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Gilbert Gottfried

Thu 11/20, 7:30 and 9:30 PM

With a loudmouth voice as subtle as a chorus of chain saws gnawing through a monster-truck tire—which is, coincidentally, a pretty decent description of its timbre—comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has long had success lending his pipes to cartoon characters. His embodiment of Iago, Jafar's hotheaded parrot sidekick in Aladdin, probably remains his most notable voice-acting role ("Look at this. I'm so ticked off I'm molting"). By no stretch, however, is Gottfried's voice used only for good. While it might translate as colorful and uproarious in a family-friendly Disney film, it'll sound abrasive and derisive when spouting absolute filth and malice in jokes that would make Caligula blush. Those are Gottfried's bread and butter: the inappropriate and the outrageous. That's when he hums. The proof is in the Comedy Central Roasts, in which Gottfried is a regular participant, annihilating easy-target celebrities like David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget, and the late Joan Rivers, with whom he shared a fictional sexcapade that he riffs about in excruciating, gruesome detail. He's poetic in his takedowns, his signature squint staring straight into the camera as he taunts comedy with how far he'll push a joke, and push a crowd. (His roast of Hugh Hefner in 2001 included a 9/11 joke that prompted a "Too soon!" cry from the audience.) And the yelling only makes it funnier, because it adds shock value. No matter how raw or gross Gottfried's punch lines get, the over-the-top production of the joke is more hilarious than its reveal. It's like watching the man behind the curtain burn the curtain to the ground and then take a piss on it. For further proof, please track down the YouTube video of Gottfried's rendition of the infamous "the Aristocrats" joke from the 2005 movie of the same name. There are more references to fisting in his five-minute-plus version than should be legally allowed in a comic's lifetime. —Kevin Warwick

$25 plus two-drink minimum

Zanies (map)
1548 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-4027


Todd Glass

11/20-11/22: Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 10:30 PM

Glass is a thinking man's comic with a boisterous stage presence and a well-informed opinion on virtually any topic. On his podcast The Todd Glass Show, he and fellow comedians dissect everything from their starts in stand-up to Glass's love of candles, but tonight he'll probably just tell some great jokes. $20

Up Comedy Club (map)
230 W. North Ave.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992
Todd Glass


Mick Foley

Thu 11/20, 7:30 PM

$25 plus two-drink minimum

Zanies (map)
5437 Park Pl.
Suburbs Northwest


Tommy Davidson

11/20-11/23: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 and 10:15 PM, Sat 7 and 9:15 PM, Sun 7 PM

$22 plus two-item minimum

Chicago Improv (map)
5 Woodfield Rd.
Other Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-240-2001


Parlour Car

Open run: Thu 8 PM

Local comics Matty Ryan, Kenny DeForest, and Adam Burke present a weekly stand-up showcase.
Bar DeVille (map)
701 N. Damen Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 312-929-2349


Stand Up Stand Up

Open run: 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


I Shit You Not!

Open run: Thu 8 PM

Local comedians and monologists share personal stories of inadvertent defecation. Michael Sanchez and Monte LeMonte host. $5
Logan (map)
2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Logan Square
phone 773-252-0628
I Shit You Not!


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