Highly competitive playoffs expected

The fourteen-week inaugural regular season of the Chicago Improv League concluded on Sunday, April 28th with four teams gaining playoff berths and a chance to win the grand prize of $500.00.. Moving on to post-season play are The Barnstormers (Shannon Noll, Mike Norris, Alex Young, Matthew Beard, Nathan Streifel and Judith Schomp), d'Hôtél Winñetkå (Sean Price, Annie Goodson, Chris Littrell, Josh Razvi, Andy Bogue, and Caleb George),  Besides Dinosaurs (Nico Carter, Miguel Villa, Nathan Spring, Alison Banowsky, Nathan Verrone, Ricky Haschemeyer and Annie Rix) and Mercury (Derek Shoemaker, Molly Ruthenberg, Carly Heiser, Harrison Stamell, Ruth Morrison and  Jordan Williams).

The semi-finals are set for Sunday, May 5th, with The Barnstormers meeting d'Hôtél Winñetkå in Match 1 and Besides Dinosaurs facing Mercury in Match 2. The winners will play each other in the finals on Sunday, May 12th. Matches will begin at 8:30 pm each night and tickets are $10.00 per night. All playoffs will take place at The ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets can be purchased through ComedySportz by calling 773.549.8080, online at www.comedysportzchicago.com, or at The ComedySportz Theatre box office.

Given the intensely competitive regular season, a close and fiercely contested playoffs is expected. Jonathan Pitts, Commissioner of the CIL and Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions, producer of the league, says “When I was putting together the league and our first season, I aimed to make all the teams good so that like the NFL, we would have parity. It could not have worked out any better. No team went undefeated, every team won at least one match, and we even had one match end in a tie.” He adds, “It’s great that all these super talented young improvisers are alumni of our College Improv Tournament because they are used to playing in a competitive format without losing the camaraderie that exists between them. They play hard, but they still know it’s play.”

Some new rules will be in place for the playoffs. The audience’s votes will now be worth 1/2 of the final vote, instead of just 1/3 of the final vote. The weight of the judge’s scores will be decreased from 2/3 of the final vote to 1/2 of the final vote. If there is a tie between the audience’s votes and the judge’s votes, the tiebreaker will be decided by votes from CIL players who are out of the playoffs but are attending the match.

On Sunday, May 12, before the start of the CIL Finals, there will be an All-Star Showcase as each of the 6 teams not in the CIL Finals will have 2 players from their team all playing together in a 30 minute montage. The CIL Finals and the presentation of $500 cash to the winning team will follow.

Semi-Finals Schedule:

Match 1: The Barnstormers (3rd) vs. d'Hôtél Winñetkå (2nd)

Match 2: Besides Dinosaurs (4th) vs. MERCURY (1st)


Final Standings (4/29/13):


1st Place: MERCURY, 5-2

2nd Place: d'Hôtél Winñetkå, 4-2-1

3rd Place: The Barnstormers, 4-3

4th Place: Besides Dinosaurs, 4-3

5th Place: Dads’ Night In, 3-3-1

6th Place: Balt & Co., 3-4

7th Place: Jefferson, 3-4

8th Place:  Third Place, 1-6

For more info about the CIL: Jonathan Pitts, 773.875.6616 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




d'Hotel Winnetka


Besides Dinosaurs



Jimmy CarraneFriday, April 26 at midnight, Talk Hard, Chicago’s hit late-night, uncensored talk show is proud to welcome Jimmy Carrane, the host of Improv Nerd! While hosting the live show and podcast, Jimmy has interviewed celebrities including Andy Richter, Key & Peele, Rachel Dratch, Tim Meadows and more. He is also the co-author of Improvising Better: A Guide to the Working Improviser. He is an award-winning improv teacher with new classes including the Art of Slow Comedy starting in May. He was the former host of Studio 312 on Chicago Public Radio and was recently seen in the films LOL and Public Enemies with Johnny Depp.

Michael LippertThe show will also feature Michael Lippert, the co-writer/producer/director of the web series Funemployed. Funemployed outlines the lives of five twenty-somethings trying to figure out what to do with life after college; weighing out the stress of not having jobs, while maintaining a sense of worth and enjoying life in dire straits all in a humorous manner.



Gabe Liebowitz




Rounding out the evening is a live musical performance by Gabe Liebowitz! Gabe is the lead singer of the Chicago band Dastardly and recently released a solo album. Talk Hard likes Gabe so much we invited him back for a “threepeat.”

As always, this show is live and uncensored, hosted by the unpredictable Jamie Campbell, and written by a staff that was hand-picked from Chicago’s world famous comedy scene. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at The ComedySportz Theatre box office. Call 773.549.8080 in advance or buy them at the door. Attendance to the 10 p.m. ComedySportz improv show gets audience members into Talk Hard at half price. Life is short – talk hard.

Twitter Followers of @ComedySportzChi Take Improv Games Beyond the Theatre

by Alonso Cisneros

ComedySportz plays host to a number of games on Twitter that encourages its fans join in on writing the jokes. Three days a week a joke premise is dropped by ComedySportz, and it’s up to our legion of Twitter followers to complete the bit.

“World’s Worst

Every Wednesday the audience is challenged to decide on who might be the world’s worst something -- gladiator, motivator, or valentine for examples, amongst a variety of other topics.

Zach Thompson gives us a gentle take on global conquest for the subject of “world’s worst Viking.”

Zach Thompson photoZach Thompson @PocketThunder

@ComedySportzChi: We paint their villages and compliment their women.

Mel Evans drops us in ringside to witness the “world’s worst wrestler” to hit mankind.


Mel Evans @mel_evans@ComedySportzChi: time for my signature closing move – The Gentle Neck Kisses.

@ComedySportzChi: time for my signature closing move – The Gentle Neck Kisses.



Every Friday the familiar set up of “185 (somethings) walking into a bar” is employed, and it’s up to the audience to put their unique twist on it. In response to “185 snowflakes,” Sean Curran strings together a winter gem:

Sean Curran @seanadelph

@ComedySportzChi: 185 snowflakes walk into a bar, but no one notices because although it sounds like a lot, it really isn’t. Also they melt.

Kelsey VanVoorst economically sets out and destroys with her short response to “185 Lady Gagas.”


Kelsey VanVoorst @Kelseyvv

@ComedySportzChi: 1 Lady Gaga walks into 185 bars.


“Celebrity To Do List”

Every Thursday the audience gets the opportunity to draft the to do lists of various celebrities. Some responses take jabs at their famous subjects and others confound with absurd lines.

Leslie Nesbit offers precious insights into the mind of a comedic genius, for “Jerry Seinfeld’s To Do List.”

 Leslie Nesbit @a27monkey

@ComedySportzChi: Something. I've got to do something today.

Matt Castellvi taps into the higher powers for “Pope Francis’s To Do List.”


Matt Castellvi @Lolztellvi

@ComedySportzChi: Chug entire 2 liter of mountain dew…for the Lord.


Some of these followers are members of our ensemble and our affiliated leagues Battle-Prov, Genesis League and Legacy and many are just improv fans. They all shoot back with their best one liner responses. These games have proven to be a large draw and lot of laughs, as a collection of inventive responses are tweeted and re-tweeted on ComedySportz’s page. Our Twitter page doubles as the stage for jokes that can range anywhere from non sequiturs about leprechauns to digs on celebrities, giving people the chance to let their personalities shine.                   

Follow us on Twitter and you can enjoy ComedySportz humor even when you’re not at our theater with us. These games hit the web Wednesdays through Fridays and whether it’s crafting the perfect joke and sending it our way or just scrolling through several of the best Tweets, these games take audience interaction to another level.  Just head over to www.twitter.com/ComedySportzChi and follow us to join in.

JadaJada takes the stage alongside our home team players at 8 & 10 pm

Jada JadaJadaJada is a collection of international improvisers living in Tampere, Finland. They're in town for the Chicago Improv Festival and we're happy to have them at The ComedySportz Theatre for our Friday night matches at 8 PM (sold out) and 10 PM ($22). Members of JadaJada will join our ComedySportz ensemble players for two thrilling matches!

It's still ComedySportz and still appropriate for all - so if you're hosting guests for Spring Break, you can comfortably bring friends & family of any age to see these top improv players from Europe face off against your ComedySportz Chicago favorites.

Call  773-549-8080 for reservations - or visit www.ticketmaster.com

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