October 1, 2013

Weekly Top 5

Once again it's the Weekly Top 5. So clearly this list is subjective, based on opinions, and only covers events we actually went to. So of course we missed some shit... But feel free to send links of your favorite events. Here are the 5 best things that happened last week.

Hannibal Buress @ Four Trey Open Mic - Chicago
Hannibal Buress popping in for sets all over town: So super comedian (Chicago's own) Hannibal Buress was all over Chicago last week. Based in NY Hannibal performed a pop-up show at the Tonic Room and made appearances at several open mics and showcases because... well that's just what he does man. I caught Buress perform an impromptu set at the Four Trey open mic which he killed. Buress (if you don't know) is one of the hottest rising stars of comedy in the country. He's a former writer for SNL & 30 Rock, a music video director, has featured in Nike commercials  had a lead role in the hugely popular High Maintenance web series and just announced that his voice will have a cameo role on the insanely successful "Grand Theft Auto V" video game. On top of all that he just signed a big cross platform deal with Comedy Central.  So... I say all that to say this - Buress does not need to show up at some funky open mic at a creepy dive bar... but he does. Consistently. It's part of his work ethic. Buress comes back to Chicago and pops up at local showcases and mics to get better. It's where he can try out new jokes and fine tune his material, plus riff like a madman. Cant wait to see what's next for this guy.

Lil Rel @ Jokes and Notes last week.
LIL Rel Howery's Jokes and Notes performance: Howery performed a tighten up set Wednesday night for the open mic crowd at Jokes and Notes. Loose and funny as hell, Howery was preparing for his big headlining show at Jokes and Notes on Sunday. But truth be told, it didn't even feel like he was running through material, he just fucked around for ten minutes AND it was hilarious. That's the essence of a great comedian, delivering big laughs that almost seem effortless. Riffing and messing with the crowd, it was clear he was just having fun. Howery, if your not familiar is a monster in the scene. TV spots, the Chicago JFL festival, a 30 minute Comedy Central special and headliner shows all around the country, he's doing it all.

Adam Guerino hosting the National Queer Comedy Contest @ Zanies
Stand Out - The National Queer Comedy Contest @ Zanies: Went to Zanies last week to watch a national comedy contest hosted by Adam Guerino. Zanies teamed up with Advocate Magazine , Absolut Vodka, and Sidetrack Video Bar to present what was a very solid lineup of top comedians featuring: Dana Goldberg (LA,) Cody Melcher (Chicago,) Jerry Harvey (Chattanooga,) Casey Ley (San Francisco,) Matthew Nouriel (LA,) Maggie Faris (Minneapolis,) Frank Liotti (New York) and Carey Callahan (San Francisco). The 1st place winner was Maggie Faris who received $1,200 and a feature in The Advocate's comedy section (among other prizes). No too shabby. Stay tuned for the next Queer Comedy @ Zanies featuring Beth Stelling on Tues Oct 22!

Brian "Da Wildcat" Smith @ Jokes and Notes
Brian "Da Wildcat" Smith: Saw Smith perform at Jokes and Notes last week, he did about a ten minute set and destroyed the crowd. Smart and expressive, smith can go clean, dirty, high brow, low brow, it doesn't matter - it's all funny. Unfortunately, even though he is one of the more accomplished comedians in the Chicago scene, a lot of folks are not familiar with Smith. He tours the country performing stand-up comedy, is  a five-time winner of Showtime at the Apollo, TV credits include "Chicago Code" cameos, Xfinity’s ad's and national Tostitos commercials. A frequent host of many events all over the Chicago-land area, catch him if you can.

Seth Davis @ Four Trey Open Mic
Four Trey Open Mic: Caught this mic last week. Not only did Hannibal Buress show up last week, but the hosts of this room are solid comics in their own right. They run a nice, tight room which attracts a lot of comics, both newbies and vets. Sure, the bar is a bit of a dive and the stage is right in front of a pool table, but thats part of it's charm. Plus it runs late into the night for those of you looking to hop around to different rooms on a tuesday night.  Drink specials, committed hosts and sets from some of the best in the Chicago scene make this a special mic.

James Allen kamp
Editor