After the last two years of insanity, we could all use some serious laughs—and New Year’s Eve marks a great night to do it. Several of the area’s top comedy venues are open for business and staging epic events that will help you bring in the new year in truly happy fashion.
Zanies has clubs in both Old Town Chicago and Rosemont, and both will be swinging, with two shows apiece. Rising star Calvin Evans, a Chicago native who was singled out as an outstanding New Face at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal and has a comedy special on Epix, will headline at 8pm ($35) and 10:30pm ($45) in Chicago. Call (312)337-4027 or visit zanies.com. Zanies Chicago is at 1548 North Wells.
Meanwhile, longtime star favorite Jimmy Shubert, who was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and has many appearances in movies and series, will headline shows at the Rosemont club at 8pm ($35) and 10:30pm ($45). Call (847)813-0484 or visit zanies.com. Zanies Rosemont is located at 5437 Park Place, Rosemont.
The Laugh Factory Chicago will host two shows, with an eight-comic lineup of local favorites at 8pm ($40 individual; $300 for ten person groups) and a nine-comic powerhouse lineup at 10:30pm ($50-$300). Individual tickets receive a champagne toast and party favors, while the group Celebration Package includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and ten seats in a special section. Visit laughfactory.com. The Laugh Factory is at 3175 North Broadway.
The alternative-comedy scene is well-represented by the Lincoln Lodge’s combo package of a comedy show, DJ, karaoke, heavy appetizers, a photographer and champagne toast for a five-hour party from 8pm to 1am for $65 per person. Attendees can choose between “The Big Show” in the main showroom at 8:30pm or a 9pm show in the more intimate Resolution Room.
There are also limited special VIP seating packages for $200 for two, which includes a front-row table for two and a bottle of champagne at either the 8:30pm or 9pm show. Call (773)251-1539 or visit thelincolnlodge.com. The Lincoln Lodge is at 2040 North Milwaukee.
Those seeking improv comedy fun should head over to Comedy Sportz, which is now located at the Den Theater. The two-team, audience-voted, refereed comic competition has three shows New Year’s Eve, at 5pm, 7pm and 10pm with tickets at $35. Call (773)549-8080 or visit cszchicago.com. The Den Theater is located at 1331 North Milwaukee.
Last but not least, the Chicago Improv is in Schaumburg, but they have a big-gun comic worth the drive. Taylor Williamson was a second-place winner on “America’s Got Talent” and was invited back to compete on “AGT: Champions,” in addition to performances at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal and CBS’ late “Then Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Showtimes are 7:30pm ($24) and 10pm ($36). Call (847)240-2001 or visit improv.com/Chicago. The Chicago Improv is at 5 Woodfield Road, Woodfield Mall Store K120B, Schaumburg.