Preview: 2011 TBS ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ Kicks Off June 15

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CHICAGO – Hilarity is back in the Windy City as the annual “Just for Laughs” festival comes to town to kick off summer. Over the next five days, Chicago venues will be rocking with comedy legends like Steve Martin, and the smaller clubs around town will also be featuring up-and-coming acts.

Every day through Saturday, June 18th, over one dozen acts and venues will be open to catch the hottest comedians working. has compiled the highlights of each day, with both the big acts and something more Chicago-centric to celebrate one of comedy’s great American cities. For a complete schedule, including ticket buying information, click here.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz of ‘Adsit and Lutz’
Scott Adsit and John Lutz of ‘Adsit and Lutz’
Photo credit: Just for Laughs


Star”Adsit and Lutz” of “30 Rock”

The Producer (Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger) and one of the Writers (John Lutz as Lutz) of the hilarious sitcom “30 Rock” make an appearance at the legendary Improv Olympic (IO) Theater near Wrigley Field, and will perform three shows of off-the-cuff improv. June 15, 10:30p & 11:59p and June 16, 10:30p, IO Theater, 3541 N. Clark St.

Star”Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!”

The downtown Gene Siskel Film Center will be hosting comedy films and shorts throughout the Just for Laughs festival. “Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!” is a documentary on the current indie comedy scene, and features “Flight of the Concords” favorite Kristen Schaal. June 15, 8p, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.


Star”Demetri Martin & Special Guests”

Demetri Martin hosts ‘Demetri Martin & Special Guests’
Photo credit: Just for Laughs

The deadpan surreal “alt” comic Demetri Martin hosts a night of off-kilter laughs at the historic Chicago Theater, with the subtitle stating “Who Are Also Comedians And Are Friends of His.” June 16, 7:30p, Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St.

Star”New Faces of Chicago”

Nick Vatterott hosts a showcase of Chicago’s newest and freshest comics at one of the coolest new venues in town, Lincoln Hall. You can say “I saw them when”… June 16, 7:30p, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.


Star”Joel McHale & Friends and Acquaintances”

The host of E! Network’s “The Soup” and the star of NBC’s “Community,” Joel McHale, will be hosting a night of his funniest compadres and barely known connections. June 17, 7:30p, Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St.

Joel McHale in ‘Joel McHale & Friends and Acquaintances’
Photo credit: Just for Laughs

Star”Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago”

The Roastmaster General of Comedy Central’s insult extravaganzas hits Chicago to present a piece of the roast to the city. The “Meanest Man in Comedy” will be going after Windy City legends and audience members. June 17, 7:30p, The Vic Theater, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.

Star”The Andy Kaufman Funhouse”

Subtitled “Featuring the Andy Kaufman Award Winners and Finalists,” this night promises a cutting-edge and unconventional night of laughs in the spirit of the “Man on the Moon.” at an intimate comedy club on Chicago’s northside. June 17, 8p & 10p and June 18, 7p & 9p, Lincoln Lodge, 4008 N. Lincoln Ave.

Louis CK in ‘Louis CK & Three Very Special Guests’
Photo credit: Just for Laughs


Star”Louis CK & Three Very Special Guests”

Louis CK, one of the hottest and funniest comedians in the country, and the star of the cult FX sitcom “Louie,” brings his act to Just for Laughs with three special guests and two shows. June 18, 7:30p & 10:30p, Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St.

Star”Seth Meyers”

Saturday Night Live’s head writer, and anchor for “Weekend Update,” Seth Meyers returns to his Chicago roots (Northwestern University, IO) with his political and pop culture stand-up. June 18, 7:30p, The Vic Theater, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.

Star”George Lopez & Russell Peters”

The host of “Lopez Tonight,” George Lopez, and Russell Peters (whose Green Card Tour performance was the highlight of last year’s Just for Laughs) combine for a multicultural comedy act in a venue just outside Chicago. June 18, 8p, The Rosemont Theater, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont, Illinois.

Star”Alone: Chicago’s Best Solo Acts”

The great (and typically Chicago) storefront theater The Playground hosts a night of solo artists for some different type of comedy. June 18, 10p, The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted.

’Steve Martin and Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation’
’Steve Martin and Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation’
Photo credit: Just for Laughs


Star”Steve Martin and Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation”

Closing Night of Just for Laughs hits a grand slam with two comic legends. Steve Martin has done it all for over forty years, and Martin Short established a new wave of laughter with SCTV and Saturday Night Live. Yes, it will be stupid, but it also will be damn funny. June 19, 7:30p, Chicago Theater, 175 N. State St.

TBS Network and Twix Present “Just For Laughs Chicago,” Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19, 2011. Click here for FULL schedule and ticket information. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2011 Patrick McDonald,

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