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Some say laughter is the best anti-inflammatory. Cure your bursitis with today’s side deal that gets you half-price tickets to one of two late-night improv shows at The ComedySportz Theatre. Take your pick from award-winning raunch-fest The Hot Karl or jazzy newcomer Cocktail Hour (featuring Groupon customer service rep Wes Needham).
Conveniently located near the Belmont el stop in Lakeview, The ComedySportz Theatre has a longstanding reputation as one of Chicago’s hot spots for sidesplitting improv and selling exotic birds at fair prices. Host to a number of well-known troupes, the late-night weekend shows are a crowd favorite.
The Hot Karl, on an open run on Saturdays at midnight, has garnered praise for the past 10 years. Known for their explicit sexual humor, the performers in this long-form show take audience suggestions at the beginning of the night, with the warning that anything the audience tosses out will be carefully and lovingly subverted into the foulest jokes, bluest humor, and shockingiest comedy over the following hour.
During the The Hot Karl, servers stealthily pad through the theater’s comfortable table seating, supplying the audience with a strong dose of moral anesthetic in the form of 16-ounce well cocktails (not included in ticket price). The Hot Karl’s explicit themes make it a great first-date destination, allowing you to quickly assess your potential mate’s openness to the sort of bizarre scenarios that generally only get discussed on commercial airline flight-safety seminars. For those in committed relationships, this could be a chance to pick up a new idea, if you are open to ideas involving Amish butter churns and left-handed cricket bowlers.
If that sort of humor isn’t the teabag in your closet full of coffee beans, this deal lets you opt for another late-night improv show, Cocktail Hour. Since opening in May, Cocktail Hour has been running at midnight on Fridays at ComedySportz with a jazzy, '60s-themed short-form show. This format, best known from the TV program Whose Line Is It Anyway?, has performers act out short scenes within a predetermined structure. Cocktail Hour breaks up the scenes with performances from a guest singer, rounding out the lounge appeal of the dapper act. Wes Needham, loyal Groupon employee, brings his prolific talents to the stage in this show, demonstrating to the world why he was recently tapped as a finalist for the prestigious “Best Improvised Response to a Prank Customer Service Call” Award.
The troupe behind The Hot Karl won the 2008 Readers' Choice Award for Best Improv Group in the Reader’s “Best of Chicago” 2008 issue. Theater critic Jack Helbig also recommends the performance:
- Every Saturday at midnight, The Hot Karl folks start their gig by announcing that they're going to create the foulest, most disgusting fully improvised show in Chicago. Then they do it….The odd thing is that the grosser the players got, the more expertly they improvised: they were all in tune with one another, they never stumbled, and they treated the other performers' ideas with a respect only the best, most trusting troupes manage. – Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader
As a newer show, Cocktail Hour hasn’t had the chance to pile up the accolades, but with this deal, you can play the critic and give it your own seal of approval.