Holy cannoli, it’s that time of year again for the TBS Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival. Going strong in its fourth year, the event has been named the nation’s biggest comedy festival as I’m honored to cover it yet again this year. The comedic lineup continues to grow as shows blasted off full steam last night.
THE CONAN WRITERS LIVE AT THE LAUGH FACTORY
First on the agenda were the very funny comedians and writers of Conan O’Brien’s online team, Team Coco. The group of individuals included feature performances by artists Deon Cole (emcee), Andres du Bouchet, Brian Stack, Dan Cronin, Jesse Popp, Matt O’Brien and Todd Levin.
Inside the new Chicago venue, The Laugh Factory, this talented group attacked the stage one after another as each brought their own voice to the microphone. Some focused on personal monologues or two liners regarding pop culture while others orchestrated entire sets filled with crowd interactions of screaming “Yah’s!”
An extra special treat was to sit with the production crew from the television show Conan. These folks were extremely friendly and it was great to talk comedy before the show. I also dug up a little secret I want to share…
Since Conan is filming in Chicago this week they are giving away 6,000 free t-shirts to all TV viewers, regardless of your viewing market. All you have to do is look for the code given during the show, go to the Team CoCo website and enter for your chance to win! Pretty cool as new shirt designs are loaded daily.
After a full 90 minute set it was time to visit UP Comedy Club, another new comedy outlet in Chi-town. This beautiful facility sits in the heart of the prestigious improvisation and sketch school, The Second City and it is nice!
KYLE KINANE AT UP COMEDY CLUB
Smelling like a fresh new car, Chicago native and comedian Kyle Kinane left his hilarious scent all over the walls of this new club. Two opening acts tried to warm up the crowd yet Kyle took the audience on journey no one was expecting.
Sharing details on how he treats his body like a trash can to finding happiness in crappy situations, Kyle had a unique style and pace that clearly demonstrated his comedic professionalism. I literally laughed out loud when he told airline stories of people having sex in the seat next to him and how people can pass through TSA screenings with Reebok plastic bags filled with pancakes.
With a sip of Miller Lite here and there, Kyle delivered a strong set of jokes that left the audience craving more. Smiles filled my face as I traveled back to my place; Just For Laughs Chicago is back and the party has just begun!