Thursday, March 31, 2011

JFL looks A-OK


Regular readers of this space may recall my enthusiasm for cultural festivals in general and comedy festivals in particular. During its run I annually attended America's leading comedy throwdown, the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., and now cover the annual Just For Laughs Chicago festival for the going-out guide Flavorpill.

This year's JFL Chicago once again features a promising lineup, with performers including Louis C.K., Demetri Martin, Dave Attell, Whitney Cummings, Jeffrey Ross and Joel McHale. Further shows will be announced as the festival week (June 14 to 18) approaches.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. Chicago time. Jump in there if you're interested; many shows will sell out.

You can find more information at the festival website or in the edited press release and venue guide I've posted after the jump.

For Release: March 29, 2011

Gearing Up to be the Funniest Thing in Chicago Since…
Well, Since Last Year’s Comedy Festival

June 14-18 Festival Scores Comedy Giants 
Louis C.K.; Demetri Martin; Joel McHale;
The Anti-Social Network’s Dave Attell, 
Jim Breuer, Bill Burr and Jim Norton;
George Lopez and Russell Peters; Whitney Cummings; 
Jeffrey Ross; Jim Jefferies; and Tim Minchin,
With More Shows Announced Soon

Comedy Fans Can Start Purchasing Tickets April 2 at 10 a.m. (CT)

The biggest names in comedy are heading to Chicago this summer as TBS and Montreal’s Just For Laughs get together for the third annual edition of TWIX PRESENTS: TBS JUST FOR LAUGHS CHICAGO. From June 14-18, an astonishing array of comedians, sketch shows, specialty acts and films will keep Chicago in stitches in some of the city’s best venues.

The Anti-Social Network – featuring Dave Attell, Jim Breuer, Bill Burr with host Jim Norton – will kick off the festival at the Chicago Theatre. Louis C.K., Joel McHale and Demetri Martin – three of the hottest comics in the biz – will host their own shows at the Chicago Theatre, bringing along some funny special guests and friends.

George Lopez and Russell Peters, who each performed to sold-out audiences during TBS and Just For Laughs’ previous festivals in Chicago, will combine their comedy powers for an exclusive, one-time-only performance at the Rosemont Theatre. Fresh off their appearances on Comedy Central’s Roast of Trump, and headlining at The Vic, Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross takes aim at the city of Chicago with his very special presentation of Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago, and Whitney Cummings will star in her very own solo concert. Meanwhile, Tim Minchin, who had recent stand-out performances on TBS’s CONAN and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, will perform a run of his solo show at Lincoln Hall. Rounding out this first festival announcement is Australian Jim Jefferies with his headlining show at the Park West.

The buying frenzy for tickets is set to begin Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. (CT).

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Just For Laughs in bringing the hottest names in comedy to Chicago for a third year,” said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation/general manager of festivals for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Chicago is a terrific town full of people who really know and love great comedy. We’re pulling out all the stops to make this year’s festival the best yet.”

“At the beginning stages of every festival booking season, we start with our dream list,” says Bruce Hills, chief operating officer of Just For Laughs. “This year we have not only met our dream list, we have exceeded it. Chicago audiences are in for quite a treat.”

For the past two summers, the TBS and Just For Laughs comedy festival has been a landmark event for Chicago, which is home to a rich comedy heritage, from improv and sketch troupes to some of the most familiar names in the business. TBS and Just For Laughs are also working with the largest independent promoters in the United States, Chicago-based Jam Productions, LTD , as well as Outback Concerts.

Venue and Ticket Information
TWIX PRESENTS: TBS JUST FOR LAUGHS CHICAGO will take place across 15 locations, including such high-profile Chicago venues as The Rosemont Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, Park West, The Vic Theatre and Lincoln Hall. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. (CT).Additional shows and venues will be announced soon. Festival information is available at
· Tickets for The Chicago Theatre and Rosemont Theatre will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at or by phone at 800-745-3000.
· Tickets for Park West, the Vic Theatre and Lincoln Hall will be available at or by phone at 800-514-etix.
· Tickets for most festival events will also be available at respective venue box offices. Lincoln Hall tickets are available at the Vic Theatre.



Tuesday, June 14 – Saturday, June 18

Newly Announced Shows and Talent

The Anti-Social Network – Wednesday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m.
The Anti-Social Network features the combination of comedic powerhouses Dave Attell, Jim Breuer, Bill Burr and the show’s host and brainchild, Jim Norton. Norton conceived the idea for The Anti-Social Network in late 2010 when he wanted to change up his annual shows in Atlantic City and put something special and different together for his fans. Having four headliners on one stage seemed to be the perfect way to give his fans a new and exciting show: Norton says, “Dave, Jim and Bill are three of the funniest comics on the planet. This is definitely the best show I’ve ever been a part of.”

Demetri Martin & Special Guests, Who are Also Comedians and are Friends of His – Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Intercontinental comedian Demetri Martin, known for his hit series Important Things with Demetri Martin and for his past contributions to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, hosts an evening of killer alt comedy featuring several very funny comedians who really make him laugh and with whom it will be fun to hang out backstage. This show will also feature the best audience at the whole festival.

Joel McHale &
 Friends and Acquaintances– Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Comedian Joel McHale has won over fans with his outrageously funny jabs at pop culture and current events on The Soup and for his performance on the hit comedy Community. Now he heads to Chicago to host a night of great standup with some of his funniest friends and a few acquaintances.

Louis C.K. and Three Very Special Guests – Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m.
He’s one of the hottest comedians in the country, and his hit TV series – conveniently named Louie – is worshipped. His stand-up specials are routinely cited as the finest in the country. What else is there to say? The man is simply the best. Louis returns to Chicago hosting a very special show with three very special guests.

Tickets for the Chicago Theatre shows are available at:
· The Chicago Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets
· On-line at
· By phone at 800-745-3000

George Lopez & Russell Peters – Saturday, June 18, at 8 p.m.
Two of the biggest names on the comedy circuit are about to deliver a one-two comedy punch with this special event. Lopez, the host of TBS’s hit late-late-night show Lopez Tonight, and Peters, whose Green Card Tour performance blew comedy fans away at last year’s festival, will bring their multicultural comedy to the Rosemont for an exclusive one-time special performance.

Tickets for the Rosemont Theatre shows are available at:
· The Rosemont Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets
· On-line at
· By phone at 800-745-3000

Jim Jefferies – Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
After wowing fans around the globe with his headlining act, Australian comedian Jim Jefferies returns to Chicago for a special night at the Park West. Jefferies has previously appeared in his own HBO special, I Swear to God, as well as the popular Down and Dirty with Jim Norton. Produced in association with AEG.

Tickets for the Park West shows are available at:
· The Park West Box Office
· On-line at
· By phone at 800-514-etix

Whitney Cummings – Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Considered among the biggest break-out stars of 2011, Whitney Cummings has emerged as one of America’s top standup comedians. She turned in a particularly memorable performance last year during the comedy special Roast of David Hasselhoff and more recently put Donald Trump in his place on Roast of Trump. Now she brings her lacerating wit to The Vic Theatre.

Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago – Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Fresh off his much talked about appearance on Roast of Trump, Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross forgoes his usual celebrity smearing to set his sights on the common Chicago plebes. In his acclaimed solo performance, the self-proclaimed “Meanest Man in Comedy” will not only offer his razor-sharp stand-up, but will also target the audience with the same smart-bomb delivery he’s used on Hollywood’s elite. And if that weren’t enough, he’ll roast some special local personalities. Fans will need to bring a thick skin, because with a show this hot, someone’s bound to get burned.

Tickets for the Vic Theatre shows are available at:
· The Vic Theatre Box Office
· On-line at
· By phone at 800-514-etix

Tim Minchin – Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18 – 10:00 p.m.
Self-described “pianist, singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, pervert and wannabe rockstar,” international star Tim Minchin performs a five-night run of music and comedy. Minchin, who had recent stand out recent performances on CONAN as well as the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, will make his Chicago debut at Lincoln Hall.

Tickets for Lincoln Hall shows are available at:
· The Vic Theatre Box Office
· On-line at
· By phone at 800-514-etix

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I'm green with envy.