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Our Guide to Marathoning Sketchfest 2017

January 4, 2017 by Anne Berkowitz
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Ready to laugh? We’re excited to be offering All Festival Passes, Weekend Passes, and Day Passes to the 2017 Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival! This means you could potentially see up to eight shows in one night. Here are some tips to make sure you have the most fun during a marathon of the nation’s biggest sketch comedy fest (which won’t be that hard, to be quite honest).

1. Start with coffee and bring water.


If you’re going to drink, don’t start the night with a beer if you want to be laughing the whole time. Stay sharp by having coffee first and bringing your own water to chug throughout. Gradually switch to alcohol midway through the second or third show. With this combination, you’ll be able to delight in both the witty jokes (and the groan-inducing ones.)

2. Schedule in advance.


With over 180 groups taking part in the fest, it’s good to know beforehand what days and times will be hosting groups that best suit your particular sensibilities. But, even if you do decide to press your luck and go in without a plan, there’s a 96.5% chance you won’t be disappointed.

3. Avoid bringing a friend with an annoying laugh.


Your sides will be splitting, so make sure your ears won’t be ringing. Luckily, there are multiple shows playing during each of the time blocks. So if your friend with a weird laugh insists on going, you can subtly suggest that you each go to a different show to “compare notes” afterward.

4. Workout your abs at least 3 days before…


You’re going to be laughing a lot, so make sure your abs can handle it. Since intense workouts usually cause the worse soreness approximately two days after, we recommend doing an ab work with enough time in between Sketchfest so you don’t feel strained on your first day.

5. …and perhaps invest in a jaw massager.


A lot of smiling and laughter can cause a lot of jaw tension. You won’t regret this smart investment. But good old finger massages also work well.

6. Dress cute and comfy.


There’s no telling which dashing comedian you may lock eyes with during your journey, so be sure to look your best. That being said, don’t totally substitute style for comfort. You’re going to be doing a lot of sitting (and possibly a lot of drinking), so perhaps you’ll want to go with a loose dress or pants.

7. Bring cash.


You’ll want to be focusing on the comedy, not worrying about splitting drink bills with credit cards or not being able to leave a tip. You probably won’t need a lot, but bring a reasonable amount just in case.

8. Eat before or grab a drink after.


Sketchfest 2017 will be at Stage 773, located in the Belmont Theater District in Lakeview. Luckily that means there are some pretty great places to get a bite nearby. If you want a totally Chicago experience, have some deep dish pizza down the street at Giordano’s. If you want to rehash the night with your friends when you’re done, hit up Schuba’s, which is open until 2:00am.

9. Pack light…


You might want to make sure you can take some things home after work or the gym, as you don’t want to be walking around with much. You also are probably going to want to bring home some cool merch as well, so definitely don’t over-pack.

10. …but leave room for a snack!


Even a small piece of candy is good to have around if you’re going to be seeing, say, six hours of comedy. So much excitement and hilarity may distract you from eating properly, so be sure to bring a snack so that your grumbling tummy doesn’t disrupt the other patrons.

11. Most importantly, have fun.


Though the word “marathon” may incite feelings of competition, remember your reason for Sketchfest-ing in the first place: fun. As a wise man once said, “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”

Learn more about the festival and the see schedules on Sketchfest’s website, then get your tickets on TodayTix.