TBS “Just For Laughs” Festival approaches


The annual Just For Laughs (JFL) festival in Chicago June 11-16 unveils yet another great lineup, featuring today’s best stand-up comics and improvisers, along with local talent from the city.

The biggest names of the festival are top comedians like former “Mr. Show” writer Paul F. Tompkins, Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live,” Chicago’s own Hannibal Buress, legend Bob Newhart, Maria Bamford, Al Madrigal, Scott Adsit, Cecily Strong and more. JFL deserves much praise for its continued use of performers from the city’s large comedy scene.

The number of local comedians seems to have grown this year, which includes comics like Mike Stanley, Adam Burke, Junior Stopka, Megan Gailey, Ever Mainard, Lil Rel, Sean Flannery, Calvin Evans, Clark Jones and Marty DeRosa. Some of Chicago’s best improvisers, like Susan Messing, TJ and Dave, and Chris Redd, are performing in the festival as well.

What is interesting enough is the festival’s decision to choose venue Stage 773 as its primary location for most of the shows. Last year, many of the performances were located all throughout Chicago. Although the city’s most popular comedy venues are not directly involved, Stage 773’s four in-house theaters will allow audiences to jump easily from one show to the next.

If your budget is bit tight, some cheap but sure-to-be excellent shows are “Double Threat: Junior Stopka and Mike Lebovitz,” “The DailyMotion Comedy Showcase,” “Messing with a Friend,” “Chicago’s Best Solo Acts,” “The Super Serious Show” and comedian Chelsea Peretti.

For more information on the full schedule, visit www.justforlaughschicago.com.