Chicago for Improv, Stand Up, and Sketch Comedy

While in town to catch a Blackhawks game and load up on deep dish pizza and hotdogs overloaded with toppings, my girlfriend and I decided to check out some comedy while in the Windy City. We’re both huge fans of Kyle Kinane and have loved a lot of the SNL cast that came out of places like Second City, so we figured it would be fun and we were right.

The first night we went to Zanies Comedy Club, which is fairly standard for a comedy club. You don’t have a wealth of personal space and the atmosphere is a lot like your usual bar, but you get to see some top notch comics who you may have never heard of yet who might be heading up the chain sooner than later. I can’t for the life of me remember the names of the comics as we’d hit a few bars prior to going to Zanies, then fulfilled our 2 drink minimum, so my spirits were high but my memory was low. I do know that I laughed a lot, more than enough to warrant the $25 ticket for each of us, which does seem a little high, but as fans of comedy, I’ll take it as tax for how many free listens we get from our favorite comedians on Spotify. Zanies has a full calendar of locals and national headliners, so be sure to hit up their website to see if someone you like is coming or if you feel like rolling the dice and finding out about a new comic that you can brag to your friends that you saw them before they made it big.

The next night we went to Second City, which is touted as the premier sketch comedy venue in the country and did not disappoint whatsoever. I’ve been to a few Improv theaters and they can be at a bit of the mercy of the crowd when asking for themes or ideas, whereas Second City was much more sketch based and absolutely hilarious. You can definitely see how many past Second City members ended up going on to SNL and Hollywood after seeing them perform live at this theater. Again, if you’re into personal space this place might not be for you because they pack you in pretty tight and chances are you’re going to be laughing and might just bump the person next to you. But if you’re not uptight about that kind of thing, it’s a great experience and definitely one to make a night in Chicago memorable.

Where I stayed / started

Zanies Comedy Club

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