May 18, 2012

Just For Laughs Update!

Yo!  We got some Just For Laughs updates! We're super excited about it too because this year there are more kick ass shows involving Chicago based comedians then ever.  Also more events are taking place at  venues dedicated to comedy, which is timely because there are finally so many great spots to choose from. It's nice to see JFL taking advantage of the burgeoning comedy renaissance that is this scene.

In case you live under rock let me explain why having the Just For Laughs Festival in Chicago is awesome (and I usually hate using that adjective because it's so overdone but in this case it fits). JFL started in 1983 in Montreal and is currently the largest, international comedy festival in the world. In 2007 they branched out launching a festival in Toronto and did it again for Chicago in 2009.  The festival got a little more Chicago centric each installment, but this year they kicked the goddamn doors down.

There are so many Chicago comics involved this year it's making my head spin.  I was going to make a "JFL Chicago Comic 2012 Line Up" list, but to be honest I stopped cause there were so many damn names.  Suffice to say its a shit ton.  Check out the JFL Chicago website and see for yourselves.  The stand out Chicago centric shows in my opinion, are as follows.

Hannibal Buress: Still saying stuff
New Faces of Chicago
Janeane Garofalo and Kyle Kinane  
Chicago Underground Comedy Presents: Secret Big-Time Local Comedy Showcase
Starting 5 
TJ Miller Presents Performance Anxiety The AV Club/Hideout present: [REDACTED]
Never Been to Paris 
The Eric Andre Show
TBS LOL Lounge
Check out the press release.

"TBS and Just For Laughs are thrilled to announce that Emmy® Award-winning comedian Sarah Silverman will host two shows at The Chicago Theatre on Saturday, June 16. Sarah Silverman and Guests will feature some of her favorite comedians, with line-up details to be revealed shortly.

Among the Fest’s other newly added events, Janeane Garofalo & Kyle Kinane will team up for a double-bill at UP Comedy Club, while the Comedy Bar will welcome the Team Coco Live variety show, the New Faces Of Chicago showcase hosted by Chicago native Lil Rel, and TBS LOL Lounge hosted by Julian McCullough.

For the first time at the Festival, cool indie rock venue The Hideout will host comedy-nerd revelries including The Eric Andre Show, master character-comic and impressionist James Adomian with friends in tow and in character for Conspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura, and a super-top-secret multi-comic fundraiser presented by The AV Club benefitting the 826Chicago organization all Thursday night; The Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Show with Jon Glaser and a solo stand-up show for Matt Braunger Friday night; and outspoken comic W. Kamau Bell with The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour along with Pete Holmes’ wildly popular You Made It Weird podcast Saturday night.
But wait… there’s more!

Among the Fest’s grassroots programming, improv haven iO will enjoy the return of 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit playing with Adult Swim’s Jon Glaser and CONAN’s Kevin Dorff for four shows and local Jet Eveleth for one; plus the Pet Project Series, Alone: Chicago’s Best Solo Acts and Sean Flannery’s Never Been To Paris at Playground Theater; Paul Provenza and Troy Conrad’s cult favorite Set List and Flannery’s acclaimed Blackout Diaries at Lincoln Lodge; Chris D’Elia from NBC’s Whitney, The Conan Writers Live, Deon Cole and Friends, and comedy vet Tom Dreesen all at the brand new Laugh Factory comedy club; Messing with a Friend with Chicago improv veteran Susan Messing and her guest Greg Hess at the Annoyance; an urban spread with Breakout Performers, 5-Star Leading Ladies, Starting 5, Best of the Midwest and Stage Time at Jokes and Notes; real-time sports commentary and shenanigans with Baseball, Hot Dogs & Schadenfreude at Lincoln Hall; and Chicago Underground Comedy presents: Secret Big-Time Local Comedy Showcase + Secreter Short Film Showcase over at the Beat Kitchen.

The performances and events added to the TBS JUST FOR LAUGHS CHICAGO roster join a list that already includes stars like Conan O’Brien, Aziz Ansari, Vince Vaughn, Kevin Smith, John Oliver, Patton Oswalt, Nick Offerman, Bill Engvall, Billy Gardell, John Pinette, Stephen Merchant, Amy Schumer, Jeff Ross, Henson Alternative’s Stuffed and Unstrung, Mike Birbiglia, The Dan Band, Kyle Kinane, Brian Posehn, TJ Miller and Kelly Carlin. A complete rundown of announced performances follows. Schedules and other festival information are available at www.justforlaughschicago.com."

Nuff said, go buy your ticket now!

James Allen Kamp
Editor