Five nights. Twelve venues. More than 100 comedians. The laughter is returning to Chicago this summer with the second annual edition of TBS PRESENTS A “VERY FUNNY” FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS, scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 15 – Saturday, June 19, 2010. Ellen DeGeneres, Cedric The Entertainer, Denis Leary, Russell Peters, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton and Aziz Ansari are among the extraordinary comic talents slated to appear. Also on the roster are the wildly popular Lucha VaVOOM show and The Not Inappropriate Show, a sketch show for kids featuring Bob Odenkirk and some of LA’s hottest sketch performers. The Festival once again brings together the unprecedented comedy forces of TBS and Montreal’s Just For Laughs. Tickets for Festival performances will go on sale at 10 a.m. (CT) Monday, March 29, with additional programming to be announced soon.
TBS will give viewers around the country a chance to get in on the fun by presenting three television specials from the event. Leading the pack will be Ellen’s Somewhat Special, Emmy-winner Ellen DeGeneres’ fourth variety show for TBS, which will be taped Wednesday, June 16, at The Chicago Theatre. Cedric The Entertainer will host Cedric The Entertainer’s Urban Circus (working title), which will also tape at The Chicago Theatre Friday, June 18. A third show being taped for TBS will be announced at a later date.
Denis Leary brings The Rescue Me Comedy Tour to The Chicago Theatre on Saturday, June 19. Russell Peters’ The Green Card Tour is set for Saturday, June 19 at the Rosemont Theatre. The Nasty Show hosted by Greg Giraldo with special guest Jim Norton is scheduled for two shows on Friday, June 18, at the Vic Theatre. And Aziz Ansari’s The Dangerously Delicious Tour is set to perform at the Vic Theatre Thursday, June 17.
Wednesday, June 16, Park West joins the growing list of festival venues this year as it welcomes two performances of Lucha VaVOOM, an action-packed comedy and wrestling show with a touch of eye-popping burlesque and variety acts from around the globe.
Friday and Saturday afternoons, Mercury Theatre will host The Not Inappropriate Show, a sketch comedy show made especially for kids ages 6 and up, starring Bob Odenkirk, Kate Micucci and members of The Groundlings and Upright Citizen’s Brigade.
“Last year, we partnered with Just For Laughs to bring the biggest names in comedy to Chicago,” said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation/general manager of festivals for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We’re honored to be returning for a second year as we bring together a wider variety of comedic talent from some of the top names in the business, along with fresh faces and truly one-of-a-kind performances.”
“We were thrilled with the response from Chicago comedy fans during the inaugural edition of the Festival last summer,” said Bruce Hills, chief operating officer of Just For Laughs. “We’re looking forward to our second edition, which will again be filled with the world’s funniest comic stars, the best of the Chicago comedy scene and tons of surprises along the way.”
In addition to In addition to The Chicago Theatre, Rosemont Theatre, Park West, the Vic Theatre and Mercury Theatre, sites slated to be home to this year’s Festival include Lakeshore Theater and a roster of venues featuring grassroots programming to be announced later.
Last year’s edition of TBS PRESENTS A “VERY FUNNY” FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS proved to be a landmark event for Chicago, which is home to a rich comedy heritage that includes an abundance of improv and sketch troupes and some of the most familiar names in the business. Five nights of comedy – 67 different shows featuring more than 100 comedians – took place at various venues across the Chicago area, many of them selling out, including performances by DeGeneres, Bill Engvall, George Lopez (four shows), Jimmy Fallon, Jim Breuer and Danny Bhoy (two shows), Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, Andy Dick and Jim Jefferies. Also selling out were The Nasty Show (two shows), An All-Star Comedy Show hosted by Russell Peters and more than 10 shows in the grassroots series, including Susan Messing and The Improvised Shakespeare Company
TBS and Just For Laughs are also collaborating with the largest independent promoter in the United States, Chicago-based Jam Productions, LTD and Outback Concerts.
Beginning Monday, March 29, tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800/745-3000. Tickets for Festival events will also be available at respective venue box offices. Additional programming and ticket information for this year’s edition of TBS PRESENTS A “VERY FUNNY” FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS will be announced soon. Full schedule and festival information is available at www.justforlaughschicago.com.
TBS PRESENTS A “VERY FUNNY” FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS
Tuesday, June 15 – Saturday, June 19
Newly Announced Shows and Talent
THE CHICAGO THEATRE
Ellen’s Somewhat Special – Wednesday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
DeGeneres returns to The Chicago Theatre with her fourth variety show for TBS. Like last year, this spectacular will feature live music, comedy and unique specialty acts. The show, which will also air on TBS, will be produced by Telepictures Productions, with Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, whose credits include DeGeneres’ Emmy-winning talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, serving as executive producers.
Cedric The Entertainer’s Urban Circus (working title) – Friday, June 18, at 8 p.m.
Cedric The Entertainer will take center stage and preside as the Ringmaster of Cedric The Entertainer’s Urban Circus (working title), a comedic journey through the influences that have transformed him in to the king of comedy that he is today. The show will feature comedians, sketches, music and urban influenced visual performances all coming together to form a seamless, unexpected and hysterical evening of comedy. Cedric The Entertainer is known for his role on the Steve Harvey Show, as well his performances in such movies as Barbershop, Cadillac Records and Be Cool. Cedric The Entertainer’s Urban Circus will be produced by Just For Laughs TV, with Cedric The Entertainer and Eric Rhone serving as executive producers.
The Rescue Me Comedy Tour with Denis Leary – Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m.
The award-winning actor/comedian brings his signature cutting humor and acerbic wit to The Chicago Theatre with performances by Rescue Me’s Lenny Clarke, Adam Ferrara and musical guests The Enablers, featuring the Rehab Horns. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Leary Firefighters Foundation. Leary has previously wowed audiences with his Lock N’ Load and No Cure For Cancer shows, the latter of which resulted in one of the highest grossing comedy albums of all time. Leary has appeared in more than 30 feature films and stars in the FX series Rescue Me. He most recently released the bestseller Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat Loud Lazy and Stupid.
Russell Peters – The Green Card Tour – Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m.
The eagerly awaited return of the global comedy rockstar! Russell Peters brings his hilarious Green Card Tour to Chicago featuring all-new material, video screens and DJs.
THE VIC THEATRE
Aziz Ansari – The Dangerously Delicious Tour – Thursday, June 17, at 7 p.m.
Aziz Ansari, star of TV’s Parks and Recreation, brings his Dangerously Delicious Tour to Chicago! Recently named to host the next MTV Movie Awards, the Human Giant alum has clearly established himself as one of the biggest names in comedy, with roles in hit movies like Funny People and I Love You, Man. Now he gets back to his roots with straight-up stand-up laden with his trademark left-field punches.
The Nasty Show hosted by Greg Giraldo with special guest Jim Norton – Friday, June 18, at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
This favorite from Montreal’s annual Just For Laughs Festival will feature some of the funniest (and filthiest) comics around. Greg Giraldo is a former lawyer who turned to a life of comedy. He is best known as a top roaster on Comedy Central Roasts. Jim Norton is a nationally touring comedian and best-selling author who can be heard weekday mornings on the Opie & Anthony radio show on The Virus XM radio network.
Lucha VaVOOM – Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – 21+ only show
Lucha VaVOOM is a non-stop, action-packed scream-a-thon, where Mexican Masked wrestlers flip and fly, performing breathtaking acrobatic feats. It’s good vs. evil played out in a one-fall, Lucha Libre exhibition-style match for maximum enjoyment. In between matches, the finest, handpicked burlesque acts from around the world astound the audience. Lucha VaVOOM is for audiences aged 21 and older.
The Not Inappropriate Show – Friday, June 18, at 4 p.m. and Saturday, June 19, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Made especially for kids ages 6 and up, this sketch comedy show stars Bob Odenkirk and Kate Micucci, along with some of Los Angeles’ hottest sketch performers. The show, which is being produced by Naomi Odenkirk, will feature a collection of specially chosen sketches and songs designed for kids who love great comedy.
Tickets Go on Sale at 10 a.m. (CT) March 29 for Week-Long Event, A Co-Production of Comedy Giants TBS and Montreal’s Just For Laughs