There’s no question that Chicago is one of the most hoppin’ open mic, improv, and stand up cities around. I didn’t know how active the comedy scene was until I actually moved here. If you don’t know someone who participates in the comedy scene there are dozens of places you can check out, sometimes even for free.
The Second City is always a hot spot for me and my friends on Saturday nights. The Second City produced prime comedic talent such as Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and many more people that will make your side split. If I’m feeling spendy I’ll pay to see a show. Most shows last 2 hours including an intermission, but I usually save the cash and hit up the free improvisation set after the shows. A free improv set follows every last performance of the night. The theatre’s seating area is Cabaret style so be prepared to share a table with your neighbors and make some new friends. The improv team is insanely talented. The show usually involves some audience participation. For example, the performer asked the audience for suggestions involving kitchen supplies. Naturally, I yelled out “TOASTER” and the team busted out a 10 minute sketch involving a toaster. Who knew kitchen supplies could be so entertaining? Check out the video below if your want to see the team in action.
Other smaller theaters hold frequent events for comics to work on their standup routine. I usually attend events at The Playground Theater held by my buddies at Chicago College Class Clowns. C4 is Chicago’s only stand up show run by students for students. Students from UIC and DePaul showcase their silly talents every Thursday night for $5.
If you’re really interested in comedy and making it a part of your career, DePaul offers screenwriting classes for all genres. But, if you’re like me and just want to sit back and enjoy the show, check out UP Comedy Club, The Laugh Factory, The Second City, or The Playground Theater. Most places provide a student discount because everybody knows we ain’t got the cash.