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Wednesday, November 25

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« 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

 
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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 »

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