Episode 6

January 24, 2022


iO Theater

iO Theater
Busted Business Bureau
iO Theater

Show Notes

KP joins to talk about origins and dramatic sudden closure of iO theater. How can you make a sustainable business off of adults playing pretend? Turns out it’s pretty hard. This episode has everything: improv comedy, wage theft allegations, desecration of human remains. Twists and turns everywhere! Follow KP's incredible project @they.call.us everywhere!!!


  1. Behind the Laughs: Community and Inequality in Comedy, Michael P. Jeffries
  2. The Funniest One in the Room: The Lives and Legend of Del Close, Kim “Howard” Johnson
  3. Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History, Margaret Hicks
  4. Skullduggery, Tad Friend, The New Yorker
  5. Comedy Guru Charna Halpern Carries On, Achy Obejas, Chicago Tribune
  6. The First Comedy Strike, Richard Zoglin, Time Magazine
  7. This Unsung Comic Guru Turned Her Passion For Improv Into a Profitable Business INC Magazine, 2016
  8. iO Co-Founder's Controversial Sexual Harassment Comments Spark Debate, Mae Rice, Chicagoist
  9. iO Chicago’s move is more than a new address, Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
  10. iO makes a big move into founder Charna Halpern’s ‘dream theater’, Brianna Wellen, Chicago Reader
  11. What We Can Learn From Improv Theaters' PPP Loans, Seth Simons, Paste Magazine
  12. The Death of an Improv Theater: Mismanagement and Neglect at iO West, Seth Simons, Paste Magazine
  13. Chicago Comedy Institution iO Theater Is Closing, Melena Ryzik, The New York Times
  14. iO Past, Present, and Non-Future, Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader
  15. The Case for Unionizing Comedy, Seth Simons, The Outline
  16. Laughs Can Be Cheap at a Comedy Theater, Jason Zinoman, NYT
  17. She’s the Hidden Architect of Modern Comedy, Jason Zinoman, NYT

PS. Sorry Seth Simons, I think I said your name wrong like 8 times in this episode. I misread it so many times. Forgive me, bestie. 

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Episode 0

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Season 3 Update!!!

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