Credit: Eileen Meslar

Will Miles and Clark Jones are old friends. They met as freshmen at Whitney Young, attended college together, and have been producing Two Black Dudes and an Open Microphone at the Town Hall Pub since 2008. Their love for one another and their deeply personal insults drive an unpretentious open mike that over the years has seen drop-ins from the likes of Hannibal Burress, Neal Brennan, and Eric Andre. What the pair have done special in the comedy scene, though, is provide a comfortable space for black comedians from the south side to perform in—and perhaps encourage some of the audience to travel out of their comfort zone for a show. As Miles said to me, Chicago is only as segregated as you make it, in life or in comedy. So when these two dudes didn’t find what they wanted, they made it.

Note: After five years, Two Black Dudes is wrapping up and moving on—maybe New York. Their last show is June 25, 9 PM, at Town Hall Pub (3340 N. Halsted).