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iO Chicago
Funny ladies: See the next breakout star at iO Chicago.

It’s a scientific fact: We live in the funniest city in the nation. Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers--so many stars started out here.

The magic most famously happens at The Second City, but equally important to the scene is iO Chicago--all three of the aforementioned are alums--which just moved into a new home in Lincoln Park. It’s a must when your friends come into town wanting the full Chicago comedy experience.

Make a night of it. The new venue has three bars, a full kitchen, a beer garden and four theaters (one is named for Chris Farley, another iO-bred star).

Start with an 8 p.m. show and order dinner at your table. Then have cocktails at the bar before you catch another sketch at 10 p.m. Much of the material happens on the fly: The Deltones (Saturdays at 10 p.m.), for instance, create entire musicals on the spot using silly titles suggested by the audience, complete with hilarious dance numbers. (Tickets start at free and are rarely more than $16.) 

After the final laughs, head to the beer garden, where iO performers like to hang out after shows. You just might spot the next Tina Fey.

iO Chicago, 1501 N. Kingsbury St.; 312-929-2401 or

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