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Five best bets for fall comedy 

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NICHOLAS HUNT
  • Nicholas Hunt

Nick Offerman: Full Bush Tour

On the TV show Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman's character Ron Swanson was known for his love of red meat, his carpentry, and his bushy mustache. Swanson was a man's man, and Offerman shares almost all these burly traits. He returns to the city that launched his career as part of his "Full Bush" tour—shows that offer comedic advice about surviving in the wild and taming body hair, among other topics.

Fri 12/1, 7 and 9:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-462-6300, thechicagotheatre.com, 7 PM, $39-$171.


The 2017 cast of the Lincoln Lodge - HONK HONK PHOTOGRAPHY
  • The 2017 cast of the Lincoln Lodge
  • Honk Honk Photography

Under the Gun and Lincoln Lodge merge

Chicago's best-curated and highest-caliber stand-up showcase the Lincoln Lodge has found a more permanent stage at Under the Gun Theater, a bastion of improv and sketch comedy in the center of Wrigleyville. Angie McMahon, who runs Under the Gun, has championed independent comedians since the theater opened in 2014; her partnership with Lincoln Lodge producer Mark Geary, which began at the beginning of September, will only elevate both parties.

Open run: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 773-270-3440, underthegun.theater, $10.


ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ / GETTY
  • Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty

The Daily Show and Trevor Noah

Coveted spots as correspondents on The Daily Show have been filled by Chicago talent since its inception in 1999—well, 1996 if you count the Craig Kilborn years, which I don't. Stephen Colbert, Steve and Nancy Carell, Dan Bakkedahl, and recently Jordan Klepper (see page 29) have shone as straight-faced, satirical reporters. This fall the show travels to the city that some of its most memorable cast members once inhabited to shoot for a week at the Athenaeum Theatre. Its current host, the affable South African transplant Trevor Noah, will be sticking around for two more days to do stand-up at the Chicago Theatre, then will return just a week later for two more shows reflecting his outsider's view of the United States.

Mon 10/16-Thu 10/19, 10 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 773-935-6875, athenaeumtheatre.org. F

Fri 10/20-Sat 10/21, 7:30 PM and 10 PM; Sat 10/28, 7 PM and 10 PM. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-462-6300, thechicagotheatre.com, $35-$75.


COURTESY NERD COMEDY FESTIVAL
  • Courtesy Nerd Comedy Festival

Nerd Comedy Festival

I firmly believe there's no such thing as a guilty pleasure, nerdy or otherwise, and the performing comics of this annual shindig agree, putting up shows with a complete lack of irony about stereotypical nerd obsessions. 'Tis: A Dungeons and Dragons Improv Show performs at the whim of a "dungeon master" whose story lines are made up on the spot. Wig Bullies explores the vast regions of space through the lens of the first queer astronaut and his genderqueer robot pal. (There will also be wigs.) The festival ends with a cosplay competition; it'll be tough to nerd-shame from under a furry Pokemon helmet.

Thu 9/14-Sun 9/17, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, stage773.com, $15 per show, passes $85-100.


Shark Tank: The Musical

In case you're unfamiliar, Shark Tank is a reality show where small-business owners pitch their concepts to a panel of potential investors, most notably Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Jennifer Estlin, owner of the Annoyance Theatre, has transformed this engaging series into an improvised musical with products made up on the spot and panelists giving the inventors the third degree. Mick Napier, artistic director of the Annoyance and director of some of the finest Second City revues in recent history, plays Kevin O'Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful—a man known for his sick first-degree burns on contestants.

Details forthcoming; expected to launch early October.  v

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