Funny Ha-Ha | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Funny Ha-Ha is a literary-humor reading series staged roughly quarterly since 2005. It's "slightly more highbrow" than Zanies, says cofounder Claire Zulkey, a freelance writer and blogger ( who hosts and occasionally performs, because it focuses on "laughing and using your brain." At this installment James Finn Garner (Recut Madness) and Wendy McClure (, Bust) will read from their short works and books, and Mark Bazer (RedEye, is bringing along a so-true narrative about a pickup basketball game with players like The Guy Who Plays Defense Way Harder Than Is Appropriate. But a stand-up and a video maker may draw the most laughs. Local comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who's been honing his act for years, broke through this summer with a sold-out show at the Lakeshore Theater (he's there again August 24). And videographer Steve Delahoyde will present a handful of his latest comic shorts--he's made nearly 200, he says. Delahoyde's relentlessly wry videos suck audiences in with their high production values and unalarming setups, then get sillier and riskier as they go. Check, Please! host Alpana Singh rounds out the bill. a Tue 8/21, 7 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $5 suggested donation. --Ryan Hubbard

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