TBS and Just For Laughs' Chicago Festival Adds All-Star Da Bears Charity Event; Standup by Three of TBS's My Boys; Comedy Stars Jim Belushi, Kristen Schaal and Patrice O'Neal; and Improv Legends Beer Shark Mice Other Additions: Fourth Aziz Ansari Show, by Popular Demand; Just For Laughs Films; Expanded Grassroots Program with Chicago's Best Talent, Including Sketch-Travaganza and More
Tickets for Newly Announced Festival Shows Available Starting Saturday, May 22, at 10 a.m. (CT) TBS and Just For Laughs have announced a wide array of talent and shows being added to the second edition of TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS in Chicago in June.
George Wendt, Joe Mantegna, Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, Richard Roeper and special guest Mike Ditka are set to team up for Da Bears Movie Dat Wasn't, a live reading of the never-produced screenplay for Saturday Night Live's Super Fans. The show will also include Super Fan sketches, surprise guests and a Q&A session with Ditka, all to benefit Have Dreams: Helping Autistic Voices Emerge and the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.
Over at Mayne Stage, Chicago's newest comedy club, My Boys' Jamie Kaler, Michael Bunin and Reid Scott are slated for a night of standup and more. And comedians Kristen Schaal, Patrice O'Neal, John Mulaney, Hannibal Buress and more are scheduled to pair up for six Double Threat shows. Mulaney is also joining the lineup in the ALT Comedy show at The Vic.
At Chicago's legendary Second City, Jim Belushi has agreed to join George Wendt, Tim Kazurinsky, Nancy McCabe-Kelly, Bruce Jarchow, Danny Breen and more in the Second City Class of '79 reunion.
Two big additions at The Vic have been announced: The enormously popular Aziz Ansari has added a fourth show to the Chicago run of his Dangerously Delicious Tour, with the new performance scheduled to take place Wednesday, June 16, at 9:30 p.m. And Kyle Kinane has joined Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Chris Hardwick and John Mulaney for the ALT Comedy showcase Saturday, June 19, at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
The Red Bar Comedy Club is set to serve as home to the TBS LOL Lounge, hosted by My Boys' Jamie Kaler. Plans call for each night's comedy showcase to open with finalists from the RooftopComedy.com's National College Comedy Competition. Studio BE is set to welcome Sketch-travaganza: The Best of Sketchfest, a collection of hilarious skits presented in one-hour themed sets. And a Best of the Fest gathering of hot comedy talents, including unexpected special guests, is scheduled take place at Mayne Stage.
The Festival is also slated to feature a wide variety of talent performing at grassroots venues that are popular with the locals. The wide range of shows includes the renowned Beer Shark Mice improv group at iO Theater; a live taping of the Comedy Death-Ray Podcast at Annoyance Theatre; Alone: Chicago's Best Solo Acts at Playground Theater; a showcase of Andy Kaufman Award winners and finalists at Lincoln Lodge, as well as a screening of local comedic short films; a performance by the popular comedy group Schadenfreude at Martyrs'; a collection of top local talent at The Beat Kitchen; and four themed shows at Jokes and Notes.
In addition, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is set to host screenings of two outstanding independent comedy films, including I Am Comic, Jordan Brady's fascinating documentary about comedian Ritch Shydner, and a sneak preview of Winnebago Man, Ben Steinbauer's hilarious search for viral video superstar Jack Rebney.
Tickets for newly announced Festival performances will go on sale Saturday, May 22, at 10 a.m. (CT). Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800/745-3000. Tickets for all Mayne Stage performances are available through TicketWeb, online at www.ticketweb.com or by phone at 866.468.3401. Tickets for Festival events will also be available at respective venue box offices. Additional programming and ticket information for this year's edition of TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS will be announced soon. A complete schedule of announced performances and other Festival information are available at www.justforlaughschicago.com.
Complete information on newly announced shows is included at the bottom of this release.
About the Festival
Five nights. Seventeen venues. More than 100 comedians. The laughter returns to Chicago this summer with the second annual edition of this week-long explosion of comedy, scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 15 - Saturday, June 19, 2010. Emmy�-winner Ellen DeGeneres will tape her fourth variety show for TBS, Ellen's Somewhat Special Special. Cedric The Entertainer will host Cedric The Entertainer's Urban Circus (working title), also set to air on TBS. Other Festival performers include comedy superstars Russell Peters, Denis Leary, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, Adam Carolla, JB Smoove as his character Leon Black, Rob Corrdry and his new series Childrens Hospital, and George Wendt, Jim Belushi and other comedy greats from the Second City class of '79. Also on the roster is the wildly popular Lucha VaVOOM show.
The Festival once again brings together the unprecedented comedy forces of TBS and Montreal's Just For Laughs. The TBS specials featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Cedric The Entertainer will be taped at The Chicago Theatre. Other sites slated to be home to this year's Festival include Rosemont Theatre, Park West, the Vic Theatre, Mayne Stage, Second City, The Red Bar Comedy Club and a roster of venues featuring grassroots programming.
For the Festival, TBS and Just For Laughs are also collaborating with the largest independent promoter in the United States, Chicago-based Jam Productions, LTD and Outback Concerts.
About the Just For Laughs Group
Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group's growth is concentrated on four major focal points: Festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Paris); television production (most notably Gags seen in 135 countries and on 95 airlines); live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jeremy Hotz, John Pinette, Louis C.K., the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, North American dates for Family Guy Live!, Arturo Brachetti's show Change in London); and talent management. Its inaugural Montreal Festival 27 years ago is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto and London.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as My Boys, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns, as well as the upcoming Neighbors from Hell and Are We There Yet?; late-night series like Lopez Tonight, starring George Lopez, and the eagerly anticipated new series starring Conan O'Brien; hot contemporary comedies like The Office and Family Guy; and specials like Funniest Commercials of the Year; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases. TBS also presents major live events, including star-studded comedy festivals in Chicago and Las Vegas.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS
Tuesday, June 15 - Saturday, June 19
Newly Announced Shows
Da Bears Movie Dat Wasn't - Saturday, June 19, at 7 and 10 p.m. at Park West
For one night only, the never-produced Super Fans movie will come to life as performers from the legendary SNL sketch and Mike Ditka reunite for a live reading of the 1995 script written by Bob Odenkirk and Robert Smigel. The epic script, both a freewheeling examination of the Chicago sports fanatics and an absurd satire of big money's influence on sports, will highlight the charity event for Have Dreams: Helping Autistic Voices Emerge and the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, along with several Super Fan sketches and a Q&A with "Da Coach" himself. Odenkirk and Smigel will be joined by original Super Fans George Wendt, Joe Mantegna and Richard Roeper, along with several surprise guests. A Jeff Singer Production.
My Boys - Thursday, June 17, at 7 p.m. at Mayne Stage
My Boys cast members Reid Scott, Mike Bunin and national headliner Jamie Kaler hit Chicago for a rare live performance to usher in the fourth season of TBS's hit show. This mix of stand-up, sketch, and music will showcase their witty banter and cocktail etiquette.
Double Threat - Thursday, June 17, at 9 and 11 p.m.; Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 7 and 9 p.m. at Mayne Stage
Two comics with complementing styles team up for a super-sized stand-up bill. This year's one-two punch features Kristen Schaal doubling up with John Mulaney on Friday and a special guest on Thursday, as well as Patrice O'Neal with Hannibal Buress on Saturday.
Best of the Fest - Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 11 p.m. at Mayne Stage
The best comedians of the Festival deliver killer routines. With surprise celebrity walk-ons every night, there's no telling who will take the stage at Best of the Fest.
Sketch-travaganza: The Best of Sketchfest - Friday, June 18, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. at Studio BE
Showcasing the dizzying array of local talent, Sketch-travaganza, in partnership with the Chicago Sketchfest, promises to tickle the funny bone on so many levels. Three to four groups perform each hour, with sketches grouped by themes. The result culiminates in a massive "Sketchubator" at midnight with new, unfiltered sketches from the previous hours' groups. The roster of performers includes My Mans, Family Tree House Boat Accident, Blaxploitation, Stir Friday Night!, Urban Indigenous, Bri-Ko, Germans, OneTwoThree Comedy, pH Productions, Kerpatty!, Long Pork, Sad On Vacation, Dominizuelan, Mountain Dawn, Jablonski!, KevINda, Jet and Holly and more.
TBS LOL Lounge
Hosted by Jamie Kaler - Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at The Red Bar Comedy Club
My Boys' Jamie Kaler hosts as 20 rising comedians take center stage in four shows to be recorded and made available online at justforlaughschicago.com. Each show will open with performances by one of the top four finalists in RooftopComedy.com's National College Comedy Competition, followed by a roster of comedy's next big breakout stars.
Just For Laughs Films
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS and the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago are collaborating once again on two screenings of the best independent feature films scouted by or submitted to Just For Laughs.
Winnebago Man - Sneak Preview on Wednesday, June 16, at 8 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Winnebago Man reveals the story of Jack Rebney, who has delighted and fascinated millions of viewers with his hilariously foul-mouthed outtakes from a 1989 Winnebago RV sales video that were circulated on dubbed VHS tapes before becoming a full-blown Internet phenomenon on YouTube. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer takes on the seemingly impossible task of tracking down Rebney, who turns out to be more savvy, deep, weird and cool than anyone could have imagined. In short, he's a star. Winnebago Man is a hilarious, smart and unexpectedly poignant look at one man's response to unintended online fame and how a so-called "humiliation" can become a beacon of light to many. Director Ben Steinbauer will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion with the audience.
I Am Comic - Friday, June 18, at 8:45 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Through candid interviews and unprecedented backstage access, Jordan Brady's fascinating documentary explores the world of the working comedian and provides a funny and revealing psychological profile of its practitioners. It centers on retired comic Ritch Shydner, who in the �80s was at the top of his game, with HBO specials and late-night TV appearances. Now he is attempting to get back on stage after a 13-year absence. But the audience may have already moved on. Interspersed with Shyder's story are insights from some of the industry's top comics and the challenges they face in an ever-changing world. Director Jordan Brady will be on-hand following the screening for a Q&A session with the audience.
Beer Shark Mice - Wednesday, June 16, and Thursday, June 17, at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Prompted by a single suggestion from the audience, improv titans Beer Shark Mice attack the stage with comedic abandon. What unfolds can only be described as democratic anarchy: scenes and characters appear, transform and reappear with such speed and become so intertwined that it's hard to believe it's all improvised. The group includes David Koechner, Mike Coleman, Neil Flynn, Pat Finn, Paul Vaillancourt and Peter Hulne. Each show will be opened by one of four venerable improv teams, including 3033, Deep Schwa, Middle Age Comeback and The Reckoning.
The Improvised Shakespeare Co. - Friday, June 18, at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Lo! The Improvised Shakespeare Co. has been making up complete Shakespearean plays every week for years, and have become one of the best improv groups in town. After playing to packed houses at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal last year, they will up the ante for their hometown Chicago by presenting two unforgettable plays with the entire cast. That's 12 or so fancylads in tunics, with the capacity for zippy one-liners and playful scenes at their disposal.
Memoirs of a Manchild - Saturday, June 19, at midnight
What does being a lifelong nerd get you? The ability to talk awkwardly to girls. An addiction to video games. A nasty habit of still playing with toy blocks. Also, more importantly, being a nerd gets you a career in comedy. Thomas Middleditch and Jordan Vogt-Roberts share their short films with the help of hilarious stand-up special guests in an hour of greatness and self-deprecation.
The Annoyance Theatre & Bar
Comedy Death-Ray Podcast - Wednesday, June 16, at 10 p.m.
Comedy Death-Ray Radio, hosted by Scott Aukerman, is one of iTunes' top comedy podcasts. This very special live taping promises CDR's usual mix of characters, stand-up, sketch and improvisation as performed by the country's biggest names in comedy, plus local up-and-comers.
Messing with a Friend - Thursday, June 17, at 10:30 p.m.
Venerable Chicago improv stable Susan Messing takes a guest on a special journey for a night of uncomfortable, weird, filthy, off-the-cuff comedy. Sometimes, the most fun stuff is the stuff that feels so�wrong.
40 Whacks - Friday, June 18, at 8 p.m.
On Aug. 4, 1892, the town of Fall River, Mass., was scandalized by the brutal double homicide of two of their most prominent citizens. Their daughter, the infamous Lizzie Borden, was arrested for the crime. It's just the sort of thing to sing and dance about. 40 Whacks is a dark musical comedy that examines the Bordens' family life before the tragedy and murder trial, as seen from Lizzie's perspective.
The Tweet Life - Thursday, June 17, at 8 p.m.
Online social networking...everyone's doing it. This interactive show's performers find inspiration in Twitter, selecting actual posts from Festival comedians as source material. These performers will create a 100% unscripted live theater piece based on the Tweets, making for a fast-paced, bit-heavy improv show nobody will want to miss.
Cook County Social Club - Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m.
Cook County Social Club makes its debut appearance at Just For Laughs. This unique show is an upbeat and off-kilter combination of improvisation, live music and sketch comedy.
Alone: Chicago's Best Solo Acts - Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 10:30 p.m.
For the second year running, Alone unites the city's best solo artists and puts them up in one place. Their rich character work and silly sensibilities unite for one hilarious evening, a taste of the great solo work happening all over the Windy City. The lineup includes Chris Witaske, Jim Fath, Kate Duffy, Katie Rich, Prescott Tolk, Seth Weitberg, Kristen Studard and more.
The Andy Kaufman Funhouse: Featuring Andy Kaufman Award Winners and Finalists - Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m.
The Andy Kaufman Awards were established in 2004 as a showcase for promising, cutting-edge artists with fresh and unconventional material. It's a raucous good time, but it has always been held in New York. Now, for the first time ever, past Kaufman winners and finalists from the East Coast unite with hometown Kaufman alums to showcase their out-of-the-ordinary work. Hosted by Sasha & The Noob, the lineup includes comedians Blaine Kneece, Chad Briggs, Chris Condren, Harrisson Greenbaum, Jet Eveleth, Michael Lehrer, Mike Amato, Ken Barnard and more.
Lights, Camera, Action, CUT: Comedic Short Films - Thursday, June 17, at 9 p.m.
Chicago's short-film community was previously only connected via their computers, but they'll be under one roof for this special gathering, including chats with the filmmakers, some live comedy and, of course, the short-and-sweet films they make.
The Beat Kitchen
Chicago Underground Comedy presents: Secret Big-Time Local Comedy Showcase - Tuesday, June 15, at 8 p.m.
The best of Chicago's local stand-up, sketch, and musical comedy scene performs delightfully jumbo sized sets on their favorite home turf - Chicago Underground Comedy's rock club venue, The Beat Kitchen. On two stages at once, these are the best comics Chicago keeps secret, held close to its infamously artistic bosom. Mike Bridenstine hosts performances by Adam Burke, Beth Stelling, Brendan McGowan, Cameron Esposito, Dan Telfer, Junior Stopka, Hey You Millionaires, Sean Flannery and more. The show will be closed out with a performance by the band Maybenauts.
Schadenfreude Rent Party: The City that Works - Thursday, June 17, at 8 p.m.
Chicago's critically acclaimed comedy group Schadenfreude teams up with the red-hot soul/hip-hop band The Jordan Years and special guests for a new comedy show all about Chi-town. Also featured will be Brian Babylon, Joe Bill, special guests Rhymefest, Eddie & Jobo and more.
Jokes & Notes
Breakout Performers - Friday, June 18, at 8:30 p.m.
This collection of rising stars not only push the envelope, but tear it apart, rip it to shreds and stomp it into the ground. Lil Rel hosts as they take the stage.
Leading Ladies of Laughter - Friday, June 18, at 10:30 p.m.
Some of the funniest ladies in Chicago come together in this one-time-only showcase hosted by Vanessa Fraction.
Bad Boys of Comedy - Saturday, June 19, at 8:30 p.m.
Be forewarned: This show is not for the faint of heart. A little bit of edge, a little bit of bawdiness�this show covers it all, and then some. Leon Rogers hosts.
Best of the Midwest - Saturday, June 19, at 10:30 p.m.
The Midwest has always been a hotbed for comedy, and this show presents its most seasoned veterans as they display their expert timing, delivery, stage presence and overall showmanship. Damon Williams serves as host.