullivan and Kyle Kinane, Dwayne Kennedy has quite the comedy resume: He was on Seinfeld and in the movie How High, along with appearances on The Orlando Jones Show and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. He has performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, LateNight with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Premium Blend, Comedy Central Presents, and he has his own comedy special on Showtime.

In this interview Dwayne shares his advice and wisdom about his writing process, performing on television, and what it was like to work with Jerry Seinfeld.