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Finest of the Funniest

By Ali Trachta in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 28, 2008 10:29PM

Many would say Chicago tops the list of America’s funniest cities, so it’s fitting that our town created an awards show exclusively to honor Chicago comics. The Second Annual Chicago Comedy Awards, a three-day extravaganza taking place this weekend, sets the stage for local comedians to, well, celebrate themselves.

2008_02_comedyawards.jpgThe show is an expansion of last year’s, which included only four awards. This year they’ve dropped the “Most Improved Comedian” award -- er, maybe because that’s a bit of a back-handed compliment -- but comics are contending for the following six titles: Best Female Comedian, Best Male Comedian, Breakthrough Act, Comedian’s Choice, The Mark Sinclair Award for Most Innovative Comedian and, a nod to a whole other genre, Best Short Film.

Lately we’ve been on top of two local comedians vying for a prize. We first mentioned Carrie Callahan, up for Breakthrough Act, when she hosted a show at the Lincoln Lodge last month. The delightful and quick-witted Callahan is a bit of a paradox. Case in point, she pegs herself as a vegetarian, yet she thinks guns are “the most fun you can have with your pants on.” Ken Barnard, a contender for the coveted Mark Sinclair Award, is known for stepping outside the stand-up box in favor of what he calls “Performance Comedy.” Barnard’s unique shtick received lots of media attention recently (yes, from us too) when he protested the filling of a pot hole near the Montrose Brown Line stop.

You can preview what these and other comics have to offer by attending one of the Nominee Showcases either tonight or tomorrow night at the Lincoln Lodge. The awards show, which will mimic the bells and whistles of a hoity-toity Hollywood event, takes place Saturday Night at The Lakeshore Theater.

Nominee Showcases: Thursday and Friday at 9:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Lodge, 4008 N. Lincoln.
Chicago Comedy Awards: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway.

Image courtesy of the Lincoln Lodge website.