A man sits down for some “me” time. He pulls out his phone to play a new game that he is very excited to play. Before he can start, he has to share his name. Then, he gets to start attacking his enemies with jab slaps! Soon, he is asked for his credit card. Next, he gets num-chuks and resumes fighting the enemies. Soon after, it asks to have access to all his contacts. This goes on and on with funnier weapons and more intrusive personal requests. It’s a hilarious sketch about freemium video games and how much we are willing to share. This is just one example of the many funny sketches in this show.
A running gag is that the show was purchased by a butter company. I can’t believe it’s not butter jokes pile on. Also, they often use video clips showing them meeting to make the show. It’s very meta and funny.
The entire cast is solid. Everyone is hilarious and has clearly worked on their craft. Here is the cast list along with the crew.
Mike Shurtz Mike McNeil Hannah Noel Jenn Ryan Nick Rigs
Tech: Jesse Weinstein Film: Warren Buchholz Head Writer: Coleman O’Toole Director: Nick Rigs
They change the show monthly and it runs for 40 minutes. Tickets are $20 for in person or $10 for streaming access.
Stand-up comedy shows normally take place in a crowded bar or comedy club. Laughs on the Lake was the exact opposite of that. It was a drive in show where every other parking space was left open. The audience is allowed to remove their masks while in their cars. They were also allowed to set up chairs in front of their cars. If they wanted to sit in these chairs, they were required to wear their masks. This is much more strict than the rules at last weekend’s Local H Drive-In show in Schaumburg where you could set up next to your car without a mask.
You could conveniently order food to your car using your phone. Check out the menu here. Unlike at their club, which is now open on weekends, there is no two drink minimum!
In my opinion, they set up the stage on the wrong side of the parking lot. The lot is basically a triangle. If they had put it in one of the corners, all the cars would have good sight lines to the stage. Instead, they put it in the middle of one of the sides. Thus, the cars towards the front corners can only see the very front of the stage. The comedians stood back from the front, so the side of the stage blocked the view. If you attend a future show, avoid these front corners.
The comedy was full of laughs. A lot of the comedians were parents complaining about having to spend so much time with their kids. Leon Rogers did a long bit about taking Rhino 7, a male sexual enhancement supplement that ended up with him in the hospital because his erection wouldn’t subside. Em Brown asked for people to honk if they lived in the south suburbs. After they honked, he then said “Great, I need a ride home!” Correy Boyd-Bell often complained about the bugs that were attracted to the bright stage lights. She decided to put on her mask to keep them out of her mouth! T-Murph talked about how he likes Trump because he got a stimulus check. The audience did not take that well. He also said he would vote for Kanye. Nobody laughed.
Despite the few downsides, it was still great to get out and go to a show during the pandemic. I expect a concert to work even better in this setup. Buy tickets to future shows here!
Maeve Devitt and Kimberly Florian are very funny together. Early on in the show, they do a great bit about cuffing season where they go into the audience and handcuff themselves to strangers.
Later on, Kimberly does a parody of a Christmas song with the lyrics changed to be about invading Iraq. The result is very comedic indeed.
Maeve’s father was a widower before he married her mom. She performs a song about her “cool” mom compared to her alive mom. It’s very edgy, a little cringe worthy, and absolutely hilarious.
The piano player gives them puzzle pieces throughout the show. They eventually put together the puzzle and it is an invoice. He hasn’t been paid yet!
Hacks does very smart, political, and edgy comedy!
Parv & Pudi
Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Danny Pudi (Community) are two of the biggest names in this festival. They do a funny sketch where one of them plays an uber driver and the other is the passenger. The drivers asks “Where are you from?” “Chicago.” “No, where are you really from?” says the driver, wanting to know where in India. After giving the answer, they quickly switch spots and repeat the sketch enforcing how often this happens to them. It’s mildly funny.
At the end of the show, they perform four short comedic dances. The punchline is then the titles of the dances, which they reveal afterwards. “I don’t have to go to the bathroom.” “Move out of the way”. It may have been funnier to hear the titles first.
If you are single, or if you ever were, this is the show for you. They have taken a large selection of Christmas songs and rewritten the lyrics to be about dating in your 20s. Songs such as Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey are changed to be about the woes of searching for a man.
A great moment is when they change “What Child Is This?” to figure out if the kid in her date’s profile picture is a nephew or his own kid. Another one about sex is absolutely hilarious!
Amy Heller and Clara Flaherty have struck upon comedy gold. It is no surprise that this is the show’s fourth year and it is still selling out. They clearly put a lot of work into creating these parodies.
Holly Sweetberry is a busy business woman working in NYC. She doesn’t have time for Christmas cheer. She is dating a very handsome man, played by a cardboard cutout of Dean Cain (Supergirl). However, he still hasn’t proposed to her. One day, her boss gives her a very important letter to hand deliver to Humbletown, her hometown! While she is there, she runs into a man she grew up with and to her surprise, begins to discover an undeniable connection. This causes her to question her current lifestyle.
As Holly embarks on a journey of self-discovery, the audience is captivated and follows her path which consists of memorable moments filled with humor. At one point, Holly seeks advice from her grandparents (a random couple in the audience). She poses questions related to understanding how they knew they were each other’s soulmates. They say that they met when the woman jumped into the man’s cab at O’Hare International Airport in order to share a ride into the city. His first impression of her was that she was “interesting”. Holly then asks about their first date. They talk about going to Greek town and drinking a lot. A pair of actors then come on to the stage to reenact their first date. The woman takes about 20 shots in a row while the man watches in awe. He then simply says, “Hmm, interesting.”
Bri Fitzpatrick (The One: The Matrix Parody Musical) is hilarious as Holly Sweetberry, the modern-day Scrooge. Henrik Blix is hysterical as the perfect hometown man. Jess DeBacco is so funny as the Uber driver who just keeps reappearing! Rob Grabowski is excellent as the Mayor and Holly’s Republic father. George Elrod and Shelby Plummer are great together as Holly’s NYC and Humbletown friends. They are the Greek chorus of the show who have a funny comment on everything. This original new two-act show was written for The Second City by Anneliese Toft with Carisa Barecca, Kelsey Kinney, and Adam Schrek.
This production is a hilarious parody of cheesy Christmas romantic comedies. It will have you laughing and saying awww the whole time! Also, the ending is very modern and quite satisfying. It’s not the cheesy finish you might expect!