Maddy Smith has built a reputation as a brashly funny, anything-goes comic over her five seasons as a regular performer on VH1’s long-running comedy series “Wild ‘N Out.” Her outrageous, on-the-fly way of dishing out lines has made her a favorite on the sketch-and-improv competition.
Yet her unabashed tales about dating and sex, her parents, differences in the cities she’s toured in, tales of the comics she’s opened for and life as a modern young woman have also led to huge success as a standup comedian. She’s toured the world with superstar Bert Kreischer as his opening act in addition to star performer Theo Von.
Smith is on a nationwide tour headlining clubs, bringing her to Chicago for five shows at Zanies, June 29-July 1. While she now has a singular focus on bringing hilarity to the world, the Buffalo native got her start while living a double life: working in finance by day and clubs by night.
“I moved to New York City about eight years ago and about a year later started doing stand-up in the city,” says Smith, who now counts Queens as her home. “But I moved to New York for a job in finance, and was working nine-to-five and then doing comedy at night for awhile.
“I was pretty good at my job, but I was just so tired all the time. I think the hardest part was going between two worlds so quickly. I would fall asleep at 3am after doing a bunch of shows and roast battles in the city, and then go to work and put on my blazer and pretended it didn’t happen.”
Smith made her leap into full-time funny when she booked “Wild ‘N Out” in 2018, a gig giving her endless exposure in social media and YouTube. Her quick-witted show clips, mixed with parts of her stand-up routine, have landed her an audience of more than 360,000 followers on TikTok and 262,000 on Instagram—as well as millions of views of her best-of compilation videos from the series.
Her travels with Kreischer have show her the world since she first opened for him last October. They performed together in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia, and she says that “we hit it off right away, probably because we both like to party.” But she’s definitely looking forward to her weekend in the Windy City.
“I love Chicago because the audiences are really smart and I feel like they’re always on my level,” notes Smith. “I love the fact they’re real Chicagoans and the club is downtown, while clubs in New York are so touristy. I also like that Zanies is compact, so it ups the energy with the crowds, and I like how it has a very old-school feeling about it.”
Maddy Smith performs at 8pm on June 29 and 7 and 9pm on June 30-July 1 at Zanies, 1548 North Wells. Tickets $30, (312)337-4027, zanies.com.