Best comedy variety show

Paper Machete

thepapermacheteshow.com

Former Time Out Chicago theater editor Christopher Piatt started the Paper Machete in January 2010, in the section of Ricochet's tavern normally reserved for competitive dart throwing. From humble beginnings (it initially balanced comics with laid-off journalists reading essays about surviving in a post-Craigslist world) the Saturday afternoon "salon in a saloon" has grown in scope and ambition. The aforementioned journalists and comics share time now with satirists, memoirists, playwrights, musicians, and even politicians. Recent and upcoming guests include newly elected 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar, writer Alex Kotlowitz, and recent SNL addition Paul Brittain. Success in the form of ever-larger audiences is sending the Paper Machete to Horseshoe, a larger venue a few blocks south of Ricochet's. With its far-reaching, wide-ranging performances, the enterprise seems tailor-made for NPR. —Brian Costello