How to Support Your Local comedy Scene

For comedians, the Chicago comedy scene is a little like sticking your head in a goldfish bowl. Once you plunge in it's pretty much all your gonna be able to deal with. Anything outside this new world gets blocked out rather quickly. But, it's also a very insular world. "Regular folks" who might love stand-up are usually completely ignorant about the dynamic Chicago scene and don't know how much comedy actually happens every day in this town. I'm always a little surprised when I come across "comedy fans" who love the art form but have never been to a show. So with that in mind here some tips on how you can support your local comedy scene.

What's Popping!

Plugged a ton of great shows! Check out what's popping in the Chicago comedy scene this week.

Sadsacks and Wisecracks
at High-Hat Club - 1920 W Irving Park, Chicago, IL.
Super Lineup Tonight;
CJ Sullivan
Ray Holleb
Matteo Lane 
Collin Bullock
Ali Clayton
8 pm FREE
FREE SHOW - What!?
Every Monday - 8PM!

100 Proof Comedy
at The Comedy Sportz Theatre - 929 W Belmont Ave, Chicago Il.
Weekly Monday showcase!
Kristin Clifford - headliner!
Aaron Sutherland
David Heti
Abby Stassen, 
Monday at 8PM!

Joe Rogan + More Weekend Shows...

Woooah. I know it's a bit last minute, but the one and only Joe Rogan is in town tonight and will be doing his wild-man thing at the Chicago theater for one night only. If you know Rogan then you know he's one of the hardest working comics in the country. If your not that familiar with his stand-up, then think of this show as the perfect opportunity to catch him live. Rogan is a true jack of all trades when it comes to entertainment. He's an absolute stalwart on the national stand-up scene, a podcast monster, respected stand-up comedian, actor, martial artist, and sports commentator. Known for his commentating for the UFC commentating and long rants on conspiracy theories. Tonight only at The Chicago Theatre.

Here are a few other comedy options for the weekend...

What's Popping...

Damn, have you ever felt overwhelmed by events in the world and just wanted to shut down and close your eyes... and then have a whole freaking week go by? That's kind of what things have felt like recently. BUT getting back on the bike big time... Here's what's popping in the Chicago comedy scene this week...

Drunk Science w/Sean Flannery
The Comedy Bar - 500 N Lasalle above Gino's East in River North
Sean Flannery is a Chicago comedy monster. His one man shows and drinking themed storytelling show "The Black Out Diaries" has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, The Reader and more. His new show at The Comedy bar seems like a perfect fit. A show about the science of what happens to your brain when you drink, interspersed with funny anecdotes, pictures and more. Above Gino's East in River North. Use promo code "5OFF" to get $5 off your ticket to this Wednesday's show.
Wednesday 8:00PM

Best of The Comedy Exposition!

When the behemoth comedy festival brand "Just for Laughs" decided to pull up it stakes and leave
Chicago, it left the local comedy scene in the lurch wondering what the future would hold. Local comics furiously debated whether this was the end of big festivals in the city or or if some other corporate entity would replace it. But then a group of comedians and producers decided to DIY their own damn festival and The Comedy Exposition was born.

Billing itself as a independent comedy festival that celebrates the best in local and national stand-up, TCE had an amazing debut that went beyond expectations. and now in 2015 is poised for a banner second year.

Co-founder/producer Matt Byrne had this to say about the 2015 festival. 
"I'm so excited that my co-producers and I have been able to create something we're all truly proud of. Taking what we've learned from the success of last year's festival, we've organized what I think is the best weekend of stand up comedy you'll see in Chicago all year. Between the outstanding local comics and the out of town acts coming in from across North America, we've got something really exciting in store for anyone who loves comedy in Chicago."

That said, here are our 5 best picks of The Comedy Exposition of 2015

Rest In Peace - Mike Shapiro

Rest In Peace Michael Shapiro
(Editors note: Chicago comedy scene stalwart Michael Shapiro, passed away a day ago at the tragic age of 25. Anyone that met him knew he was a sincere and genuine person - quick with a joke and a good word. He will be missed. Fellow comedian Nick Sierra wrote this in his honor)

I did stand up comedy for about five years, I stopped on Dec 4 2013, and even though I have missed it every day, I have been very slow going back. See, over that five years, I was treating myself very poorly (especially for the last few years, after a very turbulent experience in my personal life) and I unknowingly started to develop Type 2 Diabetes, while it wasn't the precise reason I had to stop, it was most of the reason. I was having problems at work, and it turns out insulin and blood sugar play a bigger part than you'd think in how your brain functions.

I didn't find out how sick I was until 8 months after I had stopped. I had turned 30 right after deciding I had to stop, which was a decision I made during the month in which I had booked the highest number of, and highest profiled, shows I had ever done. The second to last show I ever did was at pH Theater, and it was the best set of my life. The last show I did was featuring in front of Marty DeRosa, I bombed because Marty makes me so nervous (I'm never just another comedian around Marty, I'm only ever a fanboy, guy's a monster) and for a couple of other reasons.

Why We're F*cking Special...

Every so often, a Chicago stand-up comic does few shows out of town. Regardless of where they go, the one thing they always say is, "Yeah it was fun and all, but I really missed our scene. It just made me realize how good everyone here is and how great a community we have."

Now whether that’s a bias towards our own scene I don’t know. I’ve never spent an extended period of time in any stand-up scene other than Chicago. Talent wise I’ve seen less than one percent of what other towns have to offer. And the Chicago comics who are going out of town have to have similar if not identical experiences to mine. But when I leave, no matter what town I’m in, I feel the exact same way. I think the reason is because of these factors, in no particular order of priority.

4th of July Popping...

Big shows are popping this holiday weekend, here's a few that should definitely be on your comedy radar.

at Henry's Swing Club
18 W Hubbard
Presenting Chicago's finest comedians.
This week's Lineup:
Prateek Srivastava
David Philips
Jay Washington
Doors at 7:30PM - Show at 8PM
18 W Hubbard
One block from Redline
Three Blocks from Brownline

at G-Mart Comics - 2641 N Kedzie Ave
Friday at 8PM

The Laugh Factory
Powerhouse lineup!
Felonious Munk
Dave Helem
Kellye Howard
Pat Tomasulo
Kristen Toomey
Jay Washington
Abi Sanchez
Dan Friesen
Rebecca O'Neal
Chris Bader
3175 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL
(773) 327-3175

Cole's Chicago Cabaret
At Cole's Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave!
Rodescu Hopkins!
Joe Alden McMahon!
Brendan McGowan!
Peter-john Byrnes!
$2 PBRs, $3.50 well drinks + more!
Produced by Alex Kumin, Bill Bullock, Jason Earl Folks, and Peter-john Byrn

Blipsters on Broadway: The First Show!!!
at Stage 773
Sunday at 8:00PM