The improved Brilliant Corners: now with free comedy | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The improved Brilliant Corners: now with free comedy 

The fest's sophomore edition gets funny for late night

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James Fritz

James Fritz

Thee Erin

Tweaked more than a little after last year's inaugural experiment, the Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements arts fest has not only switched venues and cut down on musical acts this time around—it's also added two free, late-night comedy shows featuring a mix of local and national acts and a cartoon voice-over whiz.

Hosted by Brandon Weatherbee of "live talk show" You, Me, Them, Everybody, Friday's installment includes local madman James Fritz, whose woe-is-me paranoia has made him one of the city's gems, and D.C.-based Seaton Smith, who jokes fast and smart on topics like the National Spelling Bee's need for an "advanced round" focused on the spelling of black kids' names. The Puterbaugh Sisters also perform.

Vocalo personality and self-proclaimed "Prince of Bronzeville" Brian Babylon emcees the fest's second night of comedy. On the bill: the cracked-sorority-girl stylings of Megan Gailey, Drew Michael's often warped and savage comedy, and H. Jon Benjamin, best known as the voice of secret agent Sterling Archer on the FX animated series Archer and of characters on Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Not quite so famous for his stand-up, Benjamin describes his act as "like Larry the Cable Guy but more New England-y. I've been described as 'sporadically funny.'"

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