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Five local comics explain the joke

And on Twitter, no less.



Everyone's a comedian on Twitter. There's something about the format that just begs for drollery—or attempts at drollery, anyway. There are loads of exceptions, but actual comedians tend to be the most reliable source of yuks on Twitter. Facebook is for spying on people you went to high school with, not jokes. And Vine's pretty equal opportunity. (As local improv actor Carisa Barreca explains it, "Seven seconds of anything on repeat is funny.")

We asked five local ladies who are funny on the Internet—and in life, incidentally—to chat with us on Twitter using the hashtag #comchatchi about, well, being funny and Twitter. The built-in challenge: answering our questions in 140 characters or less. We used social media for a chat about social media, see. Does that qualify as meta? No? OK. —Gwynedd Stuart (@gwynnstu)

The twitterers:


Carisa Barreca (@Cinderisa) is currently in in A Clown Car Named Desire, Tue-Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM, Second City E.T.C., 1608 N. Wells,, $23-$28.

  • Courtesy Katie Rich

Katie Rich (@katiemaryrich) is currently in Let Them Eat Chaos, Tue-Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM, 1616 N. Wells, $23-$28.

  • Courtesy Irene Marquette

Irene Marquette (@IreneChicago) will perform in Improvised Star Trek, Fri 9/27, midnight, iO, 3541 N. Clark,, $5.

  • Courtesy Ali Clayton

Ali Clayton (@aliclayton86) is a Chicago comic with a not-so-Chicago accent. Find more info about her at

  • Courtesy Kelsie Huff

Kelsie Huff (@KelsieHuff) performs her one-woman show Bruiser 10/13-11/3: Sun 6 PM, Studio Be, 3110 N. Sheffield,, $20.


@gwynnstu: Getting into comedy in Chicago: a breeze or sort of intimidating?

@Cinderisa: Comedy in Chicago is easy to get into—as long as you don't want to make money at it.

@IreneChicago: I agree with @Cinderisa Plenty of places to play. Hard work will get you far but going beyond is tricky

@KelsieHuff: Getting into comedy in Chicago can be a breeze if you find your fellow freaks & make your own space to take risks.

@gwynnstu: For the improv ladies: What happens when you get a really shitty audience suggestion?

@Cinderisa: A bad suggestion won't make or break. What gets me is how many people think they are the first to yell out: "Dildo!"

@gwynnstu: @Cinderisa That would make a good sketch! The first audience member who ever yelled "dildo," performed in Revolutionary War garb.

@katiemaryrich: The best suggestion I ever got was a guy who said, so sincerely, "I just want to see all you guys in a birdbath."

@aliclayton86: I have a character I do that takes suggestions [and] almost every time someone yells DICK! I say I heard muffins thank u

@aliclayton86: when I'm back home in NC my family yells things like shlong and mossy (Clayton word for vag)

@gwynnstu: Best way to deal with a-hole hecklers?

@KelsieHuff: Best way to deal with hecklers? Get right up to them and ask if they can breathe in your face. It's calming. For me.

@KelsieHuff: Most of my hecklers are my relatives sarcastically screaming "You're doing great." I don't invite them anymore.

@KelsieHuff: How did I deal with hecklers? Mace.

@aliclayton86: I bring hecklers on stage "what u need to say is obviously very important so u got 1min then shut the F up GO!"

@gwynnstu: How often do you use Twitter (or Facebook) to test material, see how it goes over?

@Cinderisa: I do use Facebook but hardly ever to try material - I use it to display what I ate that day #eggamame [a picture reveals this to be eggs with edamame cooked into them]

@KelsieHuff: Shut your face this #eggamame action is GENIUS. Why have I never done this? Learning about more than comedy today.

@aliclayton86: I'm def comical on twitter and FB But I prefer to write my jokes and put them in my Trapper Keeper then unleash them at open mics

@KelsieHuff: Twitter is a great editing tool for joke writing. Plus there is finally a place for my food pics.

@gwynnstu: @Cinderisa, You're newish to Twitter but really active on Vine. What made you take to it? Is microcomedy a word? Can it be?

@Cinderisa: I don't make Vines to be funny, but 7 seconds of anything on repeat is funny.

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