Get Serious About Nerding Out at 5th Annual Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival 

Were you left a little wanting when Wizard World wrapped up at the end of August? A little bit sad that C2E2 won’t pop up till spring, and can’t wait for Chicago Tardis for your fix? Well, buck up, friends, because starting today, you’ll find your fill of silly, friendly, nerdy fun at the 5th Annual Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773.  

Attendees relaxing at the bar between shows at the 2015 Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773. Photo by Marielle Shaw.

This event, now a fall tradition for this nerdy author, is small enough to have a familial feel while still serving up a four-day schedule of events that will satisfy almost any nerdy niche you find yourself a part of. It’s the collision of worlds that often meld well anyway–comedy and nerdery, and it’s inclusive, intimate and run by passionate people who aren’t pandering to a trend.

This year’s fest features a fantastic variety of acts, including improv, sketch comedy, standup, MST3K style film sendups, cabaret and more, with each night seeming to offer a little something for everyone. Even the website for the fest has seen upgrades, with more detailed bios and show info as well as indications of the type of humor each show works in, and we’re excited to check it out.  

Secret Origins Improv will appear at the 5th annual Nerd Comedy Fest. Art by Jim Tobey, from Secret Origins Imprrov FB page.

The full schedule for the festival is here, but here’s a few highlights we’ve hand-selected. Kicking off the festival is Secret Origins Improv, a Chicago-based group that will guide the audience to the creation of a new superhero and villain and employ their help in creating their origin stories. Another fun feature on Thursday will be Wig Bullies, which regards itself as Chicago’s “weirdest and most absurd LGBT sketch comedy group,” who will be debuting their newest revue, a Star Trek-esque adventure featuring the world’s first gay astronaut.  

Photo via ‘Tis Improv FB Site.

Also interesting are Friday’s “‘Tis: A Dungeons and Dragons Improv Show,” which will walk a line between a full-on D&D game and longform improv, and the 9pm Stand-Up block, which will feature comedians from all over, including an interesting set by Greg Winston that will look at society’s view of autism.  

Insane Ian. Photo via Chicago Nerd Comedy Fest site.

Saturday, Insane Ian is a safe bet for a musical geekout. His original music, which got him a spot on the Doctor Demento show and even a bit of an endorsement by His Weirdness, Al Yankovic, is video game and pop culture centric. That evening there will also be some Improvised Jane Austen for those who want to blaze new trails in classic literature. That night also features a cosplay contest and Side Scroller, a nerd burlesque show (yes, you heard us right) that we’re sure will impress, featuring some of the best places in Chicago for such things, like Boy’s Toy’s Pocket Cabaret, Not Your Mother’s Drag Show, Naughty Little Cabaret and Vertical Sideshow. We suspect it’ll be nerdy and very flirty. 

Finally, Sunday, as before, consists of free workshops, tabletop gaming and panels, and is, in our opinion, the best way to really get to know your fellow nerds. Though often skipped, it should not be missed.  

If you’d like to get tickets to The Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival at Stage 773, you can do so via their website, by choosing passes for an individual day (though Thursday’s must now go through the box office), a full festival pass, or simply choose individual shows and buy tickets for those as suits you.

For more information and for the full schedule, click here.

Marielle Bokor
Marielle Bokor