Collectors Edition says goodbye to Conor Sullivan!

I've lived in Chicago for almost 4 years. For most of that time, I've known Conor Sullivan, my good friend who is leaving for Los Angeles next month. For a lil while I'd had plans to eulogize Conor here on the Steamroller, but I don't think that would be fair to him because Conor leaving Chicago to bigger and better things is nothing but a positive thing. He is moving on to do things he's always wanted to do, and I am sincerely proud of him.

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Notes on Honey & Breezi's Valentines Day Spectacular

Tonight (Friday, 2/14) at 10:30pm, the Upstairs Gallery will host a totally romantic Valentines Day party organized by a pair of local high schoolers. There will be improv from two mashup teams, a psychic giving free past life readings, a triple date, and an all-lady rap group, plus spiked non-alcoholic punch and other treats. 

While the producers weren't available for an interview in advance of the show, this series of notes exchanged by seniors Honey and Breezi were found folded up on the ground outside the girls' locker room earlier this week. Check out a scan of their juicy, gossip-filled correspondence below!

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Mike’s Hard’s Hard Laughs Festivade: Your Best Bets

Tomorrow night at the Upstairs Gallery is the second annual Mike's Hard's Hard Laughs Festivade sketch festival, and is definitely the only sketch comedy festival happening this weekend in Chicago. Producer/founder of the festivade, Brian McGovern is here with a guide to some of the best of the fest, hitting the stage tomorrow at 10:30pm. Mike's Hard's Hard Laughs Festivade is a totally free, BYOB affair.

With so many sketch groups coming in from out of town for Chicago’s only Sketch Comedy Festival sponsored by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, it can be a little overwhelming to know which acts to check out.

Well this year The Steamroller and the fest’s curator, Brian McGovern, have made a list of the hardest acts guaranteed to get the hardest laughs. We’ve compiled this list using the most accurate and foolproof methods available to modern journalists to determine who is the funniest: by looking at performer-submitted bios and press photos.

Just a reminder: these are just some of the fantastic acts performing at the Festivade. You should also be on the lookout for some other exciting out of town acts that bear a striking resemblance to Chicago’s finest sketch comedians including Andrew Tisher, Michael Brunlieb, Tim Baltz, John Reynolds and a whole lot more all within the time frame of 10:30 to about midnight.

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Jamison Webb’s Definitive and Complete History of Duck Soup

This Sunday, November 17th, marks the 80th anniversary of the release of the Marx Brothers' wildly influential Duck Soup. In celebration of this occasion, Jamison Webb, a Chicago-based writer and improvisor, organized a screening of the film on Sunday at 8:30pm at the Upstairs Gallery.

In advance of the screening, Jamison put together a complete history of the film, delving into the minutiae of its production, release, and reception.

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The Ghoulashes- "Ghoul Schoul"

Walt Delaney and John O'Toole are The Ghoulashes, a Halloween rock band that recently dropped the single "Ghoul Schoul." Originally released in 1964, the single finds the band at their spooky best, and was released in anticipation of their Halloween night Spooktacular and Telethon, a fundraiser to help finance their upcoming 2014 tour of Kosovo, happening this Thursday at the Upstairs Gallery.

Check out "Ghoul Schoul" below and don't miss the Ghoulashes Halloween Spooktacular and Telethon!

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A chat with Irene Marquette and Andrew Tisher of The Curio Show: The Early Work

This Wednesday, the first-ever edition of Irene Marquette's new monthly variety show, The Curio Show, goes up at the Upstairs Gallery. The first edition of this conceptually fluid night will focus on films produced by various local performers in their youths, in an era before Youtube or iMovie.

I Facebook chatted with Irene and Andrew Tisher, her co-producer for this month's show, which is subtitled The Early Work: VHS Dreams, Teens on Screens, relics from the pre-Youtube era. The show starts at 8pm this Wednesday, September 18th at the Upstairs Gallery.

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Drew & Ayala present...

The comedy duo of Drew Anderson and Ayala Skopp are presenting an overstuffed lineup of awesome folks from both the sketch and standup worlds tonight at the Upstairs Gallery, including Candy Lawrence, Wes Perry, the Puterbaugh Sisters, Gary Richardson, and Kellen Alexander. The show is tonight, August 6th, at 8pm, you can check out the poster for more information below!

Also embedded below is a recent clip from Drew & Ayala's new series of web shorts that follow two women who own a feminist pottery studio called Kiln Me Softly.

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