"Chicago is the best city on Earth if you take out the three months when it's a frozen wasteland," says comedian John Roy of his hometown. Now based in Los Angeles, Roy is quickly building up quite a following in the world of standup comedy. Having come from the Windy City, Roy did a fair amount of improv in his early days. "I was doing standup at the same time, and it got to a point where standup was paying me, and I was paying other people to do improv," he says. He still does improv every now and then, usually as part of James Adomian's Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. "I play G. Gordon Liddy, and that's all improvised." It's a bit of a throwback to his childhood, when he would do impressions of characters from Saturday Night Live, along with Fred Flintstone and a few of his summer-camp counselors. "That was my set for about five years," he laughs. A comedy fan throughout, he first tried his hand at music. "I was going to be the next Billy Corgan, and that did not work out." It was around this time that he happened upon an HBO special by Jake Johannsen. "I was blown away," Roy says. He started paying attention to more comedians, and soon realized standup had changed. "These guys were hammering the punchlines," he says. It was quite different from the comedy albums of the '70s, great as those were. "It was like hearing Metallica after listening to Black Sabbath's first album." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Feb. 27-March 1, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 1, 9:45 p.m.; Sat., March 2, 9:30 p.m.; March 2-3, 7 p.m., 2013