Comedy

Nikki Glaser, Bill Maher & Ismo Headline This Season’s Can’t-Miss Comedy Shows

Photo courtesy of “Grinning From Fear to Fear”/Second City

Over the next few weeks, comedians of all styles and celebrity levels hit the stage in Chicago to bring the laughs. From Nikki Glaser and Helltrap Nightmare’s 2019 tour to Bill Maher and Finland native Ismo, the comedic lineup is as strong as it is diverse. Plus, there’s a new Second City revue!

Parlour Car Presents: Comedy Central’s Up Next Chicago Showcase at the Hideout
Up Next is an annual showcase featuring a wide range of diversely talented young comedians who have been selected by Comedy Central following a nationwide search, with showcases across the country. The Chicago showcases are presented by the Parlour Car team, and those chosen will perform at Comedy Central’s Clustefest in San Francisco in June.
Details: April 24, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; $5

Brendon Burns at Lincoln Lodge
Originally from Australia, Burns is a comedian and author who mostly performs in the UK. His first U.S. album, ​Pompously Lecturing Americans,​ came out in 2013, putting his number of stand-up albums at a whopping 10. Burns is also a regular at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has garnered several awards over the years.
Details: April 26, 8 p.m.; $20

Photo courtesy of Helltrap Nightmare/Facebook

Helltrap Nightmare 2019 Tour
Recently named best underground comedy show in Chicago by Chicago magazine, and described as “some truly off-kilter shit” by LA Weekly, Sarah Squirm and the gang are back for another installment at the Hideout. A highlight of these shows is always sketches from the Shrimp Boys, whose bizarre comedy stylings are a hit both onstage and in the form of vial videos.
Details: April 29, 8 p.m., at the Hideout; $10

Nikki Glaser at Thalia Hall
Current cohost of ​You Up w/Nikki Glaser​ on Sirius/XM Radio, Glaser returns to Chicago for a one-night-only appearance at Thalia Hall. Previously, she was the host of the Comedy Central show ​Not Safe​, and has appeared on ​Conan and The Tonight Show, a​s well as in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.
Details: May 3, 9 p.m.; $25

Photo courtesy of Nikki Glaser/Facebook

Bill Maher at the Chicago Theatre
The famed comedian, political commentator, and talk show host stops in Chicago on a nationwide, yearlong tour. Most known for his hit HBO show, ​Real Time With Bill Maher,​ Maher has made a 30-year career out of stand-up comedy, so seeing him solo in his element will always be a best bet.
Details: May 4, 8 p.m.; tickets start at $63

Doug Benson at Zanies Chicago
Lovable stoner comic Benson is popping into Zanies for a quick Monday night show after two shows at the club’s Rosemont location, where he’s doing stand-up at 4:20 p.m. on May 4, and a taping of his podcast, ​Doug Loves Movies, a​t 4:20 p.m. on May 5. Aside from his stand-up, Benson is known for his other podcast, ​Getting Doug With High, ​and his popular documentary, ​Super High Me.
Details: May 6, 8 p.m.; $20

Liza Treyger at Lincoln Lodge
Another Chicago native who has been doing big things on both coasts, Treyger returns home for a weekend of shows at the illustrious alt-club Lincoln Lodge. She has a bevy of stand-up credits to her name, including a Comedy Central half hour, ​Adam Devine’s House Party, and N​etflix’s ​The Degenerates,​ as well as an album released on Comedy Central Records.
Details: May 17 and 18, 8 p.m.; $18

Photo courtesy of Ismo/Facebook

Ismo at the Improv Schaumburg
Originally from Finland, Ismo has been delighting U.S. audiences since 2014, when he won the title of “Funniest Person in the World” at the Hollywood Laugh Factory. He’s appeared on ​Last Call With Carson Daly​, and last year made his debut on ​Conan.​ His unique view and voice, coupled with hilarious observations, make him a favorite the world over. Literally.
Details: May 17–19; showtimes and prices vary

The Second City e.t.c. Stage 43rd Revue: Grinning From Fear to Fear
The latest revue from Second City’s e.t.c. Stage is titled ​Grinning From Fear to Fear,​ and premieres Wednesday, April 24, with an open run. Look for the theater’s signature brand of satirical sketches, “from psycho killers to big pharma, coming out to your family to coming undone in your nightmares.” This 43rd revue finds a couple returning e.t.c. Stage cast members, as well as some new faces.
Details: Open run with Thursday–Saturday showtimes; $31–$41