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Just for Laughs Chicago Wrap-up – Day Two

John Mulaney drops in for the second Drinking Buddies showWith more than seventeen venues over five days boasting one hundred performers, TBS Presents a “Very Funny” Festival: Just for Laughs was a veritable comedy whirlwind across the city of Chicago last week. Due to the sheer impossibility of hitting everything (or even close to everything), I decided to focus on the local stand-up showcases and see Chicago performers within the visiting energy of the festival.

After the opening festivities Tuesday, the plan for Wednesday was to visit with TJ Miller and the rest of the Drinking Buddies (Mike Bridenstine, James Fritz, and Kyle Kinane), at the Lincoln Lodge. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a missive went out to announce a last minute warm-up “secret show” of Team Coco Presents the Conan Writers Live, to take place before Drinking Buddies at the Lodge. Being that the regular show of the writers was to be at a massive venue downtown the next evening, this was an exciting treat for those of us privy to the event. Unfortunately, there was no Andy Richter to be found in the house, but the incomparable Reggie Watts treated the audience to a much-too-short musical interlude, and Never Not Funny’s Jimmy Pardo kept the audience delighted throughout the evening as host (and even got a few cracks in on local comedy personality Fuzzy Gerdes, to the delight of those of us that know Fuzzy and his role here in the Chicago scene).

Writers Brian Kiley, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Andres Du Bouchet, Matt O’Brien, and Chicago’s own Deon Cole (who effortlessly ended the showcase, leaving the audience in stitches and visibly wanting more), performed stand-up sets to the intimate room, beginning what was to be an increasingly discordant yet hilarious evening with the Drinking Buddies and their two sold out shows.

Reggie Watts performs with the Conan writers

Chicago expat Deon Cole closes out the writers show with huge laughsKyle Kinane is seen everywhere throughout the fest last week

--Kristy Mangel

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