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Wednesday
Aug132008

New Video Wednesday

Surviving the New Depression: Tip #28 (from Steve Delahoyde and Schadenfreude):


Sonic Commercial Parody:

Kyle Kinane at Chicago Underground Comedy, July 29, 2008:

You are Forgiven, by Think Tank:

Costas Pitches, by Sports Action Team:

Scotty Got an Office Job Episode 8:

The Opener (Jim Tews)- Walsh Brothers:

Surviving the New Depression: Tip #94 (from Steve Delahoyde and Schadenfreude):

Impress These Apes 3 Audition: Alan Metoskie:

Surviving the New Depression: Tip #34 (from Steve Delahoyde and Schadenfreude):

Tuesday
Aug122008

Open Mic Photo Post

Good open mics are as important to any city's stand-up scene as good showcases. Terrible open mics not only make you wonder if you're any good as a comic, they make you wonder if you even like comedy anymore. Ever had a night like this? You get there 40 minutes before the show starts to get your name on the list. A Cubs game blares in one corner of the bar, competing for attention. The host fails to make efforts to keep the crowd warmed up, or, worse, is openly hostile to the audience and/or the comics he's hosting. The host bumps you down the list so he can put his latecoming friends up earlier, forcing you to sit for three plus hours waiting your turn to try out new jokes to a largely indifferent audience.

A good open mic makes you feel welcome. If the host and/or producer doesn't know you already, he talks to you and watches your performance to see what you're all about, and if you become a regular, where you fit into the grand scheme of things. A good open mic is a place where you can try new things you're a little unsure of, and walk away with some idea whether those new jokes have potential. And when your five minutes are up, you can wander to the front of the room for another beer, checking in with familiar faces along the way.

Adam Burke and Cameron Esposito are collectively running two new-ish open mics in Chicago right now, and we're pretty sure you can count on them to run consistently good rooms. First, every Thursday at 9:30 there's the Straight-Up Stand-Up open mic at Chinasky's, formerly Whiskey Road (1935 N. Damen). Sign up at 9:00 and expect, as Burke says, "just a down-and-dirty open mic. Comics get 5 minutes and we go for as long as there are comics to put up or until the bar closes."

Then, every other Wednesday at 9:30 (the next one is the 20th) Esposito and Burke are running an open mic at Charleston (2076 N. Hoyne). The format and frequency are in flux right now but we can confirm there are $3.75 well drink specials for the cheapskate drunks among us.

Burke acknowledges he's learned a lot from Your Sunday Best open mic, every Sunday night at Schubas, run by James Fritz and hosted by Prescott Tolk. Or, as he said, "for my money Schuba's is the best open mic in the city, and I'm trying to blatantly copy everything that they do so well."

- Elizabeth McQuern

All photos, of the first Charleston open mic, by Bryan Bowden.

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Open mic at Charleston's

Monday
Aug112008

Monday Morning Photo Post

Andrew DeWitt @ Apollo Theater Chicago 8/09/08, by Elizabeth McQuern.
Andrew DeWitt @ Apollo Theater Chicago 8/09/08

Dan Telfer @ Apollo Theater Chicago 8/9/08, by Elizabeth McQuern.
Dan Telfer @ Apollo Theater Chicago 8/9/08

Tron Guy Jay Maynard guest stars in "The Sickest F***ing Stories I Ever Heard," photo by Trefrog66.
Tron Guy

Allison Leber at Chicago Underground Comedy, by Elizabeth McQuern.
Allison Leber

John Leadley at Chicago Underground Comedy, by Elizabeth McQuern.
John Leadley

Nate Craig at Chicago Underground Comedy, by Elizabeth McQuern.
Nate Craig

Contestants at the final Don't Spit the Water show, August 9, 2008, by Elizabeth McQuern.
Don't Spit the Water contestants

Ken Barnard as Nicky Mouse and a contestant at Don't Spit the Water, August 9, 2008, by Elizabeth McQuern.

Ken Barnard as Nicky Mouse and a contestant

Erica Reid as Cutie Bumblesnatch and a contestant at Don't Spit the Water, August 9, 2008, by Elizabeth McQuern.

Erica Reid as Cutie Bumblesnatch and a contestant

Chip Aucoin of the Chicago Sashay Dancers at Don't Spit the Water, August 9, 2008, by Elizabeth McQuern.

Chip Aucoin of the Chicago Sashay Dancers

See your photos here! We can't be everywhere. Do you have a Flickr account? Are you taking pictures at Chicago comedy shows? Add them to the the Bastion Flickr pool or email us here. Links are preferred to pictures. Thanks!

Friday
Aug082008

Friday Free-For-All

PhotobucketThe Bastion went to the Water Tower Theater Sunday night to see the Lookingglass Theatre Company's production of Alice, and was impressed to see one half of sketch troupe KevInda, Kevin Douglas, in multiple roles. Let's just say the guy is brilliantly talented. The entire play was a visual feast and every member of the cast performed incredible physical, dramatic, and comedic stunts. If you're ever in the mood to take a break from your usual comedy routine and see some theater, we highly recommend scoring some cheap ($20) tickets like we did.

PhotobucketJena Friedman is moving to New York in a few weeks, and though, as she says, "I'll really miss the Chicago scene and the people and entertaining Julia (her weekly stand-up show at Town Hall Pub)," she's excited to be taking her musical comedy Refugee Girls to the Fringe Fest in New York. Before then, check out her two preview parties for the show at the Lakeshore Theater on Aug 13th and 14th at 8 pm (tickets $10). The parties will feature "some awesome comedians - Palascak, The Puterbaughs, Hannibal, Fay, and a bunch of other jokers we all know and love," said Jena.

The Chicago Comedy Series at the Apollo Studio Theater this Friday and Saturday night will be repeating the lineup from this clip, which features gregariously hilarious series host Andrew DeWitt, Bryan Bowden, and Dan Telfer, and to sweeten the pot, this week's show will also include the uber-talented Adam Burke (sadly NOT featured in this clip, tho!):

Wednesday
Aug062008

New Video Wednesday

Chicago's Hannibal Buress in Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, Weekly Evil - Why Batman Sucks:

A Message by Steve Delahoyde, featuring Cameron Esposito:

Blewtenanny Stand-up Highlights from July 12, 2008. Featuring stand-up comedy from Bryan Bowden, Sarah King, James Fritz, Mike Wiley and Bill Cruz.

Greg Mills at Chicago Underground Comedy, July 22, 2008:

The Opener, featuring Jim Tews with Maria Bamford:

"Charlie On Parole" Trailer:

GayBalls - Episode 2 (featuring Chris Lee and Ben Seeder):

James Fritz at Blewtennany July 12, 2008:

Great Moments in Pong History, by Dan Polydoris:

Bill Cruz at Blewtenanny July 12, 2008:

Andrew DeWitt - "Checkpoint Chalupa":