Chicago’s Fourth Annual 26th Annual Festival Promising Greatness Big and Small


One of the country’s best-named festivals, Chicago’s 26th Annual Comedy Festival, has just announced the first round of confirmed performers for their 4th annual event, taking place from May 31st — June 4th. The A.V. Club and The Onion festival was a blast last year with a well curated line up ranging from gigantic headliners to home grown favorites and it’s well worth a trip to the Windy City.

Housed at a host of venues across Chicago, this year’s festival (presented by The Onion, The A.V. Club, ClickHole and truTV) will be headlined by , who will be performing two shows to kick things off. What’s more, Oswalt will be shooting his next hour-special during these performances, which will come just a little over a year after the release of his Grammy Award-winning special Talking For Clapping. Other stand-up acts announced so far include Aparna Nancherla, Jena Friedman, Nathan Fielder, and two stand-up showcases: The bizarrely-hilarious 7 Minutes in Purgatory hosted by Ian Abramson, and Crabapples hosted by the legendary Bobcat Goldthwait and comedian Caitlin Gill.

Also coming to the festival will be a variety of podcasts, Q&A’s, film screenings and free-form stage shows. Esteemed director/writer/actor Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) will take to the stage alongside The Modern School of Film’s Robert Palazzo for Christopher Guest in Conversation, in which Guest will describe the ins-and-outs of his storied career, aided by clips from his various projects. Another big get for the festival is Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butt-Head and co-creator of hit shows and movies like Silicon Valley, King of the Hill, Idiocracy and Office Space. Judge will be showing a special 35mm screening of the cult classic Idiocracy, after which he will be interviewed by The A.V. Club’s Sean O’Neal. The word “Trump” just might come up.

On the podcast front, fans can catch comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson recording an episode of their runaway hit podcast Guys We F@#ked, as well as Bitch Sesh, which features Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider getting drunk on wine and talking about the goings-on of the Real Housewives world.

The variety of the shows at this festival are not to be understated. Case in point: they’re having a reunion of the cast and creators of the cult-classic Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which will feature a discussion panel, Q&A and a showing of classic clips from the show. Add to that performances of truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything, the ClickHole writers’ unique variety show ClickHole Live and the more politically-leaning Rise Up: Comedy For Change, and it’s clear that this festival has a little something for everyone.

The Music Box, The Hideout, Lincoln Hall, the Athenaeum, and Thalia Hall will once again play host to the weeks events.

Remember, this is only the first round of announcements; The list of performers is bound to grow as we get closer to the festival. Tickets for individual performances will go on sale this Friday, March 10th, and can be purchased at the festival’s website.

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Bill Tressler

Bill is a writer and comedy enthusiast from New York. An avid gamer and podcast fan, he strives to always toe the line between charming irreverence and grating honesty.