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Stand Up Stand Up

Thu 9 PM

A weekly comedy showcase featuring local performers, hosted by Keith Paesel, Todd Massey, Ken Witzgall, and Jake McKenzie.

Crocodile Lounge (map)
1540 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-252-0880

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Lincoln Lodge

Open run: Fri 8:30 PM
phone 773-251-1539

For close to 15 years, one of Chicago's best comedy clubs wasn't even in a club. It was in the back of the Lincoln Restaurant, a modest diner in North Center where the Lincoln Lodge, the successful indie stand-up and variety show, set up shop. The restaurant's wood-paneled walls and curiously patterned carpets created a warm and welcoming experience not unlike watching a comedy show at your grandma's house. Lest this environment sound too safe, the show itself is known for its edge. The house cast, which currently features promising up-and-comers Derek Smith and Rebecca O'Neil, boasts such alumni as Cameron Esposito and Kumail Nanjiani, while Kyle Kinane and Hannibal Buress were among the show's most frequent visitors until Hollywood came calling. Even now, the Lodge draws prominent headlining comedians—like Marc Maron and Eddie Pepitone—eager to perform for cheerful crowds untroubled by a two-drink minimum.

When the Lincoln Restaurant closed its doors in December, the Lincoln Lodge was without a home. Luckily, the Subterranean came calling. Located in the epicenter of Wicker Park and patronized by boozy youngsters, the SubT isn't as homey, but the Lodge has always had swagger, and the new digs reflect that. And the location is ideal for tracking down targets for Lincoln Lodge's live interview segment, which puts a comic out on the streets to interview unsuspecting passersby.

At the show I saw on March 14, genial host Marty DeRosa welcomed a mix of newer faces (Smith and fellow cast member Trey Brown) and old standbys (CPS teacher turned full-time comic Jeanie Doogan), all of whom were solid. Local legend Junior Stopka headlined the evening, and his irreverent ramblings and absurd non sequiturs were characteristically hilarious, enough to distract from the bass-heavy EDM show that was starting upstairs (some of the kinks are still being worked out, it seems). That lone drawback aside, the new era of the Lincoln Lodge is off to a strong start. —Drew Hunt $10

http://thelincolnlodge.com
Subterranean (map)
2011 W. North Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-278-6600
Lincoln Lodge

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Action Comedy

Open run: Thu 8 PM

Comics are not always funny—but in those cases, they can be claimed as high art, like The Walking Dead or Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Comics—the other kind—aren't always funny either. They either curl up like dead spiders and disappear beneath a dresser forever, or they soldier on to another open mike. That quick homonym demonstration aside, here's the deal with a new stand-up comedy show happening at Challengers Comics + Conversation on the last Thursday of every month. Action Comedy is a nod to Action Comics, the series in which Superman first appeared, published by what would become DC Comics. The show's produced by a five-boy team of Kevin Brody, Mitch Kurka, Ian Abramson, Jeff Scheen, and Zach Peterson, and joins an already pretty stellar line-up of live programming at the shop. Continue reading >>

Challengers Comics + Conversation (map)
1845 N. Western Ave.
Logan Square
phone 773-278-0155

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The Show Below

Open run: Fri-Sat 9 PM
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Improv and stand-up comedy by Keenan Camp and Logan Dean.

Crocodile Lounge (map)
1540 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-252-0880

The Comedy Evening Showcase

Open run: Mon 9:30 PM

Showcase for local comedians. $5

The Ace Bar (map)
1505 W. Fullerton Ave.
Lincoln Park
phone 312-970-1505

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Jokes & Notes

Open run: Wed-Thurs 8:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8:30 and 10:30 PM

The south side's only weekly stand-up club, featuring a weekend showcase. Also see Open Mike and Variety Show. $10-$20, 21+, "proper attire"

Jokes & Notes (map)
4641 S. King Dr.
Other South
phone 773-373-3390

The Improv

Open run: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 and 10:15 PM, Sat 7 and 9:15 PM, Sun 7 PM

Despite its name, this comedy club, billed as the largest in the country, features some of the biggest names in stand-up. $17-$30, 21+, 2 dr. min.

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Woodfield Mall (map)
1630 E. Golf Rd.
Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-330-1537

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