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Thursday
Jul272006

Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival - Tonight

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/thebastion/filmreel.jpgTonight, July 27, at the Music Box Theater on 3733 N. Southport, catch thirty-six short comedy films at the Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival.

The 7:30 show will kick off with Charna Halpern speaking, followed by the screening of eighteen short films, including I.O.'s short film, narrated by "serious guy" Bill Kurtis, who investigates I.O. as a murderous cult - written by Adam McKay and featuring Tina Fey.

At the 9:30 show, eighteen more shorts will follow, including George Eckart of Battery Media's animated short, "Pony," written by the Colbert Report's Mike Brumm, and voiced by TJ Jagodowski and Susan Chiara.

Wednesday
Jul262006

Zanies Gives Chicago Stand-Ups a Boost With New "Rising Stars" Showcase

The Bastion was just informed that Zanies Comedy Club is set to feature "ten to fifteen up-and-coming new comedians" in a newly instituted "Rising Stars" showcase, beginning Monday, July 31, at 8:30 p.m.

Does this new night at Zanies have anything to do with the Chicago Talent series beginning tonight over at the brand-new Improv in Schaumburg? Hmm...

At any rate, we've got a call into general manager and booking agent Bert Haas to get the dilly-o on the featured acts of the showcase, but we have a sneaking suspicion that those "rising stars" are the underground superstars of right now.

But don't forget! You've still gotta get yer two drink minimum on. Tell your support group, "comedy made me do it." They'll totally understand.

Wednesday
Jul262006

Chicago Stand-Ups Mentioned on ChicagoMag.com

chicagomagdotcom.jpgThe Bastion is young, but ambitious. We hope to someday say that we know everything going on in Chicago comedy. Every show, every party, every review, every media mention. Imagine our humble surprise, then, when an undiscovered nugget of fun almost slipped through our very own inbox.

It was a Saturday night. Chicago was teeming with energy and shows and parties and excitement. The Bastion was at home on the internet. Right.

Anyhow, moving on. We were tidying up e-mails, including the weekly subscription to Chicago Magazine's Marquee. It's interesting and useful, but unfortunately, we often get behind on it, and thus it gets relegated to the "delete without reading" folder.

NickVatterott.jpgThat night, however, we opened it, for a lark, hoping to stave off sleepy time. The first thing we noticed was the name "Nick Vattesot". The Bastion said to itself, "Boy howdy, that sure is similar to 'Nick Vatterott.' Who's this very similarly named individual?" We quickly scrolled.

And lo, five of Chicago's top alternative stand-up comedians were quoted, and the article wrapped up with recommendations of the top three places to see alternative comedy in Chicago. Read the full article here. Select jokes after the jump.

(Now, if we could just warn Nick Vatterott about this imposter who's out on the scene.)
Jared Logan: “The Etch-a-Sketch is the toy for drawing that makes drawing almost completely impossible. The Etch-a-Sketch simulates what drawing would be like if you had crippling arthritis.”

Nick Vattesot [sic]: “People back home ask me what my apartment in Chicago is like. I tell them to picture the most dreary, depressing place they’ve ever been. Then subtract chairs.”

Kumail Nanjiani: “I’ve always wanted to have a unit of measurement name after me because all the cool scientists have them—Joule, Newton . . . Mr. Kilometer. But I want something cool, like, ‘turn the torpedoes up to five Kumails!’
‘Five Kumails? That’s way too much power! Most people can’t handle one Kumail.’”

Brady Novak: “When I’m at a water park, kids ask me why I’m wearing a T-shirt. I tell them it makes me go down the slide faster, but deep down they know I’m wearing it to hide my fat.”

T.J. Miller: “I have a friend who answered the question—Which do you like better, sex or food?—with ‘food.’ So at his bachelor party, instead of a stripper who comes out of a cake, we got him a cake that comes out of a stripper. It was messy, but worth it.”

Wednesday
Jul262006

The Improv Invades Chicago 'Burb

ImprovLogo.jpgThe venerable comedy club and dinner theater known as the Improv opened doors in Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall the first week of June this year. The club seats 450 and the Skybar seats 50 more, which may qualify it as the largest stand-up comedy club in the nation.

There was skepticism, and some rumblings and giggles among Chicago's stand-ups when the news first broke, but tonight, Wednesday, July 26, the Improv will see several prominent Chicago stand-up comedians trying for an emcee or feature slot on their stage in the coming months.

If a chance to enjoy the seemingly non-compatible activities of stuffing your yaw with Chicken Tequila Pasta while laughing isn't enticing enough to convince you to visit the new Chicago Improv, how about this? Upcoming special perfomer Bob Saget. Yeah. Bob Friggin' Saget. Bob "unexpectedly filthiest possible version of the Aristocrats joke" Saget. Mary-Kate Olsen must be spinning in her grave. (Oh, wait, she's not dead. Never mind.)

Thanks to Dave Odd for catching the Bastion up to speed on this one.

Tuesday
Jul252006

Blerds Boys Play Dress Up, Scare the Innocent

"Get a bunch of immature men in tight pants together and it's sure to come up."

Apparently sitting around in extremely tight polyester pants has an...effect on the uhh, special male area.

The Bastion and F.O.B. Krystle were invited to sit in on the Blerds photo shoot this past Sunday afternoon. Before the gaggle headed downtown to Lakeshore Athletic Club, they readied at Casa de BridenHolmes, mocking each others too-tight polyester pants, short shorts, and white cardigans tied WASPily over the shoulders. After a quick beer, the posse ambled down Irving Park Road to the train, with puzzled passersby not only gawking but seemingly afraid of the pastel-clad crew.

Forest Casey, photog extraordinaire, snapped away on the train as the boys took over the back half of a CTA car, and on the trek down Grand Avenue to the athletic facility where the main group of photos would be shot.

Surprisingly, only one observer asked what all the fuss was about. The Bastion wasn't sure, but thinks it might have something to do with the showcase being held this Friday at the Cornservatory (featuring Michael Holmes, Kumail, Sean Flannery, Pat Brice, Mike Bridenstine, CJ Sullivan, and Nate Craig), a Time Out Chicago article dropping tomorrow about the Blerds site, and a crop of new videos from Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Or maybe they just needed an excuse to play dress-up for the day. Who knows?

Photos by Forest Casey.