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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: Melissa Mamroth
Comedians You Should Know

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 the Laugh Factory. 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. Following the example of the Lincoln Lodge, which began its life in the back room of a greasy-spoon diner (though it now makes its home at Wicker Park's SubT), 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 Cameron Esposito or Kumail Nanjiani.


Chicago Underground Comedy


This outstanding night of comedy takes in four to five comics each week. Keep your eye on some of these folks: they're going places.

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Beat Kitchen , North Center Tuesday February 27 2018 - Tuesday April 24 2018

Congrats on Your Success


Since its start in 2012, stand-up comedy showcase Congrats on Your Success has steadily built up an audience of dedicated regulars, who pack every bit of available space in Logan Square's Uncharted Books. The show's loose, friendly vibe is reinforced by interactive bits and between-set segments that engage attendees with the show's hosts and producers, who describe their audience as "DTF."

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Uncharted Books , Logan Square Thursday March 1 2018

Best Night Ever

This weekly comedy showcase at Wrigleyville's Gman Tavern features a mix of local and touring stand-ups, all at no cost to the audience.

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Gman Tavern , Wrigleyville Monday February 26 2018 - Monday April 30 2018