TJ & Dave is the gold standard for group improv in Chicago. Every week for most of the year TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi craft several new characters—each routinely revealing a compelling humanity—and work them into a completely improvised hour-long story with clever plot developments and, usually, a surprising, satisfying resolution. Jagodowski and Pasquesi’s combined 30 years of stage time and long experience together mean you can trust that their silences aren’t dead air but part of a patient, comfortable improvisational rapport where ideas are constantly cooking; that if one says something out of the moment the other won’t let it slide; and that they’re attentive to audience response, brilliantly pushing and pulling the crowd as they go. Normally set for Wed 11 PM at iO, the show is currently on summer break. —Ryan Hubbard
The Hot Karl
Through 7/26, Sat midnight, ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 773-549-8080, thehotkarl.com, $10.