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Laugh Your Asses Off!

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 21, 2005 2:49PM

2005_04_improv_fest.jpgChicago is funny. Everyone knows that. We've got Second City, the Improv Olympic, and we lay claim to Dan Aykroyd, Alan Alda, Tina Fey, Dan Castellaneta, Bill Murray as well as many other famous comedians and writers. To commemorate our funniness, head over to the 8th Annual Chicago Improv Festival. It starts tomorrow and has guest performers from SNL, MADtv, The Daily Show and Anchorman, to name a few. In all, there will be about 125 improv and sketch comedy ensembles. The full performance schedule is available here (PDF).

If you're one of our hometown funnymen, or you aim to be, there are going to be professionally-led workshops open to the public. It's your chance to learn from the best in the business.

This year's fest marks 50 years of improv as we know it and is paying homage to Compass Players, which is Chicago's original improv troupe and the foundation upon which Second City was built.

Don't forget to check out Chicagoist's local favorites.. Schadenfreude and Funny Ha-Ha are presenting "Alternative Comedy Night" as part of the festival at Double Door on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 pm. Sure to be a good time.

The improv festival lasts through May 1 and will be spread around theaters in the city, mainstage performances will be at the Athenaeum Theater. Tickets are about $5 - $30, depending, and can be purchased at the box office or on Ticketmaster.