So 140 comedians walk into Chicago . . .
That’s the setup for the TBS Just For Laughs festival, now in its fourth year and coming to 19 venues around the city starting June 12. Day-by-day highlights:
Update: Birbiglia’s show has been postponed “due to technical production issues,” per a press release. He’ll be back 10/25-10/29.
Jumping from a second-story window in your sleep and surviving takes luck. Building synergy around the experience takes Mike Birbiglia. He spun his extreme sleepwalking into a stand-up act, a book, and a movie called Sleepwalk With Me. Now he’s back with My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, an evening of stories about his romantic blunders (6/12-6/16: Tue-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 7:30 and 10 PM, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, $45.50).
These days Scott Adsit is a regular on NBC’s 30 Rock
, Jon Glaser stars in Adult Swim’s Delocated, and Kevin Dorff can be seen on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. But in the 1990s you could find them all on Second City’s main stage. Here, they’ll be improvising together again—and, in some shows, with local icons Dave Pasquesi and T.J. Jagodowski (6/13-6/14: Wed-Thu 8 and 10:30 PM, no Glaser on Wed, iO Theater, 3541 N. Clark, $20). Update 2: Glaser canceled too.
Amy Schumer made a name for herself roasting Charlie Sheen on Comedy Central last fall. Her wholesome demeanor contrasts with her brash, politically incorrect humor (Wed 6/13, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, $25). Comic book allusions, references to 80s metal bands, and rage at those who don’t understand the aforementioned characterize the performances of consummate alt-comedian Patton Oswalt (Thu 6/14, 7:30 and 10 PM, Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, $35). And Chicago-bred stand-up Hannibal Buress returns home for a single show (Thu 6/14, 10 PM, Park West, $27.50).
“Treat yo’ self” to a performance by Aziz Ansari, who often utters that catchphrase as swaggering Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation (Fri 6/15, 7:30 and 10:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, $48.50). Or you can catch John Oliver, resident Brit on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Fri 6/15, 7:30 PM, Vic Theatre, $35).
Jeff Ross is an equal-opportunity insulter; expect him to turn the heat up on local personalities and audience members alike during Jeff Ross Roasts Chicago (6/15-6/16: Fri-Sat 10 PM, Park West, $35). Meanwhile, Alone: Chicago’s Best Solo Acts features Adam Cole, Anthony Oberbeck, Barry Hite, Christine Tawfik, Conner O’Malley, Greg Hess, Hans Holsen, Katy Colloton, Timmy Mayse, and Wendy Mateo (6/15-6/16: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Playground Theatre, 3209 N. Halsted, $15).
Vince Vaughn’s Comedy Showcase closes out the festival. The Wedding Crashers star hosts “funny Greek” Angelo Tsarouchas, regular Boston guy Bill Burr, affable Steve Byrne, and a JFL “rising star” to be named later (Sun 6/17, 8 PM, Chicago Theatre, $58.50).6/12-6/17: various times, prices, and venues, justforlaughschicago.com.