The Lincoln Lodge finds a new home at Subterranean!

After less that two months away, The Lincoln Lodge has found a new home in the downstairs lounge of Wicker Park concert venue Subterranean. The Lodge's regular Friday night comedy showcases will return Friday, February 28th, with its sister show, The Blackout Diaries, relaunching on Saturday, March 1st. 

Few details beyond than the location have changed concerning the Lodge's setup, with tickets remaining $10 and full food and drink service offered throughout the show. Subterranean's centralized location in heart/The Crotch of Wicker Park, along with outpouring of support the Lodge received after the sudden shuttering of its home for 14 years, could make for a huge uptick in ticket sales and continued notoriety amongst Chicago's always growing base of comedy fans.

I talked about the move with Lincoln Lodge cast member Ricky Gonzalez, who has worked tirelessly on finding the show a new home over the past seven weeks, check out the text of that interview below. Tickets for the return of The Lincoln Lodge and Blackout Diaries can be purchased on The Lincoln Lodge's website. Welcome back, The Lincoln Lodge!

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The Steamroller's best of 2013

My favorite part of doing this website is getting to spotlight the work being done by the most talented people in the hugely exciting and talented Chicago comedy community. I reached out to a bunch of these people and other friends of The Steamroller to share their top five favorite people, places, and things from Chicago comedy 2013. Check out a huge list of top fives, as well as my personal list, below!

Matt Byrne

Favorite thing: The Late Live Show

This shouldn't be a shock to anyone familiar with The Steamroller. The Late Live Show was the best comedy show of any kind in Chicago, and now it lives in L.A., where Real Actual Famous People are guests (like Mad Men's Rich Sommer and Freaks and Geeks' Samm Levine). The final run of shows earlier this year at iO were some of the funniest, most well-executed nights of comedy I've ever seen; it was so exciting to see a collective with such a strong, specific comedic voice come into their own in front of packed houses week after week. They're coming back next month for a handful of shows at iO and SketchFest, and I couldn't be more excited.

Favorite festival: A Jangleheart Circus

I can't believe how perfect A Jangleheart Circus was. On paper, a three day festival of improv and sketch from over 100 (mostly local) independent teams and performers might sound well intentioned but ultimately unrealistic. In real life, it was electrifying proof of the power of Chicago's underground improv comedy scene. Endless congratulations are due to the festivals' organizers, Alex, Walt, and Caitlin, the folks responsible for making the Upstairs Gallery the palace of comedy it is. Jangleheart packed an unbelievable number of friendly, clued-in comedy people (performers and fans alike) into one venue, filling out shows on three separate stages, distilling everything that's cool and energizing about SketchFest into one no bullshit Summer weekend.

Favorite one-off/concept show: Henry Soapfloats' Funeral/HIJINKS November (tie)

I've written a whole bunch about both Hijinks (the monthly show produced by Two Bunnies Eating Flowers and Sovereign at the Public House Theater) and Henry Soapfloats' funeral (organized by local standup Ian Abramson) on here, so, again, this should come as no surprise. Ian Abramson's Funeral For A Prop Comic was a delightfully absurd, fully realized vision put on in a death trap of a basement, featuring some of the funniest, strangest up-and-coming standups in the city flexing their solo sketch muscles.

I posted a breathless wrapup of The HIJINKS Trolley Show earlier this month, and want to reiterate one last time that it was one of the most delightful things I'd ever seen, made all the more special considering of the pitch-black darkness the two teams behind HIJINKS are generally known for. It felt like one of those shows that, in 15 years, 300 people will talk about as if they were there. They weren't.

Favorite internet thing: Garfbert

Yes Yes Garfbert Yes!

Favorite audience member: Fard Muhammad/Katie McVay (tie)

Fard and Katie are two of the biggest assets to any audience in Chicago. The effect of Fard's tremendous, purely delighted laugh, which can be heard soundtracking most, if not all footage from the Late Live Show (normally punctuated by Andrew Smreker's shrieks of joy), is amplified tenfold by his unwavering proclivity for grabbing a seat in the (normally vacant) front row at every comedy show.

It goes without saying that Katie's one of my favorite comics working in Chicago right now, with perspective that perfectly vacillates between crippling self-consciousness and a total lack thereof. As an audience member, she's often struck by fits of boisterous laughter so ridiculous and sincere, that fellow audience members are enabled to comfortably indulge in their own unhinged enjoyment, which is an incredible thing to watch happen.

First Annual Steamroller Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award: The Lincoln Lodge

Had the window for best of submissions not closed a few days before it was announced that The Lincoln Restaurant was closing and thus The Lincoln Lodge was suddenly cast out into the void, in search of a new home base, most of the lists below would look a lot different.

I'm working on a longer thing about The Lodge's enduring influence and continued greatness, but for now, I'm going to have to speak for all those on this list and beyond: The Lincoln Lodge was (and is, it's not dead) an incredibly important, reliably awesome home for weird, interesting comedy in Chicago throughout the 21st century. Lodge Papa Mark Geary, along with his myriad cast members, worked to create something wholly unique and good. I'm confident that they will find a new home and continue to support and create great comedy well into the future.

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Interview: The Lincoln Lodge's Mark Geary

 The Lincoln Lodge kicks off its fourteenth season this weekend with a series of shows featuring the brilliant Eddie Pepitone. With a brand new cast featuring fresh faced up-and-comers and well-loved scene vets and plans to bring in several national headliners in the coming months, the Lodge is on track to have another successful season of independently produced comedy in a charming, no-bullshit room.

In anticipation of this weekend's shows, I talked over email with The Lodge's founder and producer, Mark Geary, about the Lodge's roots as an anarchic variety show, the Chicago scene's volatile landscape, and their back-to-basics plan for the new season. 

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Double Feature: Critics on the Street Volume III

The four producers of Double Feature, Ian Abramson, Tim Barnes, Melody Kamali, and Marlena Rodriguez, return with another thrilling, unpredictable edition of Critics on the Street.

Tim talks race with a hispanic filmgoer! Marlena gets called "not normal" for having a black friend! Ian hits his side while laughing at a seventh grader's jokes! Melody skillfully plugs the show's Instagram page mid teen girl fight! More stuff, too!

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Three questions for The Lincoln Lodge

The cast of The Lincoln Lodge ​heads north to Rogers Park for a special standup showcase at Mayne Stage tomorrow night (Wednesday March 27th). Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, be sure to use the code word LODGE when checking out for $5 off your order. In advance of the show, I sent over three questions to be answered by all nine Lodge members.

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The Blackout Diaries Diaries Vol. 4

For almost two years, Sean Flannery's live storytelling show The Blackout Diaries has been regularly selling out rooms like the Beat Kitchen and The Lincoln Lodge. The show features stories of booze-fueled bad decisions and drunken debauchery from comic performers, as well as the occasional regular person. The Blackout Diaries launched a run of Saturday nights at The Lincoln Lodge earlier this year and soon after announced a partnership with Jeppson's Malört, Chicago's premiere cult liqueur. You can catch the show every Saturday night at The Lincoln Lodge at 8pm.

Over the last few weeks, Sean and the other producers of The Blackout Diaries (Matty Ryan and The Puterbaugh Sisters), have weighed in on a drinking-related subject that's close to their heart. For the final installment Tiffany Puterbaugh is here to share her knowledge of the many forms of alcohol. Read More

The Blackout Diaries Diaries Vol. 3

For almost two years, Sean Flannery's live storytelling show The Blackout Diaries has been regularly selling out rooms like the Beat Kitchen and The Lincoln Lodge. The show features stories of booze-fueled bad decisions and drunken debauchery from comic performers, as well as the occasional regular person. Last month, the show launched a run of Saturday nights at The Lincoln Lodge and announced a partnership with Jeppson's Malört, Chicago's premiere cult liqueur. You can catch The Blackout Diaries every Saturday night at The Lincoln Lodge at 8pm. 

Over the next few weeks, Sean and the other producers of The Blackout Diaries (Matty Ryan and The Puterbaugh Sisters), will weigh in on a drinking-related subject that's close to their heart. This week, Matty Ryan shares his experiences with drinking-related injuries.

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The Blackout Diaries Diaries Vol. 2

For almost two years, Sean Flannery's live storytelling show The Blackout Diaries has been regularly selling out rooms like the Beat Kitchen and The Lincoln Lodge. The show features stories of booze-fueled bad decisions and drunken debauchery from comic performers, as well as the occasional regular person. Last month, the show launched a run of Saturday nights at The Lincoln Lodge and announced a partnership with Jeppson's Malört, Chicago's premiere cult liqueur. You can catch The Blackout Diaries every Saturday night at The Lincoln Lodge at 8pm. 

Over the next few weeks, Sean and the other producers of The Blackout Diaries (Matty Ryan and The Puterbaugh Sisters), will weigh in on a drinking-related subject that's close to their heart. This week, Danielle Puterbaugh is here to share some tips on dating and courtship.

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