The fourth annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival—brought to life by The A.V. Club and our sisters and brothers at The Onion and ClickHole, and helped immeasurably by truTV—is fast approaching: In case you’ve been hiding under something, it takes place from May 31-June 4 in beautiful Chicago. (It’s beautiful today, anyway.) Here are some things you might want to know.
Yes, there will be aftershows at the Virgin Hotels Chicago again, with super-secret guests. And yes, they can be tough to get into, but they’re worth it. (Past years have included most of the headliners and even some folks who came to town just to hang at these.) They’ll take place Wednesday through Saturday, and they’ll be hosted as always by the amazing Ian Abramson. The only way to get in is to follow either The A.V. Club or Virgin Hotels Chicago on Instagram AND RSVP right here. Wednesday night starts at 9:30, the other nights at 10, and they’ll go pretty late. You must be 21 or older to get in. Oh, and it’s on the 25th floor of the Virgin Hotel, 203 N. Wabash.
Nikki Glaser’s show at Thalia Hall this Friday is going to be a 26th Annual pre-party, and we’ve got some tickets to give away. I think that sentence pretty much said it all. Nikki Glaser, who you perhaps know from her Comedy Central show Not Safe With Nikki Glaser, will be performing this Friday, May 19, at Thalia Hall in Pilsen. The show starts at 9 p.m., and we’ve got five pairs of tickets to give away, since you read this far. Just e-mail here with ”Nikki Glaser” in the subject.
There’s a comedy-centric conference happening during the day, organized by our friends at the “collective for change,” Rise Up. We have some passes to give away for that as well. During the day on June 2-4, the Univision-aligned Rise Up will host Rise Up: Comedy For Change. Speakers include writers from The Onion and ClickHole, as well as folks like Bassem Youssef and Jena Friedman. They’ll tackle some weighty subjects and hopefully make you laugh. The first 20 people who RSVP here will get a pass to the whole shebang. Just e-mail here for your chance to attend. The full schedule and more information can be found right here.
Miscellaneous things like ticket availability and stuff: Both Patton Oswalt shows are sold out. There won’t be a third. We added a second Nathan Fielder show, and tickets are dwindling for that one. There are very few tickets left for the Idiocracy screening with Mike Judge; you should buy those now if you want to go. The early Aparna Nancherla show is sold out; tickets remain for the late show. Both Bitch Sesh shows are totally sold out. The Bobcat Goldthwait/Caitlin Gill “Crabapples” show now includes special guests Tim Kazurinsky (which, if you’re counting, means there will be two Police Academy cast members there) and local hero Dave Pasquesi, who you’ve seen most recently as Andrew Meyer, Selina’s salacious ex-husband, on Veep. The fact that you have not scooped up all the tickets to see legendary actor-director Christopher Guest at the Music Box baffles me, so let me tease you with this nugget: Some of Guest’s friends might be showing up… from afar. This is literally the man who uttered the words, “These go to 11.” The full lineup (which also includes a Pete And Pete reunion, Guys We Fucked: The Live Experience, Adam Conover of Adam Ruins Everything and much, much more) can be found at 26comedy.com, which also includes handy links to purchase tickets. See you there!