Sad news from the Windy City: after three years and more than 50 performances, one of live comedy's most interesting experiments is coming to an end. This Saturday, The Late Live Show will have its final performance.
For those of you who missed our profile of the show last year, here's the basic idea: A bunch of comedy nerds who grew up watching late-night shows decided they wanted one of their own, but knew they would never be able to get it on television, so they just started doing it as a live show in Chi-town venues. We're talking opening monologues, desk bits, interviews — the whole kit and caboodle. It [...]
As any Chicago-based comedian, writer, or performer will tell you, there’s a glass ceiling everyone faces when developing a career in this city, due to the lack of an entertainment industry. Soon after a performer really begins to come into their own, firing on all cylinders (and sometimes before), they make the decision to move out to NYC or LA. It’s helpful to think of Chicago as a sort of comedy incubator, preparing comics for the big time.
That also means audiences regularly get to catch rising talent right before they hit, which makes Chicago’s comedy shows some of the scrappiest, most unique, and most reliably solid shows in [...]
October's the time for outdoor autumnal activities. In Tom's case that means traveling to Long Island to tour wineries, go pumpkin picking, visiting a corn maze and running into Arnold Schwarzenegger in Manhattan. In Tim's case that means going to the Bronx to walk around a cemetery at night with a bunch of elderly people, which of course leads to a debate about the reality Michael Jackson's Thriller video is set in.
This week Tom recounts his recent trip to Chicago and the midwest for the first time ever where he discovers how big lakes can be (really big), the numerous ways entrepreneurs are ripping off the Chicago Cubs, [...]
In retrospect, it just seems so obvious.
After a few minutes of talking to the people behind Chicago's The Late Live Show, one starts to feel like the relevant question isn't, "Why did these guys decide to start a live, untelevised talk show?" The real question seems to be, "Why isn't everyone else doing it?"
"There are stand-up shows, there are improv shows, and there are sketch shows in Chicago," said Joe Kwaczala, the show's 25-year-old host. "Those are formats people are familiar with and can dial into. But so is a late-night talk show! We thought, 'Why isn't there one you can go out and see live?'" [...]
If American Idol decided to become a regional competition instead of a national one, this is EXACTLY what the Chicago version would be like: just grown men in athletic hats, drinking beers, and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" between innings. Yeah, Chicago Idol sounds like a definite improvement. Call up Brian Dunkleman and ask him if he is willing to move to the midwest.