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Chicago comedy nights: The best comedy shows at bars and pubs

These Chicago comedy nights at alternative venues are among the best bets for up-and-comers in stand-up and sketch comedy.

Photograph: Courtesy of Chicago Sketchfest
Puterbaugh Sisters

Chicago is host to a bevy of dedicated comedy clubs, from such institutions as improv mecca iO Chicago and the legendary Second City to stand-up joints like Jokes & Notes. But some of the most daring Chicago comedy can be found in bars and pubs, bookstores and comics shops, on stages where bands might be playing most nights—or, say, in the back rooms of greasy-spoon diners. Following the example of the Lincoln Lodge, which bills itself as the nation's longest running independent comedy showcase (though it's searching for a new home after losing its venue at the beginning of 2014), regular comedy nights have sprouted in a number of Chicago's watering holes over the last decade and a half. These are the places you're most likely to spot the next TJ Miller or Kumail Nanjiani.

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Chicago Underground Comedy

Critics' pick

This comedy night takes in four to five comics

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Beat Kitchen, Roscoe Village Tuesday September 1 2015 - Tuesday December 29 2015

Comedians You Should Know

Critics' pick

This weekly event puts local stand-ups on your radar

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Timothy O'Toole's, Chicago Wednesday September 2 2015 - Wednesday December 30 2015

Congrats on Your Success

Critics' pick

This free night is BYOB and also features free beer

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Uncharted Books, Logan Square Thursday September 3 2015 - Thursday August 4 2016