Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two black dudes and an open microphone

Clark Jones and Will Miles
Danny Kallas
Went to go see the "Two black guys and an open microphone" show at the town hall pub last night.  This is a monthly show that is hosted by Clark Jones and Will Miles

These two guys are some of the hardest working comics in the Chicago scene, braving both the north AND south side to perform gigs, sometimes in the same night which is no small feat.  Now each one of these dudes can hold their own on stage with good material and sharp wit.  But for me it’s when they both get on stage that the magic happens.

Something about the of them on stage together really sparks up the room.  Maybe it’s the fact that they have know each other since high school.  The chemistry and timing on stage is near perfect.  If an act goes up and it’s less then stellar, they know how keep the energy up, keep the show moving and aren’t afraid to talk shit when shit needs to be talked.

The fact that the place was standing room only when I got there, and that a ton of comics were waiting to perform is a testament to how respected the show is.  Lots of comics took the stage, here are some I liked.  Danny Kallas.  This guy cracks me the fuck up.  He is always up for it, you know what I mean?  He just literally does not give a fuck.  

If you didn’t think anyone could write a successful joke about using a newborns soft spot of the skull to wipe your ass, well… Danny can.  Drew Michaels.  Always on point, good crowd work and ad lib skills, not afraid to call out other half ass comics, liked girlfriend vs. masturbation joke.  Liza Treyger, solid set as always.  Looking forward to the Halloween show at riot on Thursday.  But again, for me, the best part was watching Will and Clark do their thing on stage, I look forward to next months show.

James Allen Kamp

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Hijinks's

Wow October has flown by right?  I got stupid busy with work last week but will be tearing it up on the scene in the next couple of days.  There are some great comedy shows going down in Chicago every day this week so do your self a favor and check em out!  Here a few links to great shows for the next couple of days to get you started.  On Monday you've got "Hug City Presents" and "100 proof and The Chaser", both solid showcases.  On Tuesday you've got the monthly show "Two black dudes an open mic" which is always awesome but get there early cause it will be standing room only by the time the show starts.  Also on Tuesday you've got "Best of the depressed depression hour" at the hungry brain, "Bootleg comedy" at the Pitch bar and the "Big Halloween show" at the Chicago Underground Comedy showcase at Beat Kitchen", and that's just on Tuesday Night!  We also will have an exclusive interview with Will Miles that will be posted in the next 24 hours, plus new videos, pics and new articles so keep posted.  Should be a fun week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Honest Sarcasm" at the Gorilla Tango Theatre

Comedian Scott King
So Chicago comedian Scott King is taping his 1st DVD "Honest Sarcasm" tonight 7:30 pm at the Gorilla Tango Theater (1919 N Milwaukee Ave). Special performances by Pat McGann, Mike Von, and Ryan Budds.  I have not seen Scott perform in person, but he seems funny enough on Youtube and GT theater has gotten some good press as a solid local comedic venue so this could shape up to be a good show.  Check it out if you can.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ken Barnard Video Clip!

This video reminds me of why I like Ken Barnard, he's verbose, twisted, funny as hell and definitely thinks outside of the comedy box, here's a clip of him doing his thing.

James Allen Kamp

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memories of a Mic: By Junior Stopka


Yesterday was a solemn time for the Chicago stand-up comedy scene when the Schubas Open-Mic stopped doing their weekly Sunday open-mic. It will be changed to a once a month open-mic now. Once upon a time, this was THE open-mic. You would get a packed smart crowd, and you'd see the top comedians in the city develop themselves. It was always a great experience to see a new bit destroy for any comedian/friend.

Usually at the end of the night, you would get the murderers row, which is a heavy stacked line-up of great comics, who just came from doing shows or theaters. The comedians and crowd would go insane. That midnight to 1AM time frame will always stick out in my mind as the best time to see the murderers row. Along the way, the mic started to get a choppy crowd, and most of the really polished comedians left for bigger things. The reputation went from, "I'm nervous about performing there, and I don't have any new bits", to "I don't know any of these people, and all that these comedians do is drink free water".

Impressive Monday night line up

The Hug City Presents line up is looking bigger and stronger then a CTA workers ass calluses.  The comedy show is Monday night, check out this insane line up:
Marty DeRosa
Beth Stelling
Danny Kallas
Ken Barnard
Brendan McGowan
If you didn't know, trust me that's a fucking powerhouse line up.....
You should check it out if you can.
8:30PM @ The Elbo Room 2871 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

James Allen Kamp

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Support Local Comedy Showcases Or Else!

Rotten Comedy @ The Oakwood
I want to plug two local showcases I attended last week, not because they were super amazing, but mostly cause the producers work their assess off and as a supporter of Chicago comedy I think it's important to check out as many local showcases as possible. They are Oink and Rotten Comedy. Yeah I know both of them have horrible fucking names. I don't think I could have racked my brain for worse names if I had a gun to my head but whatever. The venues for both rooms are great and both shows had some strong comic performances that were unfortunately diluted by weaker ones.  The point is that with great rooms like Schubas Open mic closing down, you never know how long showcases will last so you should check them out while you can. All I can say to the producers is keep your set list strong and I will keep trying to support and plug your shows. However just a quick note, if a super wack comedian with terrible DVD's in his hand to sell after the show tries to get on your set list or an improv group with one person who just cant act or sing wants to perform a musical number, say NO.

OINK - Wed @ 10PM Studio Be
Rotten Comedy @ 9PM Oakwood Bar & Grill

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bootleg Comedy Showcase!

Went to the Bootleg Showcase at Pitch Bar.  What a great venue for comedy.  I was really impressed with the layout of this place, the bar is huge, seems fairly new and has a big separate room for the show.  Speaking of the show, it was great, one of the better showcases in Chicago, a smooth operation with solid talent.  The consistently funny Mike Lebovitz hosted and kept the energy up. Jeanie Doogan really impressed me.  Now I've seen her perform before and was amused, but she was extra funny on Tuesday.  Not sure if it was the room, the crowd, my huge $4 Spaten beers or what, but she had me cracking up through her entire set.  Bob Palos also performed and got good laughs.  I wont go on much more since Junior Stopka  covered this in his recent post but Simmons McDavid and Adam Burke were in Top form as well, read the interview!  A cool showcase with decent drink specials, you should check it out.  Every Tueday Doors 8PM, Comedy 9PM @ 2142 N. Clybourn Ave Chicago IL.
James Allen Kamp

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Undergrounds Underground: Simmons McDavid

As a blog about the Chicago Comedy scene we think it's extremely important to actually include voices/opinions of working comics.  That's why were proud to announce that Junior Stopka, winner of  The Chicago Reader Best Stand-Up Comedian Of 2010 Award will now be a contributing writer.  Here's his  first Article!

Interview with Simmons McDavid by Junior Stopka

Simmons McDavid's dry and cockamamie delivery makes him so fun to watch on stage. He is definitely on the list of the great underground Chicago comedians. His unassuming southern drawl, and soft spoken persona makes audiences surprised at what journey they're going to take in his stories. He can take any subject and devolve it into bodacious and hilarious nonsense.  "Is he really going to eat another Cesar Salad before eating a Chicken Cesar salad? You bet your BALLS I will..."  I caught up with McDavid outside of Bootleg Comedy at The Pitch bar where he was about to perform to a packed audience.

JS: Why did you come to Chicago?
SM: Because it seemed like high school, and it really is... its like the second to last tier.  I guess you would say a teardrop. I'm about to give up.  
JS: Are there any other comedians that you think are really good, that don't get any press in Chicago?
SM: Joe McAdam. He kind of does anti-humor, which is a stupid term because it's just funny. Its comedically smarter than most people.
JS: Do you do any racial humor ever?
SM: (laughs)No...I do have a racial joke tonight, its about how I'm a black woman in real life.
JS: Where did you get this cool debonair style of clothes you always wear?
SM: Probably from the Debonair era.
JS: You rock the hat though?
SM: Yeah, I lost it. Man, I got wasted the other night, got into a fight with these two dudes. (laughs)
JS: Do you have any jokes about balls?
SM: Yeah, there's no balls in Chicago, but there are some good ball jokes.
JS: What do you not want to see, as far as standup, on stage? What do you stay away from?
SM: Predictability, and giving them what they want. Yeah, or people that start off with, so I was jacking off the other day, then they'll pause.

After his set, all the comedians gathered around to get really drunk, to forget about reality, and the heavy hitters of the show tonight gave praise to Simmons.

Adam Burke: Simmons McDavid is a very funny man, who had the best set tonight. You can put that on tape.
JS: What is this dry ribald style you've perfected over the years?
Adam Burke: Before you answer that, have Junior define ribald.
JS: Adam, during your Upton Sinclair bit, I pulled my pork, which is my penis...
Adam Burke: Oh, ok. And what's the deal with your dry pulled pork sense of humor?
(laughs all around)
JS: If you had to shoot anybody in the head, anybody, who would you shoot, besides Barack Obama, obviously. Ted Kennedy?
SM: Yeah, I mean John's already got shot in the head, so might as well. Shoot him. It's like a whore. It's like yeah, I'll fuck her... because everyone else has. It won't mean anything. So I'll shoot him in the head.
JS: Have you ever fucked a fat woman?
SM: Once. And honestly, if I wasn't so embarassed about it, I would have done it again, cause it's fun. It really is. It's like the Mohicans said."Thank you wild elk for your meat... and for fertalizing the land, cause I'm sure you shit a lot because she's fat."
JS: Indian faggots, you like em or not?
SM: (laughs) Indian faggots, good for the North Atlantic trade agreement?... or just GAY?
JS: You know syphilis was a gay disease for the indians. Fucking the gay white man. I don't like gay white settlers.
SM: LIke colonial Willamsburg. I know what you mean. But colonial Williamsburg was like Key West. And the blacks were like "oh, what up dog?" and white people were like "Oh, please don't slurp your soup"

JS: What's the biggest place you performed?
SM: Lakeshore, In their last week. They had to sell all their alcohol.
JS: Were you there when we broke the popcorn machine, and I dumped a bucket of water on Drew Michael, and Marty went up naked?
SM: No, I saw you close it out, though. You called the crowd Matt Damons. And for some reason that was the truth. Like, I really don't know what that means, but these people are a bunch of fucking Matt Damons.

Be his facebook friend here, and see him around town. You can see him at most open-mics and showcases around the city.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ComedySportz Theater Monday Night Showcase and Open Mic!

Went to ComedySportz theater to check out the Monday night showcase and open mic called 100 Proof Comedy and The Chaser. I wasn't sure what to expect since I haven't really been to any improv shows there.  Well, it's pretty freaking good.  In my opinion it's a real sweet venue for Chicago comedy.  It's funny cause I have walked by this theater a zillion times on my way to work but never went in.  Recently I head through the grapevine that Jamie Campbell was hosting this cool new showcase/open mic so I figured it was time to check it out and now I wish I would have gone sooner.  A really good operation, very well run.  I love watching comedy in a professional theatre.  Something about the lighting and sound always takes the experience to a higher level  The seats were 5 times more comfortable then the old Lakeshore and the drink specials had me nice and tipsy.  Jaime Campbell is a damn fine host  He kept the show moving smoothly and is fucking funny as hell when he gets adequate time, I have seen him previously only at short time limit open mic's, so it was good to see him get down and do his thing.  The show case is $10, the open mic is free.  929 W. Belmont, Chicago, Il.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

C.J. Toledano's got a show!

Ever since the Lakeshore Theater closed I've been missing the comedic styling of this Guy.   C.J. Toledano was always fresh, always professional and always funny  The Chicago comedy scene is better with him in it.  Well it looks like my Filipino fetish withdrawals are over cause C.J.'s got a show @ second city every Saturday night at midnight.  If you dont know C.J. watch this clip and maybe check out his twitter info.  This cat has his fingers in a little bit of everything and his stand up is tasty like french toast. The funny Kevin Lee will also be there on co-host duties.  Wham bam thank you Ma'am.  Good for you C.J. I will be there getting my drink on in full effect. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hi-Tops Comedy Show Case Review

Went to check out the Hi Tops comedy showcase on Thursday night.  I've been hearing some good things about this place and when I found out Mike LebovitzMarty Derosa, and Clark Jones were doing a set there, I decided to check it out.  So the spot is right near the red line Fullerton stop on Lincoln and I'm told it's a Michigan State sports bar, which concerned me slightly, college bars can be annoying and who the fuck wants to watch comedy in a frat bar surrounded by people you'd like to mug.  But in reality, I actually liked the place.  The bartender lady was cool, they had $3 beers and the comedy took place in a big well lit back room separate from main bar, the way it should be done.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We got a new Writer!

The following was written by our new contributing writer, Calle Hack.  Calle is a writer and production coordinator for a Chicago talent agency.
It was a night of firsts for me: 1. First time at Schuba's for comedy.  2. First time without a drink in hand at possibly ANY type of show.  3. AND…first time asked if I like being choked during sex..What?!  Let me explain.  Schuba's Sunday Best held a great line up of Chicago comedians. Unfortunately,the turn out was slim, but comedians held their own, bringing forth some great material.  Drew Michaels and his political commentary,which is leagues different from the sex/relationship material I heard him perform at Lakeshore when I first moved to Chicago, Tia Ayers with raw wit and spectacular comedic presence, not to forget, Andrew Holter, who performed with perfection and is one to watch. Bob Palos hosted the open mic and kept the energy up, but it was my encounter with comedian Marty DeRosa that was all new comedic territory for me.  "Do you like being choked during sex?" Marty was taking a poll of the audience.  The polling demographic quickly filtered to addressing the female members of the audience. At this point in the night, there was maybe two females. Myself being one of the two.  "You," eye contact made.  Marty was talking to me, "Like being choked during sex?". Cue spotlight. Cut to flushing face and sweaty palms.  I've seen this happen many times before, comedians working their audiences, honing in on specific members and riffing from there. I've seen this work and I've seen this be a disaster. I've seen this enough, though, to know that the comedian holding the mic is the one with the power. Often audience members try to be funny and turn the tables, but rarely is this a good idea. Being witty is their job. They do this shit every night.  Don't challenge them. Comedians will win.  "No," is ALL I could get out and a small shaking of my head. Eye contact still locked. Question answered. Now, it seems there is no turning back.

Marty: "Are you guys together?"
Me: "No."
Marty: "Do you have a boyfriend?"
Me: "No."
Marty: "Are you ever not composed?"
Me: "Yeah, of course."
Marty: "Really?"
Me: "Yeah."
Marty: "Are you a comedian?"
Me: "No."
Marty: "So, really? You don't like being choked?" Me: "Yes."

I smiled through it, but it was honestly the most wracking thing. Truth is, I've always had a "neck thing". My neck is off limits. It is the only body part I absolutely cannot stand to be touched. So, sorry, Marty, choking is not my thing.  Whether, I handled that first encounter well or not, I got through it. Thank you, Marty, for popping that cherry. Schuba's Sunday Best is definitely one to check out!

Calle Hack