Organizers Zach Peterson, Katie McVay, Stephanie Hasz, Matt Byrne, and Goodrich Gevaart Credit: Andrea Bauer

The Comedy Exposition

When Just for Laughs stopped staging its huge annual festival in Chicago last year, it seemed there would be nothing in its place to bring big national acts to the city. Lucky for us, a group of local comics came together to create something even better: the Comedy Exposition, a showcase with the friendly feel of a music fest. Last year’s inaugural event featured headliners Kathleen Madigan, Brooks Wheelan, and Andy Kindler along with an impressive roster of local stand-ups who held their own against the heavy hitters. One of the greatest joys of the festival so far is the attention it brings to original comedy shows that play in the city year-round, like Arguments & Grievances, Late Late Breakfast, and Stand Up Stand Up. The Comedy Expo is back this year with another strong lineup—Kate Berlant, James Adomian, and Todd Glass headline.