Second City Serving Up Laughs

Emily Haddad

Photo by Emily Haddad


UP Comedy Club gears up to celebrate its one-year anniversary this November as the newest addition to the Second City improvisational theater family. Sporting a sexy new venue with two-level seating for 285 people just next door to the main Second City theater, UP Comedy Club hosts stand-up, sketch and classic improv comedy shows seven days a week. Well-known comedians such as Robert Klein (performing Nov. 9 – 11) and Kyle Kinane (Nov. 15-18), recently featured on the Conan O’Brien show, are bringing their brand of hilarity to UP Comedy Club’s stage. UP will also feature a hilarious holiday special, theNut-Cracking Holiday Revue, (Nov. 22-Dec. 31) a show that combines the best and worst parts of the holidays in glorious scenes and songs guaranteed to put a grin on the face of the grumpiest holiday Grinch.
For those just visiting Chicago, or hosting friends and relatives from out of town, UP Comedy Club hosts What the Tour Guides Didn’t Tell You: A Chicago Revue. This show will have people seeing Chicago in a new hilarious light, or just chuckling at the nitty-gritty truths of the city. With the elections coming up and both local and national politics getting heated, pundits can kick back with UP’sOne Nation Under 1%. Billed as a show that isn’t going to solve anything, much like the upcoming elections,One Nation Under 1% advocates that the audience and performers alike “just laugh about both and drink.”
Improv lovers can also catch weekly performances of The Second City’s Improv Extravaganza Explosion! and the ever-popular Improv All-Star. Featuring a wildly creative cast,the fast-paced interactive shows are never dull and never the same thing twice. The themes are all audience-suggested, and range as far as the collective imaginations of the crowd can imagine. The scenes are loosely structured from game-like devices such as a ringing bell to signal a redo of the last sentence spoken, or theatrical freeze tag, where any of the talented performers can freeze the scene and swap out another performer , emotion, or topic. During a recent show, the scene bounced from Muppets ™ working at a Pizza Hut ™, to Bill Cosby in a horror movie, and then to a jitterbugging Gary Busey making his rapping debut at that same pizza parlor, telling the audience “you might think the pizza tastes like crap, but it’s no worse than listening to three white people rap.”
Featuring a full-service kitchen and a large drink selection both hot and cold, UP also tempts visitors with Chicago classic foods such as the Chicago hot dog, pizza from Lou Malnati’s, and Eli’s cheesecake. Where else in Chicago but the UP Comedy Club can you get a great meal in a beautifully decorated theater, listen to an impromptu Broadway-style musical vignette about God giving out tramp-stamps and watch Renee Zellweger battle Hitler with her dynamic dimple powers?
UP Comedy Club is located on the 3rd floor of 230 W. North Avenue. Street parking and paid lot parking are available along the Wells Street. For more information or to inquire about tickets, call (312) 662-4562.