Laugh riot

Get caught up in the humor at a Chicago area comedy show

Life can be stressful. The kids, the job, the house. Sometimes you just need to get away to the beach, or to a spa. But if you’re feeling the blues mid-week, or you just enjoy a good belly laugh, then a local comedy show could be the perfect way to ease the burden of adulating for a few hours and have some good, reasonably clean fun. With comedy performances taking place across the greater Chicago area, there are plenty of laughs to be had. Here are a few:

Zanies at Pheasant Run
4051 E. Main St. | St. Charles
(630) 524-0001 | http://st-charles.zanies.com/

Next year, Zanies at Pheasant Run will celebrate 30 years of being the place-to-go-to in the western suburbs for a night of laughs via live comedy. But why wait? Weekend shows - Thursday through Saturday nights – continued to feature national touring comedians as well as some of the funniest local performers. Craig Ferguson, Gilbert Gottfried and Chelsea Handler are just a few of the stand-up comics that have graced the stage in St. Charles. And for those looking to save money while enjoying a night out, Zanies has “Good Neighbor Thursdays” where those who bring proof of address that they work or live in Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, West Chicago or Carol Stream, get in for free. While you’ll certainly get some good laughs when you visit Zanies this special deal is no laughing matter.

Riddles Comedy Club
5055 W. 111th St. | Alsip
(708) 422-5055 | www.myriddlescomedyclub.com

For close to 30 years, folks have got their giggle on at Riddles Comedy Club, which was formerly named KJ Riddles, and was home at least one night for Jimmy “JJ” Walker, as well as an impressive lineup of comedians over the years, including George Lopez, Drew Carey, Martin Lawrence and Ellen DeGeneres.

Riddles also has partnered with some restaurants in the area to offer dinner/ticket packages for those looking for a fun, and a bit different, date night experience. There’s also an Open Mic on Monday for those who think they’re the next George Carlin or Richard Pryor, if they’re kickin’ it old school, or if they think they have talent like one of the most popular comedians of today such as Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer.

The Comedy Shrine Theater
4034 Fox Valley Center Dr. | Aurora
(630) 585-0300 | www.comedyshrine.com

It has become an especially huge draw for bachelor/bachelorette parties, this theater brings the raunchy to Aurora with its “Whose Line? Naughty Show” one of a few different improv shows it hosts regularly. The adults only show combines scandalous skits, songs and more for mature audiences. Not your style? No worries. The “Whose Line Show” isn’t nearly as crude and features some of the area’s top improv actors performing hilarious skits, musical numbers and more. Finally, there’s a G-rated Family Time improv program that’s more affordable than a trip to the theater to see a movie and offers something far different than the usual family fun night out. Some of the best local and national comedians also come to Aurora to tickle the collective funny bone of the audience with stand-up comedy appearances. And, if you think you’re better at making people laugh than laughing yourself, there’s Open Mic on Mondays. Come on out soon and show Aurora residents your inner Sam Kinison.

Improv Comedy Club
5 Woodfield Road, Store K120B | Schaumburg
(847) 240-2001 | https://chicago.improv.com/

George Carlin? Check. Chevy Chase? Joan Rivers? Check. These are the kind of celebrity names associated with the Improv comedy clubs, as this nationwide chain has been the nightly home for countless nationally-known headliners since it was founded as a single venue in New York City in the early ‘60s. Nowadays, the laughs are still enormous and with a full bar, sandwiches, entrees and other delights. It’s a nice escape for fun in Schaumburg. Carlos Mencia and Craig Shoemaker have multiple appearances scheduled for April and Aries Spears, Steve Byrne and Piff the Magic Dragon are coming in May.

Two Brothers Comedy Show
205 N. Broadway | Aurora
(630) 264-2739 | www.twobrothersbrewing.com

Every Thursday night, you’re reminded that Friday is just a day away when you attend the “Still Not Friday Comedy Showcase.” And it’s still free! That means you’ll have little excuse for not taking advantage of the delicious food and drink on the menu (even if you’re susceptible to your milk coming out of your nose from laughing so hard) Seriously though, who is going to be drinking milk at a comedy show? Now, an authentic independent craft beer? That’s a different story, Shows feature some of the top comedians in the Chicago area and suburbs with three showcased performers each doing a 20-minute set every week.

The Second City
1616 N. Wells St. | Chicago
(312) 337-3992 | www.secondcity.com

From Alan Alda to George Wendt, The Second City is where countless well-known and not-so-well-known comedians, actors and directors have gotten their start. Second City productions are fully written and rehearsed but the shows are never the same, offering the audience a truly unique experience. There are sketch comedies with scripted, well-rehearsed scenes; improvisational performances, with the unscripted, spontaneous and collaborative art form that has made Second City famous; as well as classic stand-. If you truly enjoy side-splitting fun and laughter – and don’t mind pulling a muscle or two in your midsection from gyrating giggles - then attending a show at The Second City needs to be added near the top of your bucket list.