Showing posts with label Chicago open mics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago open mics. Show all posts

October 6, 2014

What's Popping!

Well damn... Apparently winter is on it's way with a vengeance and the fall season is here already which is hard to accept. The summer went by way too fast right? Now the 40 degree weather is slowly creeping in and it looks like we might not even get a decent autumn season to squeeze in before winter slaps us upside the head. But don't let it get you down because the Chicago comedy scene is is so hot it will warm you right up. From celebrity roasters like  Jeff Ross, to FREE events at a legendary comedy club, October has got it going on strong. Check out what's popping this week.

100 Proof Comedy
at The Comedy Sportz Theatre - 929 W Belmont Ave, Chicago Il.
Great Monday showcase!
around. 773-549-8080
Adam Burke
Rebecca O'Neal
Jason Earl Folks
Lainie Lenertz
Mo Mandel
& MORE! 

September 22, 2014

What's Popping!

It's another sick week of comedy options in the Chicago scene. Lots of new shows & mics are popping up all over the place (just in time for the fall season) and it's not just brand new shows either, more then a few of Chicago's favorites are also back from summer hiatus. So get out to a show this week because the lineups are looking especially solid. I know I always say that... But it's never been more true then right now - if you haven't been out to some of the great clubs and idepependent shows, do it while the weather is still decent. Check out what's popping in the scene starting tonight and through the week.

100 Proof Comedy
at The Comedy Sportz Theatre - 929 W Belmont Ave, Chicago Il.
Jay Washington headlines a powerhouse lineup featuring:
Prateek Srivastava 
Andy Fleming
Olivia Cathcart
Dave Stinton
Josh Johnson
Tonight! - 8PM

September 18, 2014

Improv and Stand-Up

Jeanie Doogan will perform as part Crossbreed comedy tonight!
Improv and stand-up: The bitter couple of comedy. Oh sure, they both get along fine with their mixed son Sketch but “they just don’t work together.”

I’m tired of hearing how different these two staples of the Chicago comedy scene seemingly are. As an improviser, I’ve dabbled in stand-up, but I’ve been met with resistance when trying to arrange a collaboration on stage. Occasionally an open mic will open its doors to other forms of comedy and while the sketch groups seem to be both expected and accepted, I’ve always earned myself the stares and hushed tones that say “why is an improviser performing?”

Is it so crazy to believe that we can get along on stage as well as most of us do off stage?

July 23, 2014

Evolution of a Sh*t Show

Rasa Gierstika
The Shit Show comedy showcase has been a work in progress for a few years now. It started as a weekly open mic that had aspiring and seasoned performers come and try out new material. The premise behind the open mic was to have safe and fun place where people interested in performing would have fun in a supportive environment. When I first decided to try open mics and get rid of my stage fright, I found that the scene wasn't always the most welcoming and supportive of new comics.

Since a lot of the same comics frequented the same open mics it was easy to see that they forged friendships with each other which made it more intimidating for someone who was new and was starting out in standup. Running a show by yourself is one of the hardest jobs someone can take on so when Ever Mainard and I decided to do the open mic together the idea was to start a fun open mic where comics would feel comfortable trying out whatever material they wanted with no judgments and the show’s personality started to evolve into the show it is now.

June 24, 2014

Interview with Kristen Toomey

Not only is Kristen Toomey married with children, (which is a full time job on it's own) but she's also a consistent rising star of the Chicago comedy scene. Toomey has been an absolute stalwart, performing her sharp and sarcastic brand of comedy at showcases all over town. She also co-produces the popular Tuesday night showcase Hoo HA Comedy at Rockit Burger Bar. Toomey, a regular performer at the Chicago Laugh Factory, (and many other clubs) was cool enough to sit down for a quick interview after her set at the "Chicago's Best Stand Up" showcase and shared some of her thoughts on the art of comedy. Check it out.

June 16, 2014

What's Popping

Sherman Edwards Headlines tonight @ 100 Proof
Damn! It's 85 degrees, the sun is shining and the Chicago comedy scene is hot as usual. Summer season has finally decided to stay with solid events & shows  popping off all over town - especially tonight. Open Mics and indie shows abound. You know the deal by now, so get out there and support. Here's what's popping this week.

100 Proof Comedy
@ Comedy Sportz, 8 PM
929 W. Belmont, Chicago
Sherman Edwards!
Natalie Jose
Erin Lane
C.J. Toledano
David Drake
Drew Anderson!
Jamie Campbell
Tonight - 8PM!

Performance Anxiety
at The Pleasure Chest Chicago - 3436 N Lincoln Ave
Monthly comedy show @ sex positive Adult Toy Store!
Great Lineup:
Tyler Snodgrass
Dave Losso
Jamie Loftus
Marlena Rodriguez
Kevin Brody
C.J. Toledano
Jeanie Doogan
Tonight - 8PM!

May 21, 2014

Guide To Dating A More Successful Comedian...

Comedians in relationships with other comedians. Let’s talk about it.

I don’t mean making out at the Continental after drinking all night at an open mic or showcase. I mean couples that actually build real relationships that last more than a couple of weeks. Relationships that may have started by making out at the Continental after drinking all night at an open mic or showcase.

It’s no surprise that comedians will date each other. We share the same goals, often have similar views, and just plain end up in the same places. That’s the law of proximity. We understand each other. It makes sense.

May 20, 2014

In The News...

Yes, COC covers all things Chicago comedy, but we also get sent a ton of links to all types of national comedy items as well, so occasionally I'll publish a mix of both local and national news/events that should definitely be on your radar. Check it out.

Chad Briggs Unlimited
at The Beat Kitchen - 2100 West Belmont
Yeah we know we plugged this yesterday, but it's such a strong/important show we wanted to give it double coverage. Chicago Underground Comedy, arguably Chicago’s best-respected independent stand-up showcase, is celebrating 9 years of Chicago’s best and brightest comedy with Chad Briggs Unlimited, one special show featuring original stand-up, sketch, and short comedy films from senior ChUC cast member Chad Briggs and his frequent comedy colleagues, sketch group Think Tank. Briggs has been a respected figure in the Chicago comedy scene for the past several years performing at the Just For Laughs Festival and winning season five of the comedy competition Impress These Apes Briggs is also known for his character work and can be seen this summer in the independent drama "Hellion" starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, a film which took Briggs to the Sundance Film Festival. Do not miss, show is FREE - Arrive early for seats, as part of the room will be STANDING ROOM only.
Tonight! - 9:30PM

May 19, 2014

What's Popping...

Lets dive right in. Check out what's happening this week in the Chicago comedy scene...

Andy Boyle
Sydney Davis Jr.
Andrea Wallace
Amanda Lynn Deal
Lisa Peters
Natasha Samreny
Alex Seligsohn
Mike O'Keefe
Krystal LaFianza Pitzen!

Elizabeth O-Neal at Zanies!
at Zanies Comedy Clubs - 1548 North Wells, Chicago Il.
It's The Female Funnies Showcase at legendary Zanies in Chicago with Elizabeth O'Neill. Mention her name at the door and it's free! Really.

April 23, 2014

A Comic's Guide to Getting Snubbed: By Kenneth Witzgall

When booking a stand-up comedy show, a certain amount of subjective judgment enters the equation. That means aspiring comics will constantly find themselves being judged, to some degree, before someone gives them the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. As many rooms are booked on the particular taste of the producers and beholden to outside forces (covering the bar minimum, time or content restrictions, asshole bar managers, etc.), it's inevitable that comics aren't going to get into the rooms that they want to, when they want to, all the time. Feelings will get hurt. Rumors will start flying. Newer comics will often take these decisions personally, lash out at the producer that didn't pick them, and, in some unfortunate cases, quit the business all together.

March 18, 2014

Rape Jokes - By: Monte LaMonte

You do what you want; no one can stop you or tell you what to do. But misguided convictions are for fools and fools alone.

Rape jokes: I don’t wanna argue the politics of rape jokes, whether you like em or not, and I could give a shit if you think you have a funny rape joke. You are a stand up comic, a jerky human that gets on stage to seek gratification from complete strangers. You have an unnamed sickness as a comic that you relieve by gaining love and adulation through others laughter at your words and witticism.

January 29, 2014

Parlour Car - One Year Anniversary Show!

Parlour Car - 1 Year Anniversary Show
at Bar DeVille - 701 N. Damen
(Warning: Cussing a lot for this one) Tomorrow night Parlour Car, which in my opinion was was 2013's breakthrough showcase of the Chicago comedy scene, celebrates it's one year anniversary. And what a year it's been, my favorite phrase to describe this good ass time of a showcase is "fucking bananas". This FREE show has consistently featured the best comedic talent in Chicago as well as national headliners (like Comedy Certral's Kyle Kinane to name just one). Not only that, but the audience gets to watch the show on swanky ass couches in the back room of a venue that Chicago Magazine voted as one of the 12 Best Cocktail Spots in the city. Also Parlour Car's credentials were as solid as you could ask for going in - since this showcase was produced by three of the hardest joke slinging, booze swigging monsters in the game. Matty Ryan, Adam Burke and Kenny DeForest (DeForest has since moved on to New York), are as they say, some real deal motherfuckers. All three are accomplished in their own right with a trained veterans eye for the art of comedy. To celebrate the one year anniversary they are throwing a real donkey punch doozy (AKA the DPD) of a show/party. The lineup is fucking ridiculous. A real hairy beast feast. Check out the lineup then BE there!

December 17, 2013

Working For Singles...

Matt Chiaramonte
You and your friends walk into the club. It’s filled with the same old crowd. Some are sad and just want to feel happy for a few hours, some are celebrating bachelor and bachelorette parties, and some are there for the first time. 

You pony up to the stage and a muffled voice comes over the speaker and brings on the first act. The performer wraps their hands around that cold metal and starts to do their thing. The crowd is nervous at first, the drunker patrons are still talking but the performer plugs on, trying to get some sort of a reaction. This continues as one by one these sad entertainers with dead eyes come onto the stage and do the same routine they’ve done so many times before. It’s all numb now, but they know what the crowd wants and they give it to them. 

December 16, 2013

What's Popping...

Lets get right to it. Shows to keep on your radar this week are the Jokes And Notes Christmas ShowHoo HA ComedyCHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF COMEDYStand-Up Throw Down, 100 Proof ComedyThe Blind Bet Show and The pH Showcase - plus the usual suspects of great clubs & independent showcases. Check out what's popping.

Chicago Ladies in Comedy Showcase!
@ Clark St. Beach - 3419 N. Clark
Sherra Lasley!
Erin Wethern!
Alan Grafton!
Kaitlyn Grissom!
Aarona Lopez!
David Franks!
Natalie Jose
Krystal LaFianza Pitzen
Hosted by ERIN LANE!
Show starts @ 8pm - TONIGHT!

December 5, 2013

A Christmas Eve Tradition

Last year, I was doing what will now be a Christmas Eve tradition that I will uphold until the end of time: I was attempting to get #withmydick trending on twitter. We were unable to complete our goal, even after my offer that I would give $20 to the most famous person to tweet that wonderful hashtag. (NOTE TO SELF: I still owe Dan Telfer $20) I know it didn’t have the same momentum it had two years ago, and that a lot of people thought it was silly. But I’ll still keep doing it every year. I know that Kenny DeForest wrote the quintessential piece on the #withmydick hashtag, but I wanted to add my story. You see, folks, two years ago, Mike Lebovitz saved my Christmas.

November 11, 2013

Interview with Bert Haas

Bert Haas of Zanies
Zanies, is the longest running stand-up comedy club in Chicago. Dozens of other clubs have come and gone (and more continue to pop up), yet Zanies has withstood the hard test of time. That's just a fact.

Known for giving a jump start and boost to careers of the most legendary comedians in the game, Zanies has achieved it's own iconic status as a comedy king maker of sorts. Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, Sarah Silverman Tim Allen and Dave Chappelle (among many other major stars) have all performed there. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding or in this case on the walls (among the hundreds of pictures of famous faces that line every inch of the club). The space itself is a living testament to the comics who have passed through it's hallowed doors over the years. Zanies is currently in the midst of it's 35th anniversary and throughout November big time headliners and local comics alike will take to the stage to help celebrate. We interviewed Bert Haas, Zanies executive vice president (with the club since 1980 when he started as a waiter), over the phone and talked shop.

October 21, 2013

What's Popping...

Beth Stelling is back in town & at Zanies all week long
Yo! As per usual, lots going on in the Chicago comedy scene this week. OK yeah.. we say that every week, and yes it was especially true since Janeane Garofalo and D.L. Hughley were in town last week, but believe it or not, the Chicago party just keeps on going. Shows you should definitely keep on your radar this week are the Queer Comedy presents Beth StellingHoo HA Presents: DANNY KALLASPilsen Stand Up! Presents The Oktoberfest Show,  Christopher Titus @ UP Comedy Club and of course Beth Stelling & Drew Michael @ ZANIES co-headlining together all week, plus the usual suspects of great independent showcases and open mics. ALSO keep the 26th free for an insane Halloween party at the Hidden Shamrock. Check out what's popping...

July 18, 2013

Stand Up Comedy In The 21st Century

Veteran Comedian Dobie Maxwell
As painful as it is to admit, I have finally become the cantankerous old curmudgeon comedian I used to make fun of and swore up and down I would never become. I don’t know how it actually happened, but it totally did. One day I just woke up and realized I was “that guy”. How sneaky. When I was starting out, I can remember hearing a lot of the headliners I’d get to meet whining nonstop about anything and everything to anyone who would listen. Since I was hungry to eat up all the inside information and learn all I could about the craft of comedy, I listened with interest. One after another, the veteran road dogs would piss and moan about a variety of subjects from how filthy the hotel they were staying in was to how early their flight out of town was after their week of shows was completed. To a greenhorn newbie like me, their attitudes came off as harsh. I couldn’t believe anyone who was making a living telling jokes would have anything on Earth to possibly complain about. They were doing exactly what I aspired to, and I couldn’t understand why they weren’t all turning cartwheels of joy in the streets celebrating their triumphant victory.

July 15, 2013

A Comics Sad Breakup

(Editors note: We do not condone bad/sad relationships, but we know they happen, especially, it seems, with comedians... All opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily of COC) 

This doesn’t really have anything to do with comedy. No one gives a fuck about comedy. It’s kind of funny, though. You know, in a sad way.

Driving is hard now. So is trying to get to sleep. Basically, anything that involves me staring into space and doing some mindless activity allows my brain to leave its tether and follow itself down whatever rabbit-hole it decides would be for the best. My brain has shitty judgment about what’s for the best. It likes to think about her. It likes to remember what she smelled like. How she laughed. Songs we sang together. Eating Chinese food and watching Simpsons at midnight. My brain doesn’t like to remember the shitty times. How mean she could be. How self-involved she could be.

June 11, 2013

pHeel The Love @ The pH Theater - By Michael Shapiro

It seems like more and more traditionally improv based theater venues are trying to get in on the standup comedy action. Second City has made itself a big player for showcasing big names, Chicago and nationwide. iO, Comedy Sportz and The Playground have also gotten in on the action in recent years. Even places as eclectic as record stores, book stores and sex toy shops have been putting on some really great shows.

As someone who has just begun explore the scene and all the shows in Chicago, you can feel the excitement. The energy is infectious, it keeps you up at night. pH Theater, a relatively new venue for improv and sketch, has recently been putting on a standup show and open mic every week. I became exposed to the open mic early last year, not long after it had become a regular Wednesday night thing. Located in Andersonville on Berwyn and Clark, you immediately feel welcome in this cozy neighborhood. Soothing Irish folk tunes, performed by a live band from the bar next door, waft through the air and down the sidewalk. The relaxed vibe continues into the theater, where everyone casually drinks and socializes while they wait for the show to start. It’s BYOB, which is great if you’re broke. I know you all are, and I certainly am.