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  • Beth Stelling

Returning to Chicago for the first time since she skipped to Los Angeles ten months ago, comedian Beth Stelling—aka the Reader‘s 2010 vote for best stand-up comedian—is recording her debut album tonight and tomorrow (Fri-Sat 7/20-7/21) at the Comedy Bar on the near-north side. Released by Rooftop Comedy Records and due out late summer, the album is a collection of four years of stand-up she honed during her stay in Chicago.

Stelling anticipates the album will act as a mile marker for her stand-up career. Not only will she finally have her old material recorded—she told me many of the jokes are nearly three years old—but she also looks forward to writing new material and strengthening a routine that the LA scene’s already begun embracing.

I chatted on the phone with the deadpan comic about her return to the city where she cut her comic teeth, how the comedy scenes in Chicago and LA compare, and how incredible it must have felt to be on a Refinery29 list of the 30 hottest people in Chicago under 30.