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Why You Should Drop Everything and Start Going to Comedy Clubs

World-renowned comedians like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, Joan Rivers, and Stephen Colbert discovered their comedic stride in Chicago’s most famous comedy clubs. Chicago is hailed for its status as the City of Comedy, so how do we take advantage of these opportunities right next door? Each club varies in its type of show, however there’s a comedy spot for everyone. Find yours below!

1. iO Theater

Founded by the famous improv comedian Del Close, this club offers a variety of shows like “The Harold Team Meridian,” which focuses on longer improv shows, and “Dynasty, Lureena Cornwell, Club Asia and Asia Martín” which is performed by a cast of all-minority actors and actresses. Recently I saw “Improvised Shakespeare Chicago” and was absolutely blown away, not knowing I could laugh so hard at a show-concept I didn’t think was possible. The iO Training Center offers extensive improv classes for up and coming actors. Tickets for shows are as low as $10.

2. Second City

Probably Chicago’s most well known comedy club, Second City offers shows across several Chicago locations. “Improv Brunch” combines all you can eat brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas with 45 minutes of improv. “She the People” takes a ferocious and feminist twist on a vast span of topics and stars female comedians. Second City also hosts groups like “Baby Wants Candy,” one of the most famous international comedy ensembles. General admissions tickets are around $31.

3. Under the Gun Theater

Cozier and located in the center of Wrigleyville, Under the Gun Theater and Bar offers comedy shows and classes. The theater company provides a quirky twist on most comedy shows. “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” showcases stand-up, sketch, and a new local spicy chicken sandwich every month. Celebrities like Jo Firestone, who was featured on Jimmy Fallon, host weekly shows. “Peep Show” offers a burlesque-twist and is packed with surprises for its audiences. General admission tickets are $21.

4. Annoyance Theatre and Bar

Located just off Belmont Ave, The Annoyance Theatre and Bar features “True Crimes,” where comedians attempt to answer questions like, “What makes serial killers kill?” in the dumbest way possible. “Anarchy: Improvised Rock Opera” delivers exactly what’s in its name – a feat that should interest everyone. The locale is welcome to anyone above the age of 14 and tickets start at $10 with student discounts.

5. The Laugh Factory

From Hollywood to Las Vegas to Long Beach to Chicago, The Laugh Factory is sure to send you home laughing. “Drink Date Laugh” takes an exploratory stand-up tour through the audience members’ dating history and love lives. “The Nasty Show” presents comedians who hold nothing back. The Factory’s website describes it: “It may get dark. It may get dirty. It may make you question what’s appropriate to laugh at in public.” The Factory’s “Verified Laughs” has three comedians to compete for the audience’s votes. The best comedian competes in a monthly showdown!

Tessa Volpe

Northwestern '22

Tessa is a freshman at Northwestern University and is from Winnetka, IL. In her free time she loves to bake, sing a capella, hang out with friends, and work out!
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