courtesy sam gordon
Sam Gordon hosts the weekly variety show The Combo.
Local stand-up Sam Gordon
gathers some of the best Chicago comedians every week for her variety show The Combo
. The BYOB event at the North Center storefront Bughouse Theater features stand-up, improv, music, sketch comedy, and anything else that Gordon deems a worthy addition.
It's a fun, relaxed night that gives stage time to underrated comedic talent, not least of which is Gordon herself. She talks about her day job as a nanny with verve and charm—when she goes into detail about getting into fights with privileged toddlers, it's hard to not be on her side.
On the night I attended, the lineup included stand-up from Josh Ejnes, Rebecca Loeser, Connor King, and Andy Boyle; improvised folk songs from Wilem & the Warning (Billy Walsh and Ethan Goldman); and improv from a team called Droday. While the stand-up was hilarious and genuine (Ejnes and Boyle used their medical ailments as punch lines), it was the improv that really stood out.
Walsh and Goldman took the audience's suggestions of "hockey" and "Australia" and created two dynamic folk songs off the cuff. There was some clever wordplay and lots of humor in the lyrics and midsong banter, but the melancholy music added an emotional layer to the playful performance. Droday, on the other hand, were silly, jumping into a scene about Twister that required the entire team to contort themselves onstage while trying to hold back bursts of laughter. They're an experienced group whose members clearly know each other very well, setting up scenes that force them to the brink of uncontrollable giggling. Between the performers, the host, and the laid-back audience, The Combo
was exactly what comedy is supposed to be: fun.
The Combo Through 3/30: Wed 10:30 PM, Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park, bughousetheater.com, $10.