Local comedy troupe Congrats on Your Success (CoYS), known for its free monthly BYOB comedy shows every first Thursday at Uncharted Books (@UnchartedBooks, 2630 N. Milwaukee Ave.), transported its mic stands to Logan Square’s neighbor to the north, Avondale, for an evening of entertainment on Friday, Sept. 26.
Held at The Auxiliary, the event was a fundraiser, produced by Genevieve Diesing of Logan Square Comedy Collective, to raise money for a much needed camera. Logan Square Comedy Collective is a group formed by writer Diesing, who after taking classes at Second City found it hard to meet people who want to do the leg work.
“The Collective offers a space for people with talent and ambition, but no time for planning and details,” Diesing says. “These days you need an online portfolio, a tangible way to showcase talents via video.”
The words “free beer and food” are sure ways to draw a crowd. Local craft brewer Josh Garrett of Powell Brew House (@PowellBrewHouse), who regularly serves events at The Auxiliary, brought his dapper mustachioed self and a sampling of beers ready for drinking, including the 5% ABV Saisonomics Supply.
Pizzas a’plenty from Big G’s, whose menu proclaims “The Best Mac N’ Cheese Pizza In the City,” fed the in-agreement masses, while the Jack Daniels BBQ Pulled Pork pizza also drew raves. Macaroni and cheese was also represented in two kicked up versions of the traditional comfort food—Bacon & Caramelized Onion made with a smoked Gouda and Butternut Squash & Corn, both laced with an unexpected, but welcomed bit of hot sauce and habanero peppers, from Mac Dynamite (@macdchicago).
Originally created as a music center for kids—as is apparent by the rainbows, clouds and music notes painted on the wall—after three years, owner Jeff Walschon transitioned The Auxiliary into a space to host events such as this music-friendly comedy showcase.
Amidst all the eating, drinking and socializing, attendees did some “Rolling on the River” with Go-Go Express, a group of six Old Town School-trained go-go dancers who performed in full fringe and knee-high white patent leather boots. More soulful tunes came from the DJ set of Brett Schweinberg that included “Barefootin'” by Robert Parker and Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.”
When it was time to laugh, Congrats on Your Success host Bill Bullock welcomed the crowd by introducing himself as “Chuck Taylors, Sesame Street hairdo. I’m a black hipster. That’s what I am. I live in Logan Square. I’ve learned to own it.”
First up was standup newbie Megan Helm, hitting the stage in a dress and heels happy to be one of several female comedians performing there. “Penis or no, we have balls,” Helm says.
CoYS member, dog walker and rap fan Charlie Rohrer followed with stories on what his life is like now that he’s moved in with his girlfriend. “I didn’t drink before I started comedy two years ago,” Rebecca O’Neal jokes before commenting on body image issues and how men need to get over “Frankenstein bitches.” Tyler Snodgrass brought his parents to the show and reminisced about being broke: “Have you ever been on a diet, but not on purpose?”
Another CoYS member, Atlanta-born Odinaka Ezeokoli made everyone laugh uncomfortably when he told the tale of finding out he made out with his cousin as a teenager in high school in Nigeria. And CoYS-er Sonia Denis wrapped things up with her unique vocalizations and the various ways she turns the table on catcalls.
Here’s hoping the next LSCC event gets recorded on its brand new camera.