these are the funniest people in the whole world


Angela Benander

Angela Benander has spent her adult life ricocheting between DC politics and her native Midwest. She was the co-producer and co-host of the Chicago Live Lit series That’s All She Wrote and a regular performer in the City’s storytelling community. Angela currently lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband, two cats and a surprising number of yard deer. You can follow her many daily frustrations on Twitter @abenander. 

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Ines Bellina

Ines Bellina is a writer, storyteller and podcaster. Her writing has appeared in Gapers Block, Book Riot, The Billfold, and Dose. She has performed all over Chicago in shows like You're Being Ridiculous, Story Club, Miss Spoken and many more. She is also the co-host of XX, Will Travel, a podcast geared towards independent women travelers. When she's not working on a manuscript or overscheduling herself, she sings love songs to her bulldog, Charlie. 

Jessica Besser-Rosenberg

Jessica Besser-Rosenberg is a Chicago-based writer, comedian, and admirer of all the women on every Real Housewives franchise ever. (Except D.C. That one sucked.) Her work has been featured in the RedEye, MockMoms, The Belladonna Comedy, The Second City Network, and the iO Comedy Network. Follow her on Twitter at @JessGBR.

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Colleen Brennan

Colleen Brennan is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer (Waves of Laughter, Burn ‘Em Brew-HaHa, Living Room Sessions), mother, wife and pediatric speech language pathologist (yes, Colleen is very tired). She graduated from the Conservatory Program at The Second City then later received training in stand-up comedy at The Second City and Feminine Comique. Described as a polished performer, Colleen is an expert at zeroing in on the hilarious details of personal stories and cracking up audiences all over the Midwest. You may have seen her at Snubfest 2016 (*Winner - Audience Favorite), Lady Laughs Festival (Madison, WI), Zanies, The Kates at the Laugh Factory, and in her car driving her children all around Chicago.  

Zane Biebelle

Zane Biebelle lives in the desert wilds of New Mexico.  She has a husband, dogs, and teaches at the community college by talking loudly and waving her hands. She enjoys long walks among the tumbleweeds, playing ball with dogs, and is the English department's junior astrologer.  

Amy Danzer

Amy Danzer writes book reviews and interviews authors for Newcity. Her day gig is at Northwestern University where she manages several master’s programs--including the MA/MFA in creative writing program--and directs NU’s Summer Writers’ Conference. When Danzer isn’t working, reading, or writing, she is regularly at live lit events around town and occasionally shares a story of her own.

Angelica Davila

Angelica Davila is a writer and comedian who currently being tormented by the local skunks where she resides in outside of Chicago. She writes humor, non-fiction and fiction. She's also been told the e-newsletter she’s responsible for at work is pretty awesome. When Angelica isn't busy writing or telling jokes, she works at her big girl job as an autism and developmental delays consultant because her family always told her to have a back up career. If you care about academic cred rather than street cred, Angelica has her BA and MA in Creative Writing from DePaul University and University of Illinois at Chicago, respectively. Angelica currently documents her financial mishaps at her blog, Breaking the Piggy Bank.



Marla Depew

Marla Depew is a comedic performer and writer, a graduate of The Second City Training Center's Writing Program, a co-producer of the queer-and women-friendly comedy show Just Dickin' Around, the founder of comedy showcase Laughs In The Lounge, and the creator of the one-woman shows Marla Depew: Recovering Christian and Marla Depew's Mom: Farmgirl Gone Wild. She's performed standup and sketch comedy around the country. She's obsessed with Sinead O'Connor and writes feminist fan fiction about The Bachelor franchise called Will You Accept This Prose.

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Lindsay Eanet

Lindsay Eanet can be seen reading around Chicago at shows like Is This A Thing?, OUTSpoken, You’re Being Ridiculous and Story Jam, and next to you at your favorite bar, skipping over all your songs on the jukebox. She has a weakness for reality competition shows and cries an average of four times during every episode of American Ninja Warrior. But enough about her, let’s talk about you.


Terri Falvey

Terri Falvey has been called a lot of things. “Writer” is one of the nicer ones. She’s a wife and a mother to two kids and three televisions; she has a favorite. She’d like to like to get out more, but let’s be honest.

Ricardo Gamboa

Ricardo Gamboa is an artist, activist and academic working in his native Chicago and New York City. In Chicago, he is a company member of Barrel of Monkeys, Southside Ignoramus Quartet and Free Street Theater. He is the founding Artistic Director of Teatro Americano and founding adult partner of the controversial youth ensemble The Young Fugitives. In New York, he was a fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics EmergeNYC program, company member of the New York Neo-Futurists, and has performed at a range of institutional and underground venues. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana; received his Master’s in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in American Studies at NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. His short film “The Southside Has Many Beauty Queens” was winner of the Best Short at Chicago Latino Film Festival and his feature debut “Maydays” received standing-only crowds and critical praise from the festival. Gamboa is the winner of several awards, fellowships and grants including a Joyce Award, NEA Artworks Award, MacArthur Foundation International Connections Award and Latino ImPACT Playwrights Award. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Chicago Dramatists. This year, he was a finalist for Sundance Film Festival Latino Film Fellowship and Latino Screen Writing Project. He is a Critical Collaborations Fellow at NYU’s Global Network University (2016-2018). He has worked with over 5,000 young people in the United States and Latin America.

Elizabeth Gomez

Elizabeth Gomez is a comedian, writer, and a free bleeder. She is the founding writer of Drinkers with Writing Problems, cast member of the Kates, founder of the Windy City Rollers, and possibly the reason your parents broke up. She has also been featured on Check PleaseWGN Radio, and Chicago Literati. You can follow her on anything, but definitely not on the street because that would make you a creep.

Colette S. Gregory

Colette S. Gregory is a Chicago based comedian, actress, singer and writer. She uses comedy to explore the intersection of multiple identities, including race, gender, sexuality, social class, and mental health status. In using humor to unpack these difficult subjects, she hopes to encourage audiences to relax preconceived notions of those who they see as “other” while simultaneously redefining themselves. She can currently be seen as understudy for Second City's 105th Revue: 105TH REVUE: THE WINNER...OF OUR DISCONTENT and Baby Wants Candy's improvised musical SHAMILTON. Originally from Gary, Indiana, Colette has a M.A./M.Ed. from Columbia University New York and B.A. and B.Mus from Northwestern University. She is a recent graduate of the Second City Chicago Conservatory and Music Conservatory programs.

Adrienne Gunn

Adrienne Gunn is a writer, editor, and humorist based in Chicago. Her one-woman show Mother of the Year! premiered in April 2016 to sold-out audiences and returned for sold-out performances in September 2016. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's and various literary magazines and she is the author of the Ask A Single Mom advice column. Adrienne served as the Managing Editor of the literary journal TriQuarterly for Issues 146147, and 148 and as Fiction Editor for Issue 149. Adrienne performs stand up and storytelling throughout Chicago, including appearances at Steppenwolf Theater. She received a MA in creative writing from Northwestern University and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon.

Julie Jurgens

Julie is a polymath, a pain in the ass, and a mass of pain, as well as a storyteller, songwriter, librarian, and devoted home baker. She's appeared with Miss Spoken, the kates at the book cellar, and one time had her name drawn at The Moth and had to tell a story about her ex-boyfriend while he was in the audience. You can learn more about her awkward endeavors at

Kate McManus

Kate McManus is a writer, actor, teacher, and artist based in Atlanta. She has written two musicals, a one-woman show, three workout videos, countless poems, and over 10,000 emails. Her video parody sketch “Placebo” was recently featured in The New Yorker’s “Shorts and Murmers” series. When Kate is not writing and performing, she visits elementary schools in a dress made of plastic garbage bags to teach kids about the environment.


Anita Mechler

Anita Mechler is a librarian & archivist by day and a writer right before a deadline. She has told stories at Story Lab, You’re Being Ridiculous, for the Self-Publisher’s of Chicago, Story Corps, The Cat Diaries, Is This a Thing?, Stoop-Style Stories, Sappho’s Salon, and Feminist Happy Hour. In her free time, she likes to avoid writing, doing the dishes, and laundry by rubbing elbows with colleagues in her field, hanging out with her cat, watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries while in the bath, dreaming about the Mütter Museum, and day drinking. Her work “You Boys” has been published in The Vignette Review.

Onicia Muller

Onicia Muller is a Caribbean writer and comedian currently freezing her buns off in Chicago. A former crime reporter and children’s columnist, she's found her happy place writing about women in entertainment. If you're into oversharing, read her weekly humor column Just Being Funny in The Daily Herald’s Weekender.

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Dana Norris

Dana Norris is the founder of Story Club, a nonfiction storytelling show held in ClevelandChicagoBostonMinneapolis, and Columbus. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Story Club Magazine  and writes the Dear Dana advice column for Role/Reboot. Make her famous by following her on Twitter @dananorris

Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is a writer, storyteller, Bloody Mary enthusiast, and hugger of animals. She is a regular contributor and co-editor at Drinkers with Writing Problems, and co-hosts their monthly live lit show, Lit Up. Her writing has appeared in The BillfoldWhiskeypaperStory Club MagazineVignette Review, and Chicago Literati. Her go-to karaoke song is "Lovefool" by the Cardigans.


Carly Oishi

Carly Oishi is the former co-producer of live lit shows Solo in the 2nd City and Miss Spoken. She was destined to write stuff on the Internet dating back to her first LiveJournal. During the day she works at non-profit doling out free financial aid and literacy advice. She lives with her dude and their three year old son in Roscoe Village. You can read more of her musings at: and support her work at:

Jeremy Owens

Jeremy Owens is originally from Stuttgart, Arkansas, the rice and duck capital OF THE WORLD. He is the creator, producer and host of You're Being Ridiculous, a long running live-lit show most recently featured at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series. Jeremy is a writer for Oy!Chicago and his writing has appeared in The Daily DotStory Club MagazineRole RebootThe JUF News, and ThreadJeremy met Cher at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has yet to recover.

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Kathy Pulkrabek

Kathy Pulkrabek is a Chicago-based editor, writer and podcaster. She’s told stories at The Kates, This One Woman, Fillet of Solo, and other shows around Chicago. She also co-hosts and co-produces XX, Will Travel, a podcast for independent women travelers. When she’s not hopping on a plane or designing crafts based on celebrities, Kathy is perfecting the choreography from Beyonce’s Love on Top.

Shanna Shrum

Shanna Shrum is a writer, performer, video editor and recovering sorority girl. She is also the creator of the sketch comedy web series Life of the Pahty! Check her out at


Cynthia Shur Petts

Cynthia Shur Petts is a stand-up comedian, storyteller, actor, and writer who performed all over Chicago for twelve years before departing for the more mountainous lands of Portland, Oregon. She enjoys sharing awkward and darkly funny experiences with such working titles as, "Are You There, Shoplifter Winona Ryder? It's Me, Cynthia"; "How to Survive a Natural Disaster When You're Wearing Tap Shoes"; and "I Hit a Very Old Man With My Car and He Was Mostly Okay."


KT Speetzen

KT Speetzen is the Chicago born, L.A. bred Creator and CEO of Mother Cluckers Comedy. By day MCC is here to help businesses bring the power of comedy and storytelling to their workspace with Cluck U(niversity), and by night laugh it up with The Mother Cluckers, a kick-ass female storytelling troupe. Pretty much KT wants all the things and has a really hard time focusing. Other things she likes: David Bowie, The X-Files, running, and pretending to get shit done. Things she dislikes: Twitter, because no matter how hard she tries she just can't get it. KT lives in the Chicago burbs with her family and Ginger, The Wonder Pup.


Amy Sumpter

Amy Sumpter is a Stand up comic, rapper and writer.  She regularly performs all over the midwest and is in an all female Beastie Boys tribute band, She's Crafty. 


John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a person who scrams a lot on the internet under the name Your Gay Uncle John and the handle @JohntheCraptist. He made Ellen DeGeneres laugh once and can recite the glue monologue from Romy & Michelle on command.

Alexandra Tsarpalas


Alexandra Tsarpalas is a comic, storyteller, sketch performer and producer.  Alexandra has appeared at Chicago Women's Funny Fest yearly and is an alumna of 100 Proof Comedy cast. She is a co-producer of "Mom Genes," a sketch/stand-up showcase with all the wigs and high-waisted jeans you could ever hope for. A native of Chicago, she has been performing regularly in the city since 2010. Does she have a bit with porcelain hands, you ask? You bet she does.

Pauline Vassiliadis       

Pauline lives in Brooklyn and in 2002 gave the snapped half of a 'Best Friends' necklace to the possum that wedged itself between the screen and window in her bedroom. 

Dalyn Ward

Dalyn Ward lives in Chicago with his husband and three dogs: Bug, Ellie, and Thorton. During the day, he peddles the dream of success on social media to anyone who will listen, while barely keeping up his own twitter account (who tweets these days anyway?). He has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, and constantly wishes he had more time to write. Also, he once stopped drinking for 28 days. That was horrible.   

Amy Weiss

Amy Weiss lives in Chicago and writes about lawyers and future lawyers for Northwestern Law School. She has degrees from Northwestern University in journalism and public policy. She once won a 1000+-person Fantasy American Idol competition.  

Meryl Williams

Meryl Williams plays roller derby and loves Rilo Kiley. Follow her awesome TinyLetter, listen to her podcast about underrated pop culture, and go see her host Story Club Columbus.

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LeeAnn Yops

LeeAnn Yops (long "O" in that "Yo") is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian, storyteller and writer originally from Wisconsin. She's your go-to guide for all thing 80's and 90's related. LeeAnn is the creator of the website BH9021WHOA, the site that's better than a Mega Burger about everyone's favorite teen drama zip code. When she's not busy gushing over Luke Perry, she also runs a monthly storytelling show about music called Appetite for Rock n' Roll Storytelling. You can catch Appetite every second Wednesday at the Elbo Room at 8 p.m. for a true evening of oral debauchery.