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Entries in jfl chicago (7)

Friday
Jun252010

Just for Laughs Chicago Wrap-up – Day Five

Jamie Kaler and Mo Mandel | Photo by Heather M. Scholl

The new hot spot for comedy in Chicago, Red Bar Comedy Club, was home to the “LOL Lounge” Friday and Saturday nights. The sultry nightclub got a TBS.com-ready facelift, transforming into a bright television studio and welcoming “My Boys” television actor Jamie Kaler as host to the four showcases. Twenty up-and-coming comedians from all over the country performed over the span of four sold out shows, and some of those sets can now be seen on TBS.com (including recent YouTube viral star Dan Telfer).

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Thursday
Jun242010

Just for Laughs Chicago Wrap-up – Day Four

Chicago native and The Mo'Nique Show's Rodney Perry guests on Breakout Performers at Jokes & Notes, to uproarious approval

Friday night’s JFL activities were nearly threatened out of oblivion when a storm of Apocalyptic proportions doused the city in near-flash flooding and 70 MPH winds that evening. Even Chicago’s own Sears Willis Tower fell victim to the powerful storm, when several of its windows blew out and shattered to the city streets. A few out-of-towners even took note of the atmospheric insanity, namely Patton Oswalt and Chris Hardwick. The comedy show must go on, however, and all events went along as planned. I made it to the Southside relatively unscathed, to take in the first two of four JFL shows scheduled at Chicago’s preeminent urban club, Jokes & Notes.

Chicago remains a mostly segregated city, in population and in comedy, and it is a rare treat for North and Southside factions to visit each other’s rooms. In fact, this was my first visit to Jokes & Notes, and afterwards sat incredulous, wondering why it had taken me so long to make the commute to 47th Street. The audience’s energy level matched and sometimes surpassed the high energy of all of the performers, as folks hooted and hollered and danced to the hip-hop and funk tracks played between every set. Pure joy enveloped the large yet comfortable room, while winds and thunder and lightning continued into the night.

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Wednesday
Jun232010

Just for Laughs Chicago Wrap-up – Day Three

Schadenfreude quips with Chicago furniture tycoon Tim Smithe | Photo by Erin Nekervis

After what became an extremely late Wednesday night, things were feeling a little sluggish for Day Three of the festival. On the slab for the evening was the music and sketch comedy of local institution Schadenfreude. The group welcomed several special guests for their “uber-local” jokings, including radio personalities Eddie and JoBo, furniture mogul Tim Smithe, comedians Brian Babylon and Joe Bill, soul band The Jordan Years, and Grammy-winning Chicago hip-hop artist Rhymefest. The audience was treated to esoteric observations on all things Chicago, coupled with an inspiring musical backdrop from The Jordan Years. Rhymefest helped close out the sketch portion of the evening, proving that he’s more than just a pretty face in the rap game, but also an astute comedian in his own right.

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Tuesday
Jun222010

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).

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Wednesday
Jun162010

Just for Laughs Chicago, Day One

Last night, Chicago Underground Comedy kicked off the 2010 Just for Laughs Chicago Festival. With two concurrent shows on stages upstairs and downstairs, the venue was at raucous capacity with 250 people. Special last-minute guests and Chicago expats Kyle Kinane and John Mulaney joined hosts Mike Bridenstine and Mike Sheehan, and Chicago up-and-comers Adam Burke, Beth Stelling, Brendan McGowan, Cameron Esposito, Dan Telfer, Hey You Millionaires, James Fritz, Junior Stopka, and Sean Flannery. Golden boy-come-home TJ Miller rounded out the evening’s festivities.

 TJ Miller | Photo by Erin Nekervis

Tonight, TJ Miller, along with Mike Bridenstine, James Fritz, and Kyle Kinane, will present Drinking Buddies at the Lincoln Lodge, an informal stand-up showcase followed by a screening of Miller’s film Successful Alcoholics. A second 11 p.m. show has been added; the 9 p.m. show is sold out.

Other JFL shows tonight include:

  • Aziz Ansari - The Dangerously Delicious Tour, The Vic Theatre, 7:00 PM -- SOLD OUT               
  • Lucha VaVOOM, Park West, 7:00 PM -- SOLD OUT        
  • Ellen's Somewhat Special Special, The Chicago Theatre, 7:30 PM -- some tickets available.      
  • Beer Shark Mice, iO Theater, 8:00 PM -- Contact the iO Box Office at 773-880-0199 for possible tickets.
  • Aziz Ansari - The Dangerously Delicious Tour, The Vic Theatre, 9:30 PM -- SOLD OUT
  • Comedy Death-Ray Podcast, Annoyance Theater, 10:00 PM -- SOLD OUT         
  • Lucha VaVOOM, Park West, 10:00 PM -- SOLD OUT     
  • Beer Shark Mice, iO Theater, 10:30 PM -- tickets available through the iO box office.

Can't get into any of the JFL shows but still hankering for some live comedy actions? Check out stand-up showcase Comedians You Should Know downtown, OINK variety show in Boystown, or stand-up showcase Bronzeville Coffee House Comedy Show on the Southside.

Related JFLCHI shenanigans: Aziz Ansari spotted at Logan Square hipster hot-spot the Whistler last night.

--Kristy Mangel

Tuesday
May182010

Local Acts Announced for 2010 Just for Laughs Chicago Festival

New and local act rosters for the 2010 Just for Laughs Chicago Festival, June 15-19, have just been released. Chicago-centric performances highlighted below, along with several best bets on national acts in town for the festival. Tickets available at 10AM May 22.

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Friday
Apr302010

Chicago Checklist

CJ Sullivan and Sean Flannery, Visitors Locker Room--You have only a day or two to make your bets on the Derby, folks! Combine your gambling impulsion with a financial pledge to help get the Visitors’ Locker Room commercial airtime on the Glenn Beck show. Yes, for real. Your pledge will not only go towards a block of primetime for the comedy sports podcast, but will also be expertly bet on one of them horsies in the Derby this weekend. Read the full missive on the endeavor here.

--Details on headlining acts and events for JFL Chicago 2010 are beginning to emerge; Time Out Chicago and the Comics’ Comic Sean McCarthy are both gearing up for the big event.

Robert Hines--There’s a maybe-pseudo-secret offer going on right now, to get 10 free tickets to see Robert Hines TONIGHT and tomorrow, in addition to a free game of bowling, at the Diversey Rock n’ Bowl bowling alleys. Full details can be found here; other local favorites scheduled to perform include Drew Michael, Junior Stopka, Emily Lake, and CJ Toledano, according to our source.

--Local sketch group Octavarius is on a mission: to have the Oxford English Dictionary release “boner” as their esteemed Word of the Day. Campaign partners include Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, pH Productions, MISSION IMPROVable, Claymore Productions, Nothing Special Productions, CNGM Pictures, Hugs 'n Pull Ups, Improv Mafia, Sam Hill, Boom Boom Washington Accidental VJ and More Productions. Read more details and the full release here.

And to wrap up this wonderful Friday, watch as Paul Thomas delves into the complications and joys of human cloning:

 

My Monstrous Clone from Paul Thomas on Vimeo.

--Kristy Mangel