Comedians Are Sick...

"Eddie Williams was a genius…may he rest in peace"

This sound familiar?

Too often we don't discover the "brilliance" of a performer until its much too late for them to know it. Eddie Williams is not a real comedian nor did he die a death that requires us to posthumously heap hyperbolic praise of his greatness (that I know of). But Patrice O'Neal, , Greg Giraldo, Ron Shock, Yvette Wilson (and the list goes on and on) were all very real and all very funny performers who did not get the roses while they could still smell them. my point is - if you enjoy someone's comedy, enjoy it now! Death don't make punchlines hit harder.

Every comedian, theoretically, has a sickness that has been well-examined by a need to entertain a group of strangers for little to no pay, for years on end, and with varying degrees of success…depending on your gender (kidding). But I'm taking that even further, by saying comedians are FOR REAL sick! 

How Stand-Up Changed My Life

Comedians are a rare breed. Some think we're degenerates. That’s not true. We're strong. We’re
passionate. We’re independent. We’re smart. We’re sensitive. We’re enlightened. We invest in ourselves and the world around us - a world we see differently than most. These aren’t signs of degenerates. It's simply choosing to know ourselves on deeper levels than most care to explore.

When I look back at my pre-comedy life, I can see that I knew something was missing. But I didn’t know what it was or how to fix it. I can only say that I was at a very low point. I wanted to switch careers but kept meeting dead ends. This created a giant sense of failure that seeped into other aspects of my life. I went to a career counselor at one point; she suggested therapy. I told her she had no idea what she was talking about.

A Comic's Guide to Getting Snubbed....

When booking a stand-up comedy show, a certain amount of subjective judgment enters the equation. That means aspiring comics will constantly find themselves being judged, to some degree, before someone gives them the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. As many rooms are booked on the particular taste of the producers and beholden to outside forces (covering the bar minimum, time or content restrictions, asshole bar managers, etc.), it's inevitable that comics aren't going to get into the rooms that they want to, when they want to, all the time. Feelings will get hurt. Rumors will start flying. Newer comics will often take these decisions personally, lash out at the producer that didn't pick them, and, in some unfortunate cases, quit the business all together.

Blind Bet is Turning Two!!

In just two years The Blind Bet Show has gone from being a small independent bar show with a flimsy stage to a Nationally recognized, perfectly intimate showcase with... an aluminum stage. Every Wednesday for the past 2 years The Blind Bet has been host to the some of the best working comedians in Chicago and the country. Amazing big name drop ins, and up and coming talent that is unrivaled in the city. This week they celebrate those 2 amazing years by putting up one of the best lineups they have ever had (and that's saying a lot). Tickets will SELL OUT so get 'em now, because this is one birthday you're not gonna want to miss!

Line up:
Jonah Jurkens
David Drake
Tyson Karrasch
Joey Villagomez (HBO Latino)
Marty Derosa (Comedians You Should Know)
Pat McGann (Letterman, Comedy Central)
Special Guest? Yes!

@The Pony Inn (Upstairs)
1638 W Belmont
Chicago IL
Wednesday Jan. 6th 2016
Doors at 8:15 Show at 9pm

NYE Chicago Comedy Shows!!

Not sure what to do for New Years Eve?
Never fear, we did all the research for you. A ton of fantastic Chicago comedy shows - one to FIT every budget, are happening New Years Eve to help you bring in 2016 with much needed laughs. Plus a major show on New Years Day @ 6PM.

So... Got money to burn? Great. On a budget? No problem. We tried to list as many diverse options as Chicago has to offer. A little something for everyone's pocket book is represented. Have fun and be safe... See you next year.

New Years Eve Comedy Extravaganza
Laugh Factory Chicago
Laugh Factory is having two NYE shows - The New Years Eve Comedy Extravaganza & Countdown Comedy Bash. Includes a champagne toast for your New Year's Eve revelry. With a VIP admission ticket, skip the line and get escorted directly to your seat. Call 773-327-3175 for details or visit the Laugh Factory Website

The Balancing Act...

Watch Kelsie Huff this Sunday! - 18 W Hubbard, 8PM
When I started the kates eight years ago I was a struggling comedian. I just finished my first one woman show and loved the idea of writing and performing solo material but didn’t know what to do with that skill. My heart wasn’t in sketch and improv anymore. I didn’t have an agent. I didn’t want to move to a coast. I felt stuck. So like most lost performers I hung out with my friends and complained. A lot. A super lot. A super duper lot. That got boring.

So I decided to do something. I figured the only way to get unstuck was to work. I was going to become a better comedian and since no one was handing me gigs I decided to make my own. I found a free space at an indie bookstore, invited other lost (talented) women to perform, invited a few folks to watch. One performance became two - which became three - which turned into a monthly showcase called Comedy at Kate the Great’s Book Emporium. When the small Edgewater bookstore closed, I took the name the kates to our current location at The Book Cellar. I called it the kates to remind myself that no matter what happens in my comedy career I will always have the power to create my own opportunities and that I can choose to be surrounded by supportive, sparkly talented people. That’s how I became a producer/performer.

The Thing About Hecklers...

By far and away and without a doubt, the two most frequently asked questions I’ve gotten over and over since I started teaching standup comedy are: “When will I need a manager?” and “What do I do about hecklers?” I laugh every time I hear either question, but they get asked constantly. Nothing could be less important in one’s first year of comedy than these two questions, but I’m going to deal with the heckler issue.

In a word, RELAX. There are no secrets, and there is no peril. It’s all a myth – just like the one that says women love men with a sense humor best, but that’s another topic for another day. I’ll focus my energy on stomping out this fire before attempting anything else. This needs attention. First off, there are far more important things to think about when learning this difficult craft. Getting heckled should not even begin to be part of the conversation until much later. Does it happen? Of course it happens. Every stand-up comic eventually has to deal with this issue to one degree or another, but in one’s early stages of development it’s a non issue.

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!