From June 12 to the 17th Chicago is taken over the a huge comedy festival once again called Just for Laughs. Sponsored by tbs, some big names always arrive in our fair city. Past performers have been Ellen Degeneres and Steve Martin. I picked up my pass and tickets to several shows at the Hotel Sax and was ready to begin my busy week.
The first night kicked off with Stuffed and Unstrung at the Bank of America Theater. Described as a “Henson Alternative,” Jim Henson’s son came up with the idea along with the host Patrick who I interviewed.
Using generic type puppets and taking suggestions from the audience gives this show a fresh feeling each night.
The puppeteers were so fun to hang out with and with a battle cry of “puppet up” improv scenes are created by their brilliance.
When old Henson clips were shown on the screens I got misty eyed remembering my love of puppets as a child. I was brought back to the days of performing puppet shows for the neighbors out of Maytag Washer cardboard box in a garage.
I attended a late show to see Janeane Garofalo perform. She reads from her notes of her observations about life. The Up comedy club was a new venue to me located on top of Second City on Wells.
Meanwhile Conan O’Brien filmed his show every night this week from the Chicago Theater. Strategically placed vending machines were placed all over town with secret codes and free t-shirts inside.
Sarah Silverman brought her comedian friends to the Chicago Theater on Saturday night. The joke was on me with a broken chair that was so uncomfortable but we moved as soon as we could.
I met Natasha Leggero from the Chelsea Handler show after then went backstage to thank Sarah for her interview. She was incredibly nice and wrote “think of me when you pee” on video of her show.
Just for Laughs really offers something for every type of humor with Kevin Smith, Aziz Ansari and Vince Vaughn rounding out the actor/ comedian categories.
I am hoping for next year more gay comedians hit out part of town maybe Alec Mapa or Ross Matthews. I will keep my pink fingers crossed in the meantime!