Dan Friesen is a man with a vision. Unfortunately, his third eye is just as crossed as his other two, so he can’t quite get a focus on what that vision is. In his senior year at the University of Missouri, Dan became incredibly bored of his studies and decided to give stand up a try. He quickly fell in love with the craft, and in almost no time flat, he had created Columbia, MO’s only independent comedy show, The As Yet Unnamed Comedy Show, a show that is still running to this day.
After two years of producing and hosting the show, he decided it was time to get serious and leave town. Armed with nothing but a reasonable sense of humor, a heart full of positivity, and lessons learned in Columbia, Dan arrived in Chicago and hit the ground running. Since then, he’s made a great number of mistakes, but has landed squarely on his feet.
Kevin Hogan is a great guy and a solid comedian. However, I have to make it completely clear is not his website. As much as I like the guy and how much I consistently enjoy watching him perform, I have to stipulate that he is not a motivational speaker who specializes in persuasion techniques. No, he’s a comedian who specializes in revealing personal storytelling, and he’s good at it. What he’s not good at is curing tinnitus. Again, that’s the other Kevin Hogan.
Much like a healthy dump, Joe McAdam is best described as “solid.” He embodies a few of my favorite traits in human beings, most importantly is the fact that he’s quick to laugh. Too many people take themselves and life far too seriously, whereas Joe will giggle with you about penises all day long. I like that. Don’t confuse this to mean he’s a simpleton or a “yes man” willing to go with the flow. He’s sharp as a tack which makes him sure of himself and his ideas, so he’ll call bull where he sees it. It balances out quite nicely. He also drinks a lot of prune juice to, in his own words “get the most out, because that’s the name of the game.” Not only does it make a great metaphor for life, but once again we’re back at poop!
Nicholas Rouley, or as he’s affectionately known around the RPM offices, “Daddy”, is quite possibly the biggest shaft tease I’ve ever met. Not to say that’s a bad thing, but it’s a bad thing. Despite our sexual divergence in the woods, we tend to see eye to eye musically and comedically. Nick has a real appreciation for what matters in comedy, connecting with your gut. See doesn’t that make him sound like a tease? The point is, that same mentality translates from comedy to music. You can tell that Nick has refined tastes, but doesn’t have a problem betraying his intelligence to indulge in a shit joke or a Mentors song. It’s a great balance that when wielded correctly is a powerful tool. Again with the tease. Trust your gut, trust Nick Rouley, don’t trust cops.
Let's Make Amends
Kristin Clifford started doing stand-up in 2009, and has since become one of the most beloved comics in the Chicago stand-up scene. Kristin’s warm presence onstage is a rarity in stand-up comedy and really draws audiences in-- but this rose has a thorn. Her face may be sweet, but her observational and autobiographical comedy cuts like a knife. Kristin’s lovable yet biting take on topics like working life, dating, and pop culture has made her relatable to audiences all over the country. Aside from being an accomplished stand-up, Kristin is also a graduate of the prestigious Second City Conservatory, as well as the iO. In 2012, Kristin performed in the TBS Just For Laughs Festival, and she performs regularly all over Chicago.
Let's Make Amends
Lindsay is a Chicago-based comedian who is originally from NJ (with the fake tan and belly button piercing to prove it). She spent her teenage years smoking Newports, chugging vodka, slapping faces, and trying to steal a microphone at any event (welcome, or unwelcome).
After a brief stint in rehab and a move to Chicago for school, she has now settled into a lifestyle filled with ice cream, cats, cigars and comedy.
She's a regular at the Laugh Factory, Jokes & Notes, Zanies, performed in the Chicago Women's Funny Festival, and features for nationally touring comedians across the country. Her comedy is a combination of blunt and at times searing opinions and stories from life experience. She's strange, endearing, and wildly inappropriate.
Kenny DeForest is a 5 year stand up comedy veteran based in Chicago, IL. Labeled a hustler by his peers, Kenny’s comedy can be described as edgy, smart and honest. Since arriving in Chicago, Kenny has become a regular performer at Chicago’s top clubs and showcases including The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Bar, The Lincoln Lodge, Comedians You Should Know, and featured on the widely released “Chicago Mixtapes: Comedy Mixtape”; all after being named “Favorite Newcomer 2010” by comedyofchicago.com. The most important thing of note is that Kenny always has as much fun performing as audiences do watching him.
Matt Riggs has burst onto the comedy scene like a piece of Gushers gum. He got his start in Chicago performing comedic roles in several locally acclaimed plays, including “Chair,” “2012″ and “You are Poop.” He segued into online sketch comedy as a member of the group The Wilton Way whose videos have amassed more than a half million views on YouTube and can be found on TheWiltonWay.com. He is now a mover and shaker in the Chicago stand-up scene in the group Your Funniest Friends. He's got so many podcasts that they are unable to be listed, but listen to them all...in depth...a lot.
Joe Fernandez is a half-Cuban, half-Irish, (Or Cubish) comedian. Growing up in Texas, he had an affinity for the sport of baseball and dreamed of playing for the Houston Astros, but when his body didn’t grow up with his dreams he moved to performing comedy. Joe is currently a member of Chicago Underground Comedy and was recently a Finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award, a performer at the Chicago Just For Laughs Festival in 2011, as well as the Boston Comedy Fest. Armed with smart satirical jokes that often toe the line as well as bits that involve character work and audience participation, he always finds a way to make the audience have fun.
Goodrich Gevaart is a natural performer who excels in all too many forms. He's an excellent writer, stand up comic, musician, and a gifted conversationalist to boot. In his relatively short time doing stand up, he's already achieved far more than many wily veterans. Between running successful showcases, booking sets at festivals, and bringing it on stage, Goodrich is definitely on a fantastic path, heading forward.
Tim Barnes and Ian Abramson
Tim Barnes is a comedian and filmmaker, originally from Africa America. Ian Abramson is also a comedian and happens to be Tim's filmmaking partner. Their past work has been featured on the ComedySportz late-night program Talk Hard, and they created a fully sanctioned Explosion Bus spin-off, Explosion Bus: Talent Scouts Honor. Look for impressive things from them in the future. And in the present.
I would be remiss to not mention that Tim also writes for the excellent satirical news site .
Katie McVay is a stand-up comic based in Chicago. She is a cast member of and a co-producer of comedy showcases, the and .. She also co-created and stars in the web series Yell You Better.
Anthony McBrien is not only a very talented comic working out of Chicago, but he's also an amazing filmmaker. His talent is immense, as evidenced by his role behind the camera for Yell You Better and many other projects. You can see him performing all around town, and at one of the shows produced by his group, Shinebox.
Mikey Manker's honest and conversational approach to stand-up, which takes personal tragedies, family dysfunction, substance abuse, sex and other life experiences, has won over audiences all over the country. A veteran of the comedy scene for over a decade, this St Louis native has headlined at Zanies Chicago, performed at the prestigious Chicago Underground Comedy, and even opened up his own one man show to rave reviews.
Kevin White approaches topics like heartbreak, financial woe and fear of the future with a cheerful cynicism and an urgent stage presence, giving him the engaging voice of a twenty-something just trying to figure it all out. He’s performed in tons of different cities, worked with a plethora of headliners and won or placed in many different contests, including winning the 2nd annual Gateway To Hope “Laughter For Life” cancer benefit / comedy competition, as well as being a semi-finalist of the "Funniest Person in Cincinnati" competition. Kevin is not only driven as a comedian, he is also a prevalent writer and actor as well as a highly motivated producer of live shows, sketch comedy and stand-up comedy tours, most notably Bare Knuckle Comedy which currently runs in both St. Louis, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois.