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A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory

The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey.

April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret

A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown.









April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark 

This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up."


April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's

Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's every week. This week's two hour show features Kristin Lytie, Jimmy Roberson, Kellye Howard, Matty Ryan, Nicky Martin, and Blake Burkhart. And it's hosted by Jonah Jurkens. If you don't already know their names, well, as the name of the show makes clear, you SHOULD.

April 5: Ronny Chieng at Zanies

Comedian Ronny Chieng has six shows at Zanies starting tonight. A "Daily Show" correspondent since 2015, Chieng has only been performing stand-up since 2009 but has four specials out and has toured the world.


April 6: Nemr at Laugh Factory

Another globe-trotter, in 2018 alone Lebanese/American comedian Nemr has already performed in the United Arab Emirates, Canada and the distant country of Texas. Catch him for one night only at Chicago's Laugh Factory.

April 7: "Weird Al" Yankovic (w/ Emo Phillips) at The Vic

This is the second of a two-night gig for true musical/comedic legend Alfred Yankovic. His opener - the great Emo Phillips, who appeared in Yankovic's cult classic "UHF" - killed at Zanies last August. There is now reason this show will not be amazing.

April 8: Dave Ross at The Hideout

I've said before that The Hideout has really been killing it in the comedy game. Gravel-voiced comic Dave Ross - from Comedy Central's "Corporate" - is making a stop in Chicago on his month-long tour and The Hideout will be hosting him.

April 9: 40 Comics in 1 Night at Zanies

Zanies is celebrating 40 years of existence this year. 40 years. And as they did for both their 30 and 35 year celebrations they're hosting a night of comedians to match the number of years. So on a Monday night on Wells Street, for free, you can see 40 Chicago comics take the stage - each getting 2 minutes - at the iconic stand-up club whose walls are covered with the legends (and, let's be honest, plenty of non-legends) who have also graced the stage over the years.

April 10: Feminist Comedy Night at Zanies

Given the amazing variety we have in this city, I try not to recommend the same venue two nights in a row, but both yesterday's 40 year celebration and tonight's Feminist Comedy Night are must-see stand-up events. This is not just a stand-up show with a killer line-up but includes a panel discussion afterwards about comedy and feminism.

April 11: Last Call open mic at The Mutiny

The Mutiny - a "Dive Rock Club" at Western and Fullerton - hosts an open mic comedy show every Wednesday night from 10-midnight where everyone who signs up gets 5 minutes.

April 12: Cash Prize Open Mic at Stretch Bar & Grill

As the name implies, this Open Mic promises cash prizes - most notably $200 to the winner (shots for others).








April 13: C.R.E.A.M. Presents Straight Up Comedy at The Revival

This is another Revival show that kills every month. Em Brown is a Chicago headliner who knows how to book a show.





April 14: America's Least Wanted Comedy Showcase at Navy Pier

On the second day of the I Heart Halal festival - the "first-ever Halal lifestyle festival in America" - an incredible line-up of comedians will be performing: Mo Amer, Ramy Youssef, Zainab Johnson, Ahamed Weinberg and it's hosted by Chicago's own Azhar Usman.



April 15: Kevin Hart at The United Center

As if anything needs to be said about this one - comedian, actor, ball of energy Kevin Hart is filling up the United Center for not one, but two nights. If that's not a show to check out...

April 16: Afterthoughts at Laugh Factory

A roast show where the comics roast each other and then roast a very lucky/brave member of the audience.



April 17: Brewtube Comedy at On Tour Brewing

This one I'm taking straight from the website because the concept alone is amazing: BrewTube Comedy is a traveling web-series that tours the nation’s best and most unique breweries while featuring the local scene’s best comics. Chicago comics featured will be Mickey Housley, Shannon Noll, and Reena Calm. Hosted by Peter Heinz and Dwight Simmons.

April 18: Ms. Pat at Zanies

I just finished her autobiography "Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat" and her life story is incredible. On top of that she's a killer comedian. She's in town for seven shows over four nights on Wells Street.

April 19: Kenan Thompson's Road to NYC at The Revival

This competition presented by C360 & #MaryLindseyPresents features a line-up of Chicago comics competing for a national prize.





April 20: A Dope Comedy Show at North Bar

It's hard not to recommend this one every month. Check out my Chicago Tribune piece for more background on the show. This month's line-up is great, as usual: Erica Clark, Rob Gleeson, Khalil Wilson, Kristen Toomey, and Brian Da Wildcat Smith. And hosted by Dave Helem.



April 21: Arsenio Hall at Zanies Rosemont

The legendary comedian and late night host got his start in Chicago and is back in Chicagoland - Rosemont specifically - for three shows over two nights.



April 22: Anne Marie Scheffler's MILF Life Crisis at Second City

A one-woman show about dating after divorce written and performed by Anne Marie Scheffler.




April 23: Chris Kattan & Friends at Zanies

Actor, comedian and former "SNL" cast-member Chris Kattan is at Zanies Chicago for one night after shows in Rosemont and St. Charles over the weekend.


April 24: Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider at Second City

"SNL" alum, "Letting Go of God" writer/performer and general storytelling badass Julia Sweeney presents her newly completed show freshly workshopped over the last month at Second City. Dates run through next month.

April 25: Helltrap Nightmare at The Hideout

The end of the "Blood and Guts" tour, which traverses the midwest and the east coast over a week, culminates in this show at The Hideout. Helltrap Nightmare was created by comedy - and literal - monster Sarah Sherman.

April 26: Nostalgia featuring Damon Williams at The Promontory

With headliner - and Chicago stand-up stalwart - Damon Williams closing out the night, this night of comedy presented by comedian and producer Eli Hamilton and This Is For You promises to be a memorable one.



April 27: Festival of Me with Jonah Ray at North Bar

Comedian and "Mystery Science Theater 3000" host Jonah Ray performs for two nights in a row at North Bar. At tonight's show he'll be doing stand-up at 8 and movie riffing at 10.






April 28: Faded by T. Murph at The Revival

This monthly showcase is always good and creator/host T. Murph is one of Chicago's best. This April show is especially not-to-be-missed as there won't be a "Faded" over the summer so it's the last chance to see Murph running his signature show for a while.

April 29: Larry Reeb at Zanies

This Sunday night show caps a six-night engagement from legendary Chicago comedian Larry Reeb, a great way to continue celebrating Zanies' 40th anniversary.


April 30: Laughs in Lakeview at Brendan's Pub

A free Monday night showcase hosted by Darrick Jones that promises to bring "southside comedy to the northside."

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