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Best Local: Where To Catch Comedy

No funny business here– Chicago locals are serious about comedy

Chicago has a long legacy of laughter. It’s common knowledge that this city has the best improv and sketch comedy in the game. Not buying it? Ask “Saturday Night Live;” way more than a couple of their legendary players have Windy City roots. It’s okay to call this a laughing matter.

If You’re Staying at Kingsbury Plaza:
With more than 25 shows a week, two theater spaces and two bars, it’s hard to find anything not perfect about iO Theater (3541 N. Clark St.). Founded in ‘81, this famous joint is the former home of Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers, among countless more. Think you can tickle a funny bone? Sharpen your comedy chops with iO training.

How To Get There: Get on the Red Line El at Grand headed toward 95th. Get off at Cermak-Chinatown. Commute Time: 25 minutes

If You’re Staying at Lincoln at The Parks:
Though the more well known Vernon Hills spot is closed, St. Charles’ Zanies Comedy Night Club (Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main Street) keeps the legacy alive. Nightlife Magazine crowned this 22-year-old spot the best comedy club in the suburbs every year from ‘08 to ‘11. Some headliners have included Tom Green, Steve Rannazzisi of FX’s “The League,” Louie Anderson and Norm MacDonald.

How To Get There: Drive down I-88 W and take IL-59 heading north. Turn left onto IL-64 W/W North Ave. Commute Time: 25 minutes

If You’re Staying at Presidential Towers:
Legendary comedy doesn’t get more serious than The Second City (1616 N. Wells St.). For more than 50 years, this laughter haven has been the end-all of improv and sketch comedy joints. The list of notable alums is endless; it includes Chris Farley, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey and Dan Aykroyd. They offer shows every night and classes for comedy hopefuls. There are now Toronto and Hollywood locations, but you can’t beat the original.

How To Get There: Get on the 11 Bus at Canal and Jackson headed toward Howard/McCormick. Get off at Sedgwick and North Avenue. Commute Time: 30 minutes

If You’re Staying at The Iroquois Club:
Veterans of The Second City, iO, ComedySportz and more have all see time at Comedy Shrine (22 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville). This joint specialized in teaching comedy writing as well as improv and comedy acting. For quality sketches with superb comedic scripts, this is your place. The cheap admission charge and one drink minimum surely won’t be a problem.

How To Get There: Drive west on Ogden Ave. and turn left down N. Washington St. Commute Time: 10 minutes

If You’re Staying at 400 N. LaSalle:
ComedySportz (929 W. Belmont Ave.) is no stand-up show. And it’s not about sports. Two teams battle for the most laughs from the audience with all-improv humor. The referee hosts the battle, gathering audience suggestions and truly brave volunteers.

How To Get There: Hop on the Brown Line El at the Merchandise Mart stop headed toward Kimball. Get off at the Belmont stop. Commute Time: 20 minutes

We’ve got you covered on the laughs, and that’s no joke. Chicago has options for stand-up, improv, sketch comedy, group shows, classes and more just a quick hop away from nearly any Habitat Corporate Suite. It looks like your funny bone could use a good tickling.

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