Chicago’s Best All-Female Stand-Up Shows

These ladies will make you laugh

Photo by Sarah Larson; Courtesy of Diamond Comedy Hour

While male comics are frequent fixtures at stand-up shows in Chicago, women are quickly asserting themselves as a funny force. Throughout the city, all-female stand-up shows are popping up more regularly, providing fresh content and perspective for attendees of any sex and persuasion.

Diamond Comedy Hour
Formerly operating under the moniker “Jokesplaining,” the rebranded Diamond Comedy Hour at Laugh Factory is the gold standard of all-female shows in Chicago. Taking place the first Friday of every month, the show features a diverse lineup of ladies from Chicago and around the country. In addition to the comedy, the show also supports local women-owned businesses and raffles off items from said shops at each show. Get there early to hit the photo booth with your squad and chat with the comedians before the show.
Details: First Friday of every month at 10 p.m. at Laugh Factory.

This monthly show combines stand-up comedy with “gross” true stories, told by women and femme-identifying performers. If you’ve ever wondered what The Moth Storytelling show would be like if all the stories were about, say, diarrhea or inopportune menstruation, Ladylike answers that query loud and clear. It’s produced by a handful of Chicago comedians, including Sarah Squirm, who’s known for her outrageous blood and guts sketches and stage performances. The show almost always sells out, so make sure to get there early to snag a seat or at the very least, standing room.
Details: Every third Monday of the month at Cafe Mustache. 8 p.m. $5 suggested donation.

Credit: Ladylike

The Kates
Created and curated by Chicago comedian Kelsie Huff, The Kates is an all-female comedy showcase in an intimate setting unlike most shows you’ll find in Chicago. It takes place twice a month (second Fridays and last Saturdays) at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, as well as pop-up shows around the city, including monthly events at the famed Improv Comedy Club in Schaumburg. The show’s success pushed them to launch The Kates University, which includes adult storytelling and stand-up classes, all-female stand-up classes, corporate comedy workshops, college comedy intensives and youth outreach programs.
Details: Second Fridays at 7 p.m. and Last Saturdays at 7 p.m., both at The Book Cellar.

Just Us Gals
Only a few months in, Just Us Gals is a relative new kid on the block, but the first handful of shows have proven that it’s got staying power. While it’s billed as a variety show, it skews more toward stand-up, includes a musical act and even features the occasional male performer on the lineup. Produced by a handful of the city’s up-and-coming female comedians, the show takes place in Avondale’s Sleeping Village.
Details: Third Wednesday of the month at Sleeping Village at 8 p.m. $7 in advance or $10 at the door.

You Joke Like a Girl
This monthly all-female show is somewhat of a double whammy; it’s an open mic and a showcase rolled into one, and a popular one at that. The show takes place at Volumes Bookcafe in Wicker Park and provides a safe, intimate and supportive setting for both newer female comics and the city’s seasoned vets. The mic takes place before the showcase, so get there early if you want to perform or want to secure a seat for the show that begins an hour later. Sign-up for the mic is at 7 p.m. and it starts at 7:30 p.m.; the showcase follows at 8:30 p.m.
Details: Last Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m. at Volumes Bookcafe. Free.