Friday, December 16, 2011

C. J. Sullivan Performs Hour Long Special: By Cole Moser

C. J. Sullivan
I've been going to The Beat Kitchen on Tuesday nights for years. After graduating college, finding myself in the city and obsessed with Patton Oswalt’s Feelin’ Kinda Patton I decided I needed to see what Chicago offered in the way of live comedy.  Second City and Zanies were out of my price range.  So on a fateful Tuesday in February 2007 I discovered that Chicago Underground Comedy provides a tremendous laugh per dollar ratio.  It's simply one of the best showcases in the city to bring a confused girlfriend.  And then a week later you can return by yourself and reliably laugh your man boobs off again.

Last Tuesday Chicago Underground Comedy took a break from its normal showcase format to host a rare full-hour special: “C.J. Sullivan: Unlimited.”  Sean Flannery performed host duties and the Puterbaugh Sisters featured. The “Unlimited” name, I think, may have been a gambling reference or something. But even C.J. himself seemed uncertain. It mattered little to me or the rest of the packed house.

Puterbaugh Sisterz
Sean Flanner
Sean Flannery makes me laugh so hard.  Jokes about his Irish uncles first got me hooked at the Beat Kitchen back in 2007.  I was familiar with most of his hosting material but it was, as always with Mr. Flannery, a joy.  On stage this night C.J. called him "both the smartest and dumbest man I know,” which I think nicely summarizes Sean’s persona.  I'm a loyal listener of Sean and C.J. on the Visitor's Locker Room, a sports-centered comedy show on Fearless Radio.  If you haven't yet, give it a listen (3PM on Mondays and Fridays or check out some of the past shows at  Don’t be scared of the sports theme, indie snobs.  It’s basically two funny friends discussing what animals could beat up other animals.

Up next were the delightfully debauched Puterbaugh Sisters.  I had never seen them before but soon discovered that they are in fact the offspring of Mae West and Courtney Love.  Really funny jokes and it’s refreshing to see a comedy duo where neither is the straight (wo)man.

C.J. finally took the stage to do one of what was likely the longest set of his career. 60 full minutes when the most I’d seen him do was probably 15.  C.J. is hands down the funniest mouth breather in Chicago, and I mean that in the most complimentary sense.  He doesn't rush through bits; he takes his time transitioning and you can see the effort he puts into his economical phrasing.

He tackled the Chicago winters.  He did a personal favorite bit of mine regarding the tenacity of Lincoln Park sluts.  Newer material on the Penn State football scandal had me howling.  He closed with a new multimedia piece that shed some due light on his alternate career as a poker player.  His set was easy, polished and professional.  Great work, C.J.

Keep an eye out for Unlimited.  I mean, I think it’s coming out sometime. I don’t really know. Chicago comedy fans should hope so.

Cole Moser
Contributing Writer