My friend Mike has several friends in Chicago’s improv comedy scene and she and I have been talking about going to see some of her friends’ shows for months. Well last night we finally got around to it. I went with her and some other friends to two shows.

We went to pHamily, an improv comedy show at Stage Left theater. It’s an hour-long totally improvised show about a year in the life of one character and his family. The show is completely interactive, very funny and surprisingly original. The cast is extremely talented; I was literally aching after the show from laughing so hard. The smaller venue gives the show an intimate feel. I’d recommend this as an edgier, funnier alternative to Second City (which can also be lots of fun) and as an especially appropriate place to take visiting friends looking to experience Chicago’s improv scene. ph Productions does several other shows as well.

Afterward we headed to Improv Olympic to catch the Improv Jam. Mike tells me it’s always hit or miss and last night was definitely a miss. Just… not funny. Not much more to say.