Just For Laughs Chicago hits the gas pedal tonight and accelerates into the weekend.
Here are my picks:
Doug Loves Movies Podcast Stage 773 — The Cabaret, 7pm. Since podcasts are by definition available on demand, it's an iffy move to single out a live taping during a festival packed with national talent. In this case, however, amiable stoner Doug Benson has forced my hand by assembling a choice array of fellow comedians who only occasionally visit Chicago. Brian Posehn, Kumail Nanjiani, Pete Holmes and Samm Levine join Benson tonight for his cinema-themed Internet favorite, where the lively conversation promises to touch on movies at least occasionally. Funny flint, meet funny steel.
Seth Meyers Chicago Theatre, 7:30pm. Seth Meyers is a classic example of a guy who did it the right way. The Northwestern alum rose through the respected ranks of the iO Theater and Amsterdam's Boom Chicago, then performed "Pick-Ups and Hiccups," his two-person show with Jill Benjamin, at comedy festivals far and wide. His Chicago Improv Festival performance of that very show caught the attention of an SNL talent scout and the rest is Lorne Michaels comedy factory history. The host-elect of Late Night returns to Chicago for a big-time headlining gig at the Chicago Theatre with able standup support from Hannibal Buress and Al Madrigal.
Knuckleheads UP Comedy Club, 8 & 11pm (also Sat 8 & 11pm). Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant are at a certain nascent stage in a comedy career; they've achieved their dream of being cast on Saturday Night Live, but have yet to break through to nationwide familiarity on the strength of a signature character. Strong may be the first to climb that ladder as the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With At A Party, but they've all got the chops to make an upward move. Expect them to prove it tonight when they return to their Second City roots with a night of sketch and improv.