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Where Everybody Knows His Name

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 20, 2007 10:00PM

Chicago’s comedy scene is more than a small world, it’s a densely knit web. Everyone’s leaning on someone for something, from professional improv instruction to drunken 2 a.m. inspiration for the next routine. And with fame comes increasing gratitude for close friends and casual online “friends.”

busc_2007_07.jpgComic, writer and all-around Big Man in Chicago Robert Buscemi is celebrating, with a little help from his friends, the DVD release of Robert Buscemi, (t)wit!, capturing his sold-out performance last September at Subterranean (where, we’ve heard, he killed). Even if you weren’t at that show or any of his more than 500 performances from the last four years, even if you haven’t seen his sharp work with the Blerds video dudes, and even if you didn’t see his George Clooney impersonation in BS, the Free Associates’ spoof of a certain prime-time doc drama, you’ve likely seen or heard about his turn as a smart-ass cigarette in a series of anti-smoking PSAs.

If none of this rings a bell and you thought we were talking about that dude who met the wood chipper in Fargo, you can see what you’ve been missing Sunday at Buscemi’s bash in Uptown. Sunday evening’s stand-up line-up including Kumail Nanjiani and Chicago Comedy Award winner Jared Logan, and Steve Delahoyde will screen a new short film of Buscemi doing his thing.

One friend who, sadly, can’t be there is Chicago comedian and Blerd Pat Brice, who passed away last weekend at 29. Sunday’s show will feature a tribute to this unassuming but very funny man. Tributes to his life and the array of people he touched in his too-short life are up at The Bastion and his MySpace page.

The Buscemi and Friends DVD release party is at The Annoyance, 4840 N Broadway Sunday July 22 and 29. Tickets are $15, available at the door, by phone or online at the Annoyance website.