First Look review: The uniquely zany “Impress these Apes” will have you laughing your way through a case of the Mondays
By Clare Edlund
Photos by Elizabeth McQuern
Playing at: ComedySportz at 929 W. Belmont, through Sept. 1. For tickets, visit www.ComedySportzChicago.com or call (773) 549-8080.
The basics: Over the course of eight weeks, a group of eight contestants (comedians) are judged by a panel of “hyperintelligent apes.” The comedians, at the end of each show, are given a challenge, which they will have a week to prepare for and then perform at the next show. For opening night, the performers were asked to create a puppet of themselves and deliver a comedic introduction. For the following week, a dance routine is in order. Judging is cumulative, with the winner announced at the end of the eight-week run.
What to expect: The unexpected. Each contestant has a distinct sense of humor that caters to most everyone in the audience. From witty to dry to crude — with plenty of sexual humor — you will serve as your own judge throughout the show and determine which contestants you find the most funny.
Also, you may come to secretly love one ape and hate another. One ape gave a contestant that I really enjoyed a 6 and another a 10. The show can be very biased, but it’s entertaining and lighthearted nonetheless.
What stood out: The diverse personalities of each contestant made the show unique. Every time a new comedian performed, I had to mentally prepare myself for something completely different. One performer, Shannon, spoke about her commute to work, using various sound effects and movements. Ben, on the other hand, used more dialogue and drawn-out punch lines.
Final thoughts: Impress These Apes is zany, and the playful humor on a Monday night is a splendid way to connect with comedians who live similar lifestyles to yours. A show you will want to keep coming back for each week.
Log on to www.ImpressTheseApes.com to watch recordings of each week’s performances.