Locally-owned laughmaking!

A Thanksgiving Message for You and Your Wallet

The big three "T's of Thursday, Thanksgiving, and Turkey have passed.  Today, Chicago is shifting to scouring the interwebs to heal the national economy one American Girl doll at a time, with businesses opening ever earlier to honor "Black Friday", then "Small Business Saturday", and then "Cyber Monday".

However, the holidays can also be a time to use your dollars to do some good, and that's why I was excited to start seeing the following meme make its way across Facebook:

Shop Local

I agree!

So here's a little secret you may not know: ComedySportz in Chicago is a locally-owned small business. While several theaters across the country perform the same show, each location is independently owned by small business people. (For the record, the businesses are small, the owners are almost all of normal size.)

Our owners are Dave Gaudet, Jill Shely, Greg Werstler, and Rene Duquesnoy. For those of you with a bit of internet time to kill, here are some fun facts:

DAVE still performs in our professional ensemble and has been since 1988. (For those under 30, 1988 was a magical time when milk came in glass bottles and computers came in rooms!) If you see the show on Saturdays at 8p or 10p you may catch him! Dave has a wife and three kids and lives in the Irving Park neighborhood. They have a dog which is literally the size of a Dustbuster.

JILL is our lone transplant -- now living in New York City and performing with ComedySportz New York City. Thankfully, her house, husband and two kids all got through Hurricane Sandy.  (Though her building flooded, her family was safely on the 10th floor.)  However, with parents in St. Charles, she still gets to Chicago from time to time to play!

GREG actually works in the office and runs the National Touring Company, which brings ComedySportz to corporate meetings and special events throughout the Northern Midwest via our National Touring Company. He lives with his wife and two girls in Bud Long Woods, a Northwest neighborhood of the city.

RENE has been performing with ComedySportz since 2007 and joined the partners during our move to our new home at 929 W Belmont. Rene loves the diner scene in Lakeview. From Nookies Tree to Stella's, there is always a skillet, BLT, or freshly brewed Iced Tea around the corner. To get ready for a show, Rene goes to the FFC on Halsted to get energized, then to Cesar's Restaurants afterwards for Killer Margaritas. He and his wife live just around the corner in Roscoe Village!

So, if you're like many Chicagoans this Thanksgiving, you're already planning to celebrate with ComedySportz by bringing the family (or escaping them).  Know that you're also putting your dollars into the local economy. After all, if someone is going to make you laugh harder than a pardoned turkey, it should be someone from the neighborhood. Right?

See you at ComedySportz!

President, CEO, and a guy who also lives in Lakeview

P.S. For ComedySportz's holiday schedule, click here.

P.P.S. Here's two great resources for supporting local small businesses:

Additional shows on Wednesday at 8 pm and Friday at 6 pm.

 We’ve added extra shows to fit your holiday schedule!  If you’re looking for something to do with your guests the night before the big day, there’s our extra Wednesday show at 8 pm for $22.00!  Plus, it’ll be followed by “More” – our free extra helping of improv comedy to be played right after the 8 PM ComedySportz show.

After a day of shopping on Black Friday, you may just be ready for a few laughs, so we’ve added an extra 6 pm show just when you’ll need the hilarity the most. Tickets are $22.00 for that as well. We’ll have our regular 8 & 10 pm shows as well.  Saturday the 24th features our normal schedule of 6, 8, and 10 pm!

Check out our specially themed late night holiday shows. Pop idol Justin Bieber will fill in for James Stewart’s George Bailey in ComedySportz’s original comedy, It’s a Bieberful Life, to be performed Fridays at midnight from November 16th through December 29, 2012. Another late night show, A Minions Carol, will be a holiday riff on Improv Minions - ComedySportz’ regular kitchtastic improv battle on Thursdays at 10pm.

The Hans Christian Andersen classic The Snow Queen will be given the ComedySportz treatment for our weekly Saturday morning kids’ series. The ComedySportz Crew Meets The Snow Queen will be performed Saturdays at 11 am from November 17, 2012 through January 19, 2013.

Throughout December, we’ll have several extra performances.
Click here to see the full calendar for November and December!


Film actor Derek Mears will show the funny man behind the mask

Derek Mears took over the role of Jason Voorhees in the 2009 reboot of the Friday the 13th feature film franchise, and he’s played numerous other villains in a list of films that includes The Hills Have Eyes II, Predators, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and many others.  Ever since 1989, though, he’s also been a player with ComedySportz in California – starting in his hometown of Bakersfield before joining the club in Los Angeles.  Mears says he performs with ComedySportz LA as often as he can in between his many film and TV gigs, and looks on the improv show as his “doodle pad” for creating characters and performance ideas.

Mears will be in Chicago for appearances at the “Days of the Dead” convention of horror movie fans at the Marriott Hotel in Schaumburg from November 16-18. He’ll join in the ComedySportz show on Thursday, November 15 at 8 pm and fans will be able to see how this arch-villain is in reality a very nice and very funny man. Tickets are $22 per person and can be ordered by phone at 773-549-8080 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.



Winter to arrive on November 17th when
The  ComedySportz Crew Meets The Snow Queen.

Snow Queen

Director David Flora promises an early snowfall - on stage at least - when The ComedySportz Crew Meets The Snow Queen opens next week. In this original adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, the kids in the audience will join the ComedySportz crew as they travel to the North Pole and take part in the action. Flora explains, "Kids will get a chance to be snowflake guards if they choose and help the players escape from the Snow Queen. They'll be key to finding something hidden in the theatre that lets the players get away."


The Snow Queen is one Andersen's longest tales and is considered by many to be his best. It has been performed in many incarnations over the years - on stage, in movies and TV and even as opera! It includes a rich array of characters including a goblin who shatters a mirror that makes you only see bad things, a sorceress who keeps it summer around her at all times, a Helpful Reindeer and a very confused married couple of crows. To bring this magic to the ComedySportz Theatre stage, Flora promises some amazing puppetry, costumes and wigs.


Recommended for children 10 and under, The ComedySportz Crew Meets The Snow Queen will be performed Saturday mornings at 11 am from November 17 through January 19th. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids under 12.

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