And lo, Malarkey Comedy came to be in 2023, following the worst collection of years for live theater, and certainly the best time to endeavor to start a new one. Sarcasm aside, Malarkey is truly the culmination of years of hard work, laughter, crying, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Co-founders Jesse Gomez, Nicole Devin, Cherise Johnson and Jason Geis had all worked together at ComedySportz Chicago - one of the longest running improv theaters in Chicago and we knew we wanted to continue working together and growing ComedySportz. What started as a discussion about acquiring the rights to do ComedySportz turned into 'what if we just stepped on the gas and started a whole new comedy theater?'. Which is what happened – we both purchased the rights to ComedySportz AND started a new theater - double the baggage, double the fun!
Malarkey endeavors to be something different, something fun, something equitable and something that is enduring. We pride ourselves on putting laughter first...no matter what. If we aren't laughing, why are we doing it. Our productions aren't humorous...they are laugh out loud funny. Our performers are the best in the business, because you deserve the best - you deserve a laugh. Our leadership team represents a diverse and unique point of view - unlike any other comedy theater in Chicago - and we hope to use that to create spaces and productions that are welcoming and inclusive. We aren't trying to reinvent comedy, we're just trying to make it funny again.
The word Malarkey is not only fun to say out loud (try it) but it also perfectly encapsulates the brand spirit and energy of ‘laughter, no matter what’. It automatically puts a smile on your face and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s old timey nature makes it feel like it has stood the test of time. When we got to our brand values of Laughter, Accessibility, Inclusivity, Happiness, Joy, Comedic, Scrappy and Variety - we got an immediate sense of throwback, vaudeville meets modern times. So that's our sweet spot. And yes all our animal designs have a name. The pig is Hamilton. The rest you'll need to guess on your own.