Spamilton parodies more than just Hamilton. It pokes fun at many different Broadway shows including Book of Mormon, (aka, “Last Year’s Hit” featuring Hello!), Cats (Memory), and Ragtime. Other targets include the actors in Hamilton, such as Lamar Odom, who played Aaron Burr. Odom is sure that he won’t be in the movie version, whenever it happens. The main target is Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. They joke about how he is everywhere now, from all the late night shows to Moana to Mary Poppins!
The music is fantastically done. Most of the songs parodied are from Hamilton, including “His Shot” where he sings, “I am not gonna let Broadway rot!”. The album is now completely on Spotify. Also, the cast does a great job with the lyrically dense numbers.
Get tickets now for Spamilton in New York or Chicago!
“Can we get a volunteer?” asks Tim Ryder (who was also in The Second City Guide to the Opera). The audience is silent and still. For most people, the idea of going on stage is terrifying. However, after you have taken a few improv classes at the Second City Training Center, it doesn’t seem daunting at all. So, I raise my hand. Ryder looks relieved as he invites me to come on stage. I take a seat center stage and he asks me where I live. “Wicker Park. I live with one roommate and we’re looking for one more.” Mark Campbell steps forward and says he is looking for a new place to live. “What are the requirements to move in?” I reply, “You must be able to pay rent and be a dog lover.” He shakes his head and pulls back. Was it the paying rent or the dog part that he didn’t like?
Later on, Tim asks what I do for a living. “I’m starting a new business, axe throwing!” I can see everyone looks confused. “It’s like darts, but with axes.” Brooke Breit steps forward and asks if there is alcohol involved. “At this time, there is no alcohol. However, it is something we are looking into.” Tim then says “So, it’s like bowling where you rent a lane?” “Yes, exactly.” So, what’s it called, he asks? “Thunderbolt Chicago Axe Throwing!”
I leave the stage and they proceed to do an improvised scene called “A day in the life of Quinn”. An actor wakes up to an axe being thrown over his bed by Ryder. “Sorry about that. Just getting a few throws in this morning.” “Well, I did put that target right next to my bed.” Brooke then enters barking and growling like a dog. “Oh no, another Craigslist applicant!” The audience cracks up! Callbacks to Thunderbolt occur throughout the rest of the right as this talented cast flexes their improv chops.
Get tickets now for Legendary Laughs on Thursdays at 7. Volunteer and you can have a scene created about you!
It’s a cold and rainy night in Chicago. The audience enters the theatre and the entire cast is sitting on a bench on their phones. They are all millennials and the idea is that they are all using dating apps. They don’t look up at all for the 15 to 20 minutes until the show starts.
The show features a whole lot of different scenarios including two threeways. One is an all-female threeway where one of the girls feels left out. The other is an all-male threeway where one the guys is disinterested. They both draw a lot of laughs from the awkwardness of the situation. Are these really based on real life stories?
One of the guys keeps ruining dates by describing his love for Game of Thrones. So, he tries to pretend he has never seen the show on a future date, but he just can’t resist. It’s hilarious watching him struggle. Later on, he discovers his parents met via CB radio, aka, 1970s Grindr.
Get tickets now for Love Me Tinder: Swipe Right through May 24th! You won’t be disappointed.
A group of four people walk up to the host of a restaurant. “Table for four please.” The host responds, “I see two. White this way.” Everyone stands still with a look of shock on their face, and then the two white people slowly start walking with the host, keeping the look of dismay on their face. The audience is roaring with laughter. It’s this type of topical humor that Second City is the best at delivering.
In another scene, a man and a woman who are work wife and husband meet at a party. They have alongside them their actual partners. Things get awkward and funny quickly as they describe getting lunch together all the time. Then, the crowd laughs when they discover he bought her diamond earrings for Secret Santa. “Woah! What was the limit?!” says the actual husband. It ends hilariously with them singing “Can anybody find me somebody to love?!”
In another great performance, two multiracial actors sing about their different nationalities. “If I was 100% Latin, I would eat at Taco Bell… less often!” Many more funny lines about being biracial lead up to the fantastic line saying that in the future, everyone will look just like them! The strengths of this cast are expertly utilized in this fantastic production making this an absolute must see! It is sure to be legendary within the history of the Chicago comedy.
Get Tickets now for Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno at Second City!
Also, see our review of The Winner Of… Our Discontent!
Ben Palmer gained some infamy by creating a Facebook page called City of Atlanta and posting bogus updates such as “If you just moved here, please come to our office to pick up your parking ticket. New residents receive one parking ticket to help them get used to life in Atlanta.” He uses a projector to go through the best of the posts and his hilarious response when City Hall asked him to stop. He asked for all his tickets to be absolved, $60 cash, and two free trolley rides.
He then has a bunch of stock photos next for which he has great comments. For the one above he says “I been in this country 7 years. I’ll be damned if they let immigrants come in and ruin my hard work!” In another one, he says “Come join our company, … so we can fire this guy in the middle!” It’s basically live internet trolling, and Palmer is great at it. Follow Ben Palmer on Facebook!
The Comedy Underground is a great space that is actually below street level. They also have a full food menu with waiter service. Check out their upcoming lineup!
Flanagan has passed away. But don’t be sad, let’s celebrate his life. Here are five of the best ways.
- Upon arriving at your table, one of the characters will ask you about your most fond Flanagan memory. Use your improv skills and spin a mighty tale or provide a quick anecdote. Either way, they’ll play along and reminiscence.
- If you’re really adventurous, you can go up and sing “Oh, Danny Boy” solo!
- Console dear old Grandma and give her a kiss.
- Hit up the bar, frequently.
- Convert to Catholicism.
Get tickets now for Flanagan’s Wake!
Also see our post for Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding.
Kristen Schaal tells a story about hanging out with Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. “I don’t mean to name drop, this is just my life now!” (Kristen stars with Mary on The Last Man on Earth.) She recalls how she fell off of a stool and her dress came up, exposing her granny panties. She explains that she wears them because they are comfortable and she didn’t plan on anyone else seeing them that night. If she was among old friends, she wouldn’t really care that she just made a fool of herself. Also, if she had just met them, she wouldn’t care either. However, in this case they were right in the middle and she was quite embarrassed. This tale is completely in line with Schaal’s persona and it makes for a great story, which the audience loved.
Later on, Johan Miranda talks about how he is an illegal immigrant. His parents brought him to the US when he was 3 on a travel visa. In 2012, he applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and became official. With Trump expected to repeal DACA, he feels like his days are numbered. When he first looked for a lawyer, he discovered they charged $250 an hour. “I guess I’ll take my chances without a lawyer then!” he exclaims. He did eventually find representation and he is doing everything he can to stay. Well, except get married—that would ruin his dream of being a commitment-phobic boyfriend!
Also of note, Andrew Sleighter realized his LA dream of doing a cool show within walking distance of his apartment!
Catch The Hot Tub Show every Monday at The Virgil
Mike Obrien and Mark Raterman host this monthly showcase. In the opening segment, they talk about how they just took an improv class. They go ahead and get a bunch of suggestions. Right before they are about to start a scene, they decide to get more suggestions. Once they have way more suggestions than they can remember, they go ahead and bring out the first comedian. Sometimes the best part of an improv show is getting the ideas from the audience!
Brooks Wheelan tells a story about going snorkeling in Maui, while on acid! It’s impossible not to fall in love while doing this. Unfortunately, his girlfriend didn’t feel the same way. She told him they have two different spirits. He said that’s not a problem. Too different spirits, she says.
Ithamar Enriquez then did an amazing movie montage. He put together the music from a bunch of movies back to back while acting out the scenes with his hands as the characters. It included movies from Jurassic Park to Dirty Dancing. It was really creative and it had everyone laughing. It also was a great way to add variety to a show of mostly standup.
Be sure to watch Mike Obrien on 7 Minutes in Heaven and catch The Go ‘head show next month at NerdMelt!
Welcome to the World Famous Comedy Store on Sunset in Hollywood, CA! Adam Ray opens the night and immediately starts working the crowd. He does his job well and sets things up for a great night of comedy! Check out his podcast, About Last Night.
Bobby Lee tells a tale to the audience about a man who survived after being stabbed 25 times. “Wow, he must be really fat!” He imagines that after the first stab, the fat man would say, my back itches. After the second, he would comment, I think a fly is buzzing around me. Then, Bobby says his friend tells him he would never get stabbed 25 times. “After the first one, I’d play dead!” Really? You think you could hold still after being stabbed? Bobby then conjures up a hilarious impression of his friend trying to hold still while getting stabbed. The audience loves it! See him in the Netflix series Love.
Next up, Ali Wong is welcomed on to the stage with huge applause. Wong says she hasn’t performed much lately, since she just had a child. Ali tells the audience that she needs to get out every once in a while or she is going to throw her baby in the trash! Now that she is successful, people ask if her husband feels insecure about earning less money. Why? Does he hate free money? Does he miss the pressure to provide for his family? The crowd is eating it up. Be sure to check out her Netflix special, Baby Cobra.
Get tickets now for The Comedy Store!
For most Americans, when they hear Japanese game show, they probably think of American Ninja Warrior, which is originally a show from Japan. However, Batsu! is based on a stranger variety of shows which feature odd punishments. Batsu is the Japanese word for punishment. At Kamehachi, four contestants compete in improv games. When losers are announced, the crowd chants “BATSU!” and the defeated receive their comically abusive punishments. Here are the top 9 punishments!
9. Dance ballet
8. Eat a spicy wasabi roll
7. Get whacked with a rubber glove covered in powder
6. Eat body sushi off of big hairy guy
5. A chicken man smashes an egg on your head
4. Get snapped by a giant rubber band
3. Put your fingers in mousetraps
2. Drink soy sauce out of a guy’s belly button
1. Get pelted with paintballs (The contestants showed the marks afterwards. Ouch!)
There really isn’t anything much funnier than watching someone get punished by a Asian woman. Catch Batsu! every Friday at Kamehachi in Old Town!