30 Nov

Chicago’s Comic: Prateek Srivastava

Q: What inspired you to start stand-up comedy?

A: Back in the day there was a venue called the Lakeshore Theater on Broadway and they used to give away free tickets to college students, so I would go often because I was a broke college student. I got to see a ton of comics like Hannibal Buress, Marc Maron, Doug Benson, Reggie Watts all before their heyday. Lakeshore Theater was really great at pairing local comics with those headliners; that was the first time I saw Marty DeRosa and Danny Kallas along with the early version of their CYSK show. Watching all of this killer stand-up comedy LIVE in a room full of strangers really stuck with me. I also noticed how local comics would hit the theater but then would hit open mics around town as well. I witnessed first hand the work ethic of Chicago comics and it was incredibly motivating.

Q: Describe your first performance.

A: I opened up for a friend’s band at the Elbo Room in Chicago. It went about as well as you would think! An old white man in the back told me to “GET OUT NOW” in the middle of my set. But to my credit, I did my full set time, which is a lesson to comics, always STICK TO YOUR TIME! My friend’s band was a metal band that played N’SYNC cover songs so I got to see a mosh pit to the song “BYE BYE BYE” so that was cool and I got paid too! So the positives outweigh the negatives.

Q: Do you have “pre-show” rituals? If so, what are they?

A: I pace around backstage and in the showroom a ton before show time. I usually listen to my sets or listen to some AMP UP Music. These days my go-to music is pro wrestling theme songs, there’s this one song in particular called “GLORIOUS” for this wrestler named Bobby Roode, it’s very high energy and sounds like a QUEEN song.

Q: Where in the world is your favorite place to perform stand-up? Why is this your favorite place?

A: It’s hard to pick just one place but I’m a huge fan of the House of Blues Foundation Room, some comics think those crowds are tough to please but I’m always up for the challenge. The room looks like a racist genie bottle but it’s a super intimate space and the crowd is usually high energy, James Kamp/Chris Trani do a great job promoting the room. I am also a huge fan of the Laugh Factory, Curtis Flagg/Brian Morton are super supportive of the local community and have made that club a great showcase club for the local comics whether it be industry showcases, JFL Auditions, etc. I’ve had the honor of showcasing for NBC in that room and it is always a relaxed and supportive environment.

Q: What shows, podcasts, blogs do you produce or co-produce?

A: I am producing a new podcast “KEEP YOUR DAY JOB” coming soon to iTunes! Cast-member/Co-Producer for Slapdash Sketch Comedy, Co-Producer of United Nations of Comedy, I am also a writer for The News with Maggie Smith at Second City.

Q: What are three of your favorite things?

A: 1) Singing “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green at Karaoke. 2) A home-cooked meal. 3) The first time I hear a new joke kill with the audience.

Q: What is your favorite sammich?

A: I am a big fan of buffalo chicken sammiches, it is really hard to screw that sammich up! I also enjoy the Garlicious Breast from the Pick Me Up Cafe in Chicago!

Q: What’s one thing people assume about you, that is or isn’t true?

A: Maybe it’s because I am brown but people think I am a tech whiz. I am barely tech savvy, I can kinda work my phone, I don’t even like changing the ink cartridge on a printer!

Q: If you weren’t a comic, what other job would you love to do?

A: I used to work with kids at the DuPage Children’s Museum as well as being a Private Tutor. So I would go back to working with kids in some capacity. Kids are brutally honest truth-tellers and I love it!

Q: What are some comedy goals/dreams you have on your To Do List?

A: I have written a few different TV scripts and movie screenplays and I would like to be able to produce and distribute them. On the stand-up side, I would like to release an hour long special/album and perform a set on Late Night TV.

Q: What quality, trait and/or body part do you really like about yourself?

A: I got a killer head of hair and I do not take it for granted, hence why I keep it long most of the time!

Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you? [or anything else you’d like mentioned, i.e. your education, personal life or mission statement]

A: A lot of people don’t know that I am well-versed in playing the piano, I’ve never really utilized music with my comedy. Perhaps down the road if the right project worked out I would try to incorporate music into my performances.

Q: How will you know you “Made It?”

A: There are many things I would still like to do including the goals I mentioned earlier. I’ve gotten to perform at so many different clubs and colleges and I’ve been blessed to be able to start headlining venues including headlining a show at Carolines Comedy Club in NYC. I am really grateful for all my accomplishments; but seriously, I will KNOW I MADE IT when there’s an expensive sandwich named after me, or when random brown dudes get called “Prateek” by white people.


  • 12.02.2018 – 19:30 @ Headlining at Emerald City Uptown
    (1224 W. Wilson Ave.)
  • 12.12.2018 – 20:00 @ Mustang’s Bar & Grill in South Beloit, IL
    (482 Gardner St.)
  • 12.14.2018 – 20:00 @ Dylan Scott’s Album Release Show at Hidden Shamrock
    (2723 N. Halsted St.)
  • 12.18.2018 – 20:00 @ Headlining at The Giggley Wrigley in Fort Wayne, IN
    (6527 E. State Blvd.)
  • 12.19.2018 – 20:00 @ New Friends Variety Show at CIC Theater
    (1422 W. Irving Park Rd.)
  • 12.21-22.2018 – 19:00 – “Set Phasers to Holiday” Sketch Show at The Den Theatre
    (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
  • 12.28-29.2018 – 19:00 – “Set Phasers to Holiday” Sketch Show at The Den Theatre
    (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
  • 12.26.2018 – 19:00 @ Ten X 9 @ Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney
    (2212 N. Clybourn Ave.)


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