Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, February 8

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Before It's Gone: Season's Geekings at Gorilla Tango Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Promised Land, Not Fade Away, Parental Guidance & The Big Picture »

Comedy Mon Dec 24 2012

Great Impressions, Great Comedy: 10th Annual Greatest Night of Comedy

I've always been, well, impressed, by comedians and actors who do great impressions; to be funny is one thing, but for me, to be funny while embodying the essence, voice and mannerisms of someone else, simply takes things to another level.

Of course, comedians doing impressions is nothing new, and for many, especially of a certain generation, Rich Little (aka "The Man of a Thousand Voices") is perhaps the most famous impressionist from the world of comedy. And while Little is certainly respected in this regard, for the hip-hop generation, two others reign supreme: Aries Spears (Jerry Maguire, "MADtv") and Jay Pharoah ("Saturday Night Live").

Spears and Pharoah are both known for their hilarious and always spot-on impressions of notables like Denzel Washington, Charles Barkley and Eddie Murphy; however, it is their impression of rap superstar Jay-Z that has fans talking. But for Spears, who is well-known for his impressions and who has been in show business a bit longer than Pharoah, giving up the title of "best Jay-Z impressionist" is not an option; if Pharoah wants it, he'll have to come for it, via a "Jay-Z-off," here in Chicago.

At the suggestion of Spears, on New Year's Eve at 8pm, Chicago fans of both comedians will get a chance to see this friendly competition at the "10th Annual Greatest Night of Comedy," at the Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.; the show also features Lil Duval and Chicago native, comedian and actor DeRay Davis. Tickets are $45.50-$95.50; for more information, call 800-745-3000.

Here are clips of Spears and Pharoah in action; who do you think does the best Jay-Z?

Aries Spears

Jay Pharoah

GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15