TBS Just for Laughs 2011: Thursday Picks

You could tell the festival was in full effect last night as soon as you arrived at the Chicago Theatre.

Twix was giving away boat-loads of candy bars, trying to get people to hop-scotch and generally making a lot of noise. At one point a police officer made them clear the sidewalk a little bit—I guess they were having a little too much fun… or maybe they were blocking foot-traffic. Maybe both.

The Anti-Social Network event started with an awful Linkin Park song blasting over the PA and a pointless assault of strobe lights. As soon as it ended someone behind me shouted, “That’s the most terrible song I’ve ever heard.” Things took a positive spin once Chicagoan, Sean Flannery took the stage to get the comedy started. Flannery impressed me the night before at the Chicago Underground Comedy showcase and he did just as well in front of the much larger Chicago Theatre crowd—he even had different material.

After Flannery, Jim Norton took the stage to perform and host the rest of the night’s politically incorrect, NSFW humor. You could tell that Norton, Bill Burr, Jim Breuer and Dave Attell all brought their own crowd but their styles blended together well enough to keep everyone entertained the whole time. I’m pretty sure the crowd got what they came for.

Here are my picks for Thursday night.

Demetri Martin & Special Guests, Who Are Also Comedians & Are Friends of His
7:30pm at The Chicago Theatre

Demetri Martin has a new book titled, This is a Book. That might give you an idea of his sense of humor. He has a very analytical, literal approach to comedy that sets him apart from others. Martin’s “friends” tonight are equally inventive and promise to deliver a unique show that I imagine will be quite different from last night’s Anti-Social Network.

Featuring: David O’Doherty, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress, Kristen Schaal, Kumail Nanjiani and Paul F. Tompkins (pictured above)

Pet Project Series with Teenager of the Year
9:30pm at The Playground Theater

Teenager of the Year was my favorite group at this year’s Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. The duo, Joe Avella and Tim Racine, haven’t been as active since Racine moved to NY but they’re together again and performing tonight at The Playground Theater. Expect the unexpected.

I interviewed Teenager of the Year in January: Let’s Get Serious with Teenager of the Year

The POB Show
11:59pm at iO Theater

I’m not sure what this show is going to be exactly but it’s hosted by Michael Patrick O’Brien, SNL writer and Second City alum. Word on the street is that SNL head-writer Seth Meyers will be a guest.

TWIX® Presents: TBS Just for Laughs Chicago runs June 14–19, 2011. A full schedule and list of performers can be found at www.justforlaughschicago.com.

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