Archive: Session 14
June 21August 17, 2013
Chicago is a comedy breeding ground. From the early days of Chaplin at Essanay Studios, to Second City launching almost every SNL alumni, Chicago has been making the world laugh for more than a century. This session Night School is pleased to host some of Chicago's best up-and-coming stand-ups. They will present a wide range of film comedies, from '80s from broad comedy to dry wit, satire, dark comedy, the occasional obnoxious man-child, and bombs and misfires that work for all the wrong reasons.
Friday, June 21
Chris Damen presents:
Horribly Funny Ha Ha:
Michael Keaton's Comedy Career
During the Worst Cinematic Decade Ever.
Featuring: The Squeeze
(Roger Young, 1987)
"Have you ever seen 8½? It's better than that."
Keaton promoting The Squeeze on David Letterman
Before he played Batman, disgruntled Pittsburgh Pirates fan Michael Keaton was a comic actor in such hilarious hits as Beetlejuice and Mr. Mom in the 1980's. He also starred in the nearly-forgotten comedic dump, The Squeeze. Chris Damen will talk about the actor's comedy career during a decade many a bad movie was made.
Chris Damen is one of the managers at Facets Rentals. He has also been a local stand up comic for the past three years. A longtime presenter at Night School, Chris has presented Nekromantik, Barfly and Pulgasari, to name a few.
Saturday, June 29
Kenny Witzgall presents:
Drier Than a Pack of Saltines at a Diner in the Desert:
The Dry Comedy of Jim Jarmusch
Featuring: Coffee and Cigarettes
(Jim Jarmusch, 2003)
"Cigarettes and coffee, man, that's a combination."
Jim Jarmusch is a legend in the world of indie film. One of his distinctive talents is his dry, subtle comedic writing style. Kenny Witzgall will dissect the director's humor, and champion the marriage of randomness and dark comedy in film.
Kenny Witzgall is fast approaching awesomeness in the Chicago comedy scene. He is the co-host to the popular Wednesday night open mic at Cole's in Logan Square. He is also part of the Stand Up Stand Up crew, which runs a weekly showcase at the Crocodile in Wicker Park, and he's one of the hosts of "Power Hour!" at Gallery Cabaret every Friday.
Saturday, July 13
Melody Kamali presents:
Featuring: Putney Swope
(Robert Downey Sr., 1969)
"Putney is confusing originality with obscenity."
Myron X in Putney Swope
Satire is an art form that pokes fun at the shortcomings of individuals and society in hopes of improvement. The history of film has had its fair share of satiric masterpieces, like The Great Dictator and Dr. Strangelove, to name a few. Putney Swope
is another classic satire, ridiculing the world of corporate advertising amidst the civil rights movement. Melody Kamali will discuss the film's historical importance in relation to the genre.
is a writer and comedian based in Chicago. She produces the monthly comedy show "Double Feature"
which showcases the city's top comedians with short comedic videos submitted by Chicago filmmakers. "Double Feature" takes place every last Wednesday at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.
Saturday, July 27
Bobby Budds presents:
Stupid Is as Stupid Does:
Everything That's Funny Isn't Always Smart.
Featuring: Billy Madison
(Tamra Davis, 1995)
Frank: "Who would you rather bone,
Meg Ryan or Jack Nicholson?"
Billy: "Jack Nicholson now, or 1974?"
Billy: "Meg Ryan."
When you think of high-brow comedy you might think of classic English dry wit. When you think of low-brow comedythe survey says: Adam Sandler. Now a powerhouse comedy actor, Sandler exploded into to the cultural zeitgeist in the 1990's as the ultimate man-child. Repeatedly trashed by critics as being intensely immature, Sandler has weathered the storm to become a Hollywood heavy hitter. Bobby Budds will discuss the actor's career, and will have you know that just because a film is silly or immature, that doesn't mean it's not funny.
, considered to be the Chicago comedy scene's obnoxious little brother, works at a Mexican restaurant in Lincoln Park. He's out almost every night hitting the pavement in order to hone his craft. You can check out some of his funny Vines
Saturday, August 10
Bill Cruz presents:
Bickering Detectives Like Making Lamb Stew:
Everything Goes to Pot!
Featuring: Murder by Death
(Robert Moore, 1976)
"Yes, dear, we're going to have a lovely murderpoo."
Miss Withers and Jessica Marbles in Murder by Death
Combine equal parts Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, David Niven and other comic actors to an ensemble cast. Comedy gold, right? Bill Cruz will talk about the legendary comedians involved in making this very mediocre product. Nevertheless, Murder by Death is still an awfully funny mess.
Bill Cruz, considered Chicago's premier queer comedian, has become a pillar of the stand-up comedy scene over the last eight years. Cruz is a native of Denver who moved to Chicago to pursue a career in theatre. Four years later, he started doing stand-up comedy in small rooms, and became known as "The Gay Mexican." He graduated to the Lincoln Lodge, Zanies Comedy Club, Chicago Underground, Laugh Factory Chicago, numerous "Mikey-O Comedy Shows" and colleges, clubs, and festivals across the United States.
Saturday, August 17
Keith Paesel presents:
Comedy Is Someone Else's Tragedy:
Why Sad Films are Funny
Featuring: Igby Goes Down
(Burr Steers, 2002)
"If heaven is such a wonderful place then what was the big fucking sacrifice?"
They say tragedy plus time equals comedy. Kieran Culkin learns that the hard way in Igby Goes Down, a dark coming-of-age comedy about a dysfunctional family. Keith Paesel will talk about how sad subjects can make for potent comedies, despite that fact that someone is getting the wrong end of the stick.
Keith Paesel, a raconteur on the stand-up stage, is moving up in the Chicago comedy scene. He's part of the Stand Up Stand Up crew that runs a weekly showcase at the Crocodile every Thursday in Wicker Park, he's one of the hosts of "Power Hour!" at the Gallery Cabaret in Bucktown and he was recently part of the TBS Just For Laughs comedy festival.
For all inquiries about Facets Night School, contact Phil Morehart at 800.331.6197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.