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Chicago native Cameron Esposito to film new comedy special at Thalia Hall today

Cameron Esposito
Photograph: Mandee Johnson Cameron Esposito

Chicago native Cameron Esposito is home today to tape her first comedy special at Thalia Hall. Local comedy aficionados might know Esposito from her performances at comedy clubs across town. And if you own a television, you may have seen her as a guest on Conan or the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. She's been called "the future of comedy" by Jay Leno and a "comic to watch" by LA Weekly, Jezebel and Cosmo. She was also featured in Marie Claire's "Funniest Women of 2015."

I chatted with Esposito about coming home and the upcoming comedy special.

If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be?

An atheistic priest, which is basically the same as being a comic.

What do you miss about performing in your hometown of Chicago?

Al's Italian Beef (hot, sweet, dipped) and the El. And the audiences—Chicago's got great audiences—but I'll see them soon!

Speaking of your hometown, what’s it like visiting the suburb where you grew up?

Well, I grew up in the most adorable place known to man (Western Springs), so going back there is amazing and surreal. There's a butcher and a baker and a milkman. Not a candlestick-maker though—you gotta go to Pier One for candlesticks. 

Are you recognized as a comedian there? Or do you get the “Little Cameron Esposito, my, how you've grown” from old neighbors and they have no idea you’re a nationally touring comedian who appears regularly on TV?

Um, yes. Sometimes my parents' friends show up at shows. I'm always like, "So nice to see you and sorry about all the words I just said." 

Why film your upcoming comedy special at Thalia Hall, and why now?

I'm filming the special two days before I get married to a wonderful woman in my hometown, Chicago. The special is a love letter to her and to my city and to marriage equality. A funny, angry, sweet love letter.