Cool Dad Podcast Episodes 7 and 8, And COOL DADS LIVE!

Cool stuff is happening in the Cool Dad universe! First of all, we have TWO new episodes for you (available on Sound Cloud and on iTunes)–the first features an interview with Joe Kwaczala, the host of Chicago’s best late night talk show, The Late Live Show. Since running the successful show in Chicago for several seasons at such venues as The Den Theatre and iO Chicago, Joe has become a producer of The Wheel Show at the Nerdist Theater in LA. And you’ll never believe this, but his DAD* WAS THERE TOO!

Episode 8 features a co-creator of We Still Like You, Chicago’s best and only story-telling show that is also a house party, Danii Gallegos. Right before she heads to Austin, TX, to start some new comedy- and non-comedy-related projects, we managed to sit down and have a chat with one of our best friends. And CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? HER REAL DAD** DROPPED IN!

One final Cool Dad Podcast promotion: Dan and I are excited to announce that we’ll be doing our first ever COOL DADS LIVE–a live version of the Cool Dad Podcast–at The Hungry Brain in Chicago this upcoming Thursday at 9:00 PM. It’s free and it’s going to be super fun. It will feature an interview with Marty DeRosa, one of Chicago’s best comics. He’s a producer of Chicago’s best standup showcase, Comedians You Should Know, and host of the incredible podcast, Wrestling With Depression. Don’t miss this!!

Art by Rudy Schulz

Art by Rudy Schulz

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Cool Dad Podcast Episode 6: Goodrich Gevaart!

Stoked to share the newest episode of The Cool Dad Podcast, which features an interview with Chicago comedian Goodrich Gevaart. Goodrich is one of the most likable and funny comics in Chicago, and is a producer of a ton of great things including the show Freak Happening (which takes place at SAKI record store in Chicago), the Arguments and Grievances Podcast, and The Comedy Exposition (a wonderful annual DIY standup festival). He tells us about his dad, who is real punk rock and very cool, and then–GET THIS–we surprised him by bringing his REAL DAD* into the studio!

*Katie McVay, one of Goodrich’s good friends and another great comic who spearheaded The Comedy Exposition of 2014 in Chicago.

Got Your Back

My first true encounter with The Skinny Improv was in a standup comedy competition called The Deadpan Comedy Festival, which took place in October of 2007. In 2006 my high school’s broadcast journalism class ran a story about the local improv theatre’s comedy contest. I only learned that this competition existed once it had already passed and I was watching the finished news story. I had performed standup exactly one time before—around eight months prior, at a speech and debate tournament in Joplin, Missouri, which allowed bastardized speech/debate events, such as “Group Improv” or “Original Standup Comedy,” which were not sanctioned by the National Forensic League and were therefore uncommonly found at tournaments—and I already had the itch. I decided I would be competing next year, and patiently waited for the following fall.

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Venice 2

This is my second day in Venice in my series of Italy Stories.

I awoke in Venice in just the same state that I had fallen asleep: nearly naked and sweaty. Kay and I left our hostel that morning in search of a nearby cafe to have breakfast and coffee.

We found a quaint cafe with outdoor seating in the shade. While we ate and drank we discussed the meanest things we’ve ever said or thought. Admittedly, this conversation seemed rather cruel and dark to be had by two adorable people drinking adorable cappuccinos first thing in the morning. But still we discussed the wickedest collection of words our minds had ever conceived, and we were all smiles. Continue reading

Comedy Shows 8/8-8/10

After narrowly defeating my own team in a strange improvised joke competition called SPIKED PUNCH, which takes place every Friday night at midnight at Comedy Sportz Chicago, I won my place in the semi-finals round. That competition takes place TONIGHT, and is at MIDNIGHT.

If you’d like more info, check out the link below! It’ll be fun, weird, and probably slightly offensive.

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Cool Dad Podcast Episode 4: Lara Beitz

A new episode of The Cool Dad Podcast is up on SoundCloud and on iTunes! This episode features Lara Beitz, a producer of Hoo HA Comedy in Chicago, IL. This episode is very different, and a little heavier, than our other episodes, but it is still great and still features (somehow) a visit from her HER REAL DAD!*

*hilarious comedian Mike Lebovitz, one of the Comedians You Should Know, and champion of going to faraway comedy festivals.


This story follows Florence 2/Pisa in my collection of Italy Stories.

Mark Twain on the alkaki desert in Roughing It:

“The sun beats down with dead, blistering, relentless malignity; the perspiration is welling from every pore in man and beast, but scarily a sign of it finds its way to the surface…”

That’s how I felt about Venice.

Stepping out of the train from Florence, and on to the sizzling concrete and stone landscape, which composes Venice’s walkable portions, was the first of many regrettably hot situations to be experienced over the next two days.

Kay purchased a sun-hat in Rome, but had left it somewhere since then, and so to protect her face from the freckle-inducing sun she was using a map held above her head as a substitute. The hard, flat ground seemed to absorb heat as well as reflect it back at us, so any sliver of shaded space was bumped up to “shelter” status. Small areas of shade would have to do until we could locate our hostel, which was incredibly difficult to find within the watery maze that is Venice, Italy. There are no places for cars to drive or bikes to ride, because the streets are too small and bridges made with stairways are too frequent, so identifying major streets is difficult, and understanding whether the alley or cranny you’re walking through is indeed the same one you’re looking at on your map is near impossible. The only other way to travel is by boating through the waterways, which weave through the city in a manner so random it almost seems deliberately confusing. But we were boatless, and so we navigated, poorly, by foot. I felt like I was a child again, desperately wandering through the Water Temple from Ocarina of Time, and our map was a lazily written Nintendo Power Magazine. Except I really didn’t have access to the map, because it was Kay’s hat at the moment, and so she mostly led the way.

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Cool Dad Podcast Episode 3 w/ Megan Gailey!


When I started doing comedy in Chicago, Megan Gailey was one of the comedians I looked up to the most. Now she lives and performs in New York City, but we were lucky to snag her for a little bit for a conversation while she was in town for the Comedy Exposition of 2014. As always, we discussed her dad and then surprised her by bring her ACTUAL REAL LIFE DAD into the studio. This was a hilarious episode and I hope you give it a listen.

[featuring Chicago comic Tommy McNamara]