Seven Shows to See at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

Start 2017 with laughs at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.

Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

The first depressing feeling of the new year always come when you have to go back to work after vacation. Bring some laughter back into your life at the 16th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.

The festival dwarfs all others with over 10,000 attendees and 160 sketch groups performing 180 shows in eight days. As a city with comedy institutions like Second City, iO, and ComedySportz, groups jump at the opportunity to perform at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.

When Brian Posen’s musical failed to launch at the Theater Building Chicago he kept his commitment with the venue and put on the first Chicago Sketch Fest in its place in 2002. Initially running for seven weeks, the event now takes place over two weekends and the name changed to the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.

If you can’t make it to every show during the festival at least try to see these seven.

Danny Pudi: In Progress

Thursday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.
Pro Theater
Chicago’s own Danny Pudi is best known for his role as Abed Nadir in NBC’s “Community.” However, before his breakout role Pudi took part in the sketch group Siblings of Doctors, which he is still a part of. This year Pudi will be performing by himself at the Pro Theater.


Pop Roulette

Friday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m.
Thrust Theater
This eight-person group is the sketch troupe made for millennials. Featuring “Saturday Night Live” writer Sudi Green, Pop Roulette hilariously tackles the superficial obstacles of this generation with music, choreographed dancing, and more.


Hot Thespian Action

Friday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m.
Pro Theater
You’ll remember Hot Thespian Action from their sold-out performance at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival in 2015. The physical and witty Canadian quintet is a hit with our neighbor to the north being featured in CBC radio, the Winnipeg Comedy Fest, and even performed alongside the late Alan Thicke.


Peter N’ Chris

Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.
Box Theater
Another Canadian favorite, Peter N’ Chris have won three Canadian Comedy Awards for their chemistry, narratives, and hilarious tangents.


Hot Raw Fire

Friday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m.
Pro Theater
The Canadian invasion continues with Montreal’s Hot Raw FireThis troupe provides gut-busting laughs whether it be a 30-second mime sketch or a hilarious look into awkward public transit conversations.



Friday, Jan. 6 at 10 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m.
Pro Theater
The name for this hilarious group is pretty appropriate with it consisting of T.J. Miller, “Silicon Valley,” Mark Raterman, The Second City, Nick Vatterott, “Late Nite with Jimmy Fallon,” and Brady Novak, “Community.”


Cool Table

Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.
Thrust Theater

Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival mainstay Cool Table are back to make you laugh with their awkward narratives and moves.

The 16th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival takes place Jan. 5–15 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets for each show at the festival is $15. All-festival passes are $250 and one-weekend passes are $125. Thursday passes are $30, Friday passes are $50, and half-day Sunday passes are $45. For tickets and more information visit

Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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