The nation's future funny bone is being developed right now in Chicago comedy clubs. You'll also be able to see many established stars as they zip in and out of town. So get ready to laugh.
Right down the street from legendary The Second City
is the original Zanies
, or as some people call it, "Stand-up Heaven." So many comics have played there, the list is endless. You can see that by perusing the number of autographed photos on the wall. The space is small and up-close. You might even get the headliners signing their CDs or books on your way out. There's no place for them to hide.
If you lean toward improv, take a suggestion from the audience and head north to Wrigleyville. Seven nights a week on two different stages, you'll find "the Harold" format perfected at iO. You've never seen more people on stage working harder together to get you to laugh. The number of comedy crews at the iO is truly staggering. Here again, you're never more than four seats from the action.
Not far away is ComedySportz, where two teams vie for your laughter and applause in an action-packed, guffaw-for-points contest that uses suggestions from the audience, as well as audience members. Go Red! No, go Blue! A few nights a week they even open their doors for an evening of local stand-up.
Other great spaces include the Laugh Factory, UP Comedy Club and Wisecrackers Comedy Club (which is just across the border in Indiana). Or check out Chicago's longest running comedy show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, up at the Neo-Futurist Theater.
UP Comedy Club article image courtesy of The Second City