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Stand-up Thu Sep 09 2010

Jokes and Notes

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
-Charlie Chaplin


After a recent visit to Jokes and Notes Comedy Club, I think Chaplin might indeed have been on to something.

Jokes and Notes, a cozy comedy club located in the heart of the city's Bronzeville district, is home to some of the funniest up-and-coming and established comedians around. Of course, the club pays homage to its own, as noted by the walls that are adorned with sketches of Chicago-born comedians including George Willborn, Damon Williams and the late, legendary Robin Harris.

With so many people experiencing hardship today, according to house emcee Marlon Mitchell, laughter is indeed something that is sorely needed. "Jokes and Notes is necessary," said Mitchell. "There's so much going on in Chicago and in the world that people just want to escape. It's just a good place to come enjoy yourself."

For Mitchell, Jokes and Notes' South Side location is also an important factor. "You need somewhere where you can go laugh--right here in the community--and not have to travel so far."

During my visit, it could have easily been deemed a night of "Who's Who in Chicago Comedy," with Damon Williams (correspondent on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show"), Lil' Rel (a contestant last season on NBC's "Last Comic Standing") and "Big Keef" filling the bill. All three comics riffed on a variety of popular topics including no longer being able to relate to [some] things in pop culture, the "old school," relationships, and everyday life. Williams' bit about his annoyance of men who wear flip-flops was downright hilarious in its own right.

While a lot of the comedians' material had "local" flavor, Mitchell acknowledges that isn't all there is to performing at Jokes and Notes. "We focus on topics that are for the community as well as worldly topics." Also for Mitchell, when it comes to comedy, laughter really is universal. "The 'Jokes and Notes' and 'Improvs' of the world go hand-in-hand--comedy clubs need comics--period."

Jokes and Notes is located at 4641 S. King Dr. Shows run Wednesdays (open mic night) through Sundays; tickets are $5-$20. Visit the club's website for a full schedule and show times. For more information, contact 773-373-3390.

 
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