secondcity

4 Comedians To See Before They Leave Chicago Forever

For years the proving ground of stand ups, improvisers and Saturday Night Live hopefuls, Chicago is an unparalleled place to take in a fart joke.

This guy needs heckling so hard.
Perhaps over cocktails

This city however, is afflicted with an age-old curse: Like a small town quarterback until he’s scouted by the NFL, as soon as the city’s’ performers start to hit their stride, they’re wooed away by sexy Vegas, New York, or L.A.  – and these four are getting hit on harder than a foreign exchange student with a tinder account. The answer is simple Chicago. If you don’t want these talented people to skip town, GO SEE THEM!

So – as a public service mind you – I offer these humble suggestions for people you should not miss seeing unless gravely wounded. Your city is counting on you.


1. Adam Burke

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Although not a Chicago native, Adam Burke has had no trouble fitting into Chicago’s dense and clicky comedy community and hasn’t compromised his style in the process. He’s not afraid to get political, even while explaining why political comedy “is dead.” He’s also smart. Here’s a clip of him standing up for dumbness at the comedy debate show Arguments and Grievances.

Later in the show he burst into song to expel the virtues of brainless-ness.

IMG_0209Without a doubt, Adam has one of the strongest voices in the city. He announced his plans to move to L.A. a few months ago and has been getting booked like crazy ever since. I suggest you check him out before it’s some other city doing the bragging.


2. Jamie Campbell

IMG_0207Jamie is a one man work horse of comedy. He does stand up, hosts the Talk Hard podcast, as well as open mics and showcases all over the city, and has pioneered original shows like “Spiked Punch” – a comedy competition in the vein of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Crossed with the nostalgic immaturity of the Nickelodeon Slime Bucket.

His first comedy album “Tell Me You’re Proud Of Me” debuted at the top spot on Amazon and Jamie announced plans to head West soon after.IMG_0206

Here are a few samples of the album that did it:

 The Weirdest Gift Ever

Tell Me You’re Proud Of Me

But good news for those who want a last peek, Jamie will be back in Chicago for a second season of “Spiked Punch” this summer.


3. Sean White

IMG_0204While official plans to leave Chicago haven’t been announced, I suspect Sean White is pulling a Hilary Clinton. If the last few months have been any indication, the announcement is bound to be coming soon. He recently recorded his debut album “Dead & Gone” which is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve EVER heard. Dealing primarily with death and divorce, the album covers Sean’s experiences losing multiple members of his family while also separating from his wife, which despite sounding incredibly depressing, in Sean’s hands is one of the most hilarious and original hours of comedy in a long time.

Dead & Gone releases May 12th and you can pre-order a copy here. Easily one of the best writers in the city, make sure you see this guy while you still can.

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4. Ian Abramson


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– Okay, so Ian’s already gone. But he’s coming back. The man of hand made Sharpy mustaches, hilarious wordplay and just unparalleled “Abramsonn-ess” will be in Chicago May 28th. If you haven’t had a chance to experience what that means, I’ll try my best to put it into perspective: Ian wouldn’t be out-of-place in an Adult Swim cartoon or as a sexier version of your weird uncle. Shortly before leaving Chicago he even held a wedding and got married to his career.

On May 28th, Ian will be back in Chicago for a one-off production of his brain child “7 Minutes In Purgatory” at the onion A.V. Club.

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“Purgatory” is a one of a kind show where comics perform their material in a sound proof booth completely isolated from the audience’s reactions. It’s weird, uncomfortable and totally hilarious. If you missed it while it was still Chicago’s darling, do yourself a favor and get in on the fun.

Mark this one on your calendars! Pre-sale tickets are already sold out but you can still get some at the door.

Tune in to Backstage Chatter Wednesday’s @ 8pm on WCRX 88.1FM and learn how to be the change you want to see – in your comedy scene

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