The Comic Thread

Comic Thread - LA Comedy Festival Winners - Performing at Chicago Fringe Fest

“I thought The Comic Thread was brilliant. What can I say? Great Troupe! Really brilliant, brilliant job.” - Garrett Morris, original SNL cast member. The Comic Thread was Runner-Up Best Group at the 2012 Shadowbox Sketch Comedy Festival.


Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/29/2012 -- Just returning from sold-out festival appearances across the country and their 1st international show in Montreal, The Comic Thread (TCT) has been keeping sketch comedy lovers from 18 year-olds to Grandmothers laughing and thinking with their award-winning stage productions since 1998. The cast and writers of TCT bring their surrealist style of dark comedy with a light-side to the Chicago Fringe Festival in Chicago’s Pilsen Community, this September 7, 8 and 9.

With notable sketches like “Great Moments in Amish Pornography” and “What Really Happened at The Alamo,” where Santa Anna Claus infiltrates the famous church via the chimney along with his army of tiny Mexican Elves, The Comic Thread leaves their audiences laughing and thinking. And when you see TCT at Chicago Fringe in September, you’ll agree that this team of 30-somethings – most of whom have been collaborating since they were teenagers – are headed toward great things in the years to come.

"The Comic Thread reminds me of the Monty Python team - only much, much funnier. Much." - Steve Zacharias, Screenwriter (Revenge of the Nerds, Happy Days, All in the Family)

“Hilarious and well-produced, The Comic Thread manages to be edgy and funny, and that is much needed in this day and age. It's hard to be funny. It's hard to write funny. These guys do it and do it well!” - Bryan Alaspa, Associated Content

The Comic Thread has amassed a growing fan base with three years of sold-out Chicago Sketchfest appearances and shows at other comedy festivals in cities like Austin, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Montreal. According to TCT’s Director, Nicolas DeGrazia, “We’ve been encouraged to relocate to LA and New York, but we plan on keeping our company in Chicago, our home base. This is the city for comedy.”

Since its inception, The Comic Thread has worked with a rotating cast and crew of nearly 200 people. Most of its core members are graduates of Highland Park High School and, now in their early 30s, Mr. DeGrazia (director/writer/actor), Dr. Matthew Birnholz (writer/actor) and Dr. Charles Turck (writer/actor) have known each other since kindergarten and have been writing and performing sketch comedy on screen together since 1993.

1993-1996: Post-Newsweek Cable & ComCast Cable (TV shows)
1998: The Attic Playhouse, Highwood, IL (live)
1999-2008: Apple Tree Theatre, Highland Park, IL (live)
2001, 2003, 2005: FOCUS on the Arts, Highland Park High School, IL (live)
2004: The Second City, Chicago, IL (live)
2008-Present Day: Various Chicagoland TV commercials & industrials (TV spots/web)
2010-Present Day: Various festival appearances across the US and in Canada (live)
2013: Hour-long radio drama/comedy series on WFMT Chicago (pre-production)

Right about now, you might be scratching your head and thinking “Fringes?” Fringe Festivals began in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been around since 1947. Not at all related to the fringes hanging from your bedspreads or lamps, Fringe Festivals are in tune with being just outside of the “normal” festival mindset.

Fringe Festival performances include theater, dance, spoken word, and some visual arts and film elements. All of this provides room for performers to push self-expression in an uncensored but not deranged atmosphere of entertainment and fun. These festivals are held all over the world and Fringes are on fire in the United States.

This will be The Comic Thread’s first foray into the Fringe Festival circuit but they are, once more, expected to simply shine on stage. Don’t miss it!

“If you move quickly you can see The Comic Thread. This is your chance to say, in a few years, ‘I knew them when…’ The hard work and talent exist, and someday you may have to watch them in venues much more expensive.” - Ken Patchen, Sun-Times Media

“It's so completely rare that you see a show that is truly surreal, bending the edges of logic in any particular direction. The beautiful thing about a Comic Thread show is that it does that with enough grace that you truly don't know what's coming next. And you really don't care because there's a 90% chance that it'll be exceptionally funny.” - Russ Bickerstaff, Express Milwaukee

The Comic Thread’s Chicago Fringe Festival appearances will take place at the Americana Stage, located at 600 W. Cermak in Chicago on the following dates:

o Friday, September 07 @ 7:00 pm
o Saturday, September 08 @ 2:30 pm (matinee)
o Sunday, September 09 @ 8:30 pm

Tickets are on sale now!


Produced by the award-winning Bitter Jester Creative (based in Highland Park), The Comic Thread is just one facet of a multi-dimensional production company. In addition to producing TCT, Bitter Jester is an established documentary and commercial film, photography, and live event production house with clients that include Nike, Curad, The American Medical Association, The US Postal Service, NASA, and Ravinia Festival, to name a few. Five of Bitter Jester’s 2011 productions have been submitted to this year’s Regional Emmy Awards. Daniel Kullman is a co-owner of Bitter Jester Creative, along with DeGrazia. Kullman also writes for TCT.

To purchase tickets before this production sells out, visit

For interviews, please contact Nicolas DeGrazia at (847) 651.0370

The Comic Thread
Mr. Nicolas DeGrazia
847.433.8660 x 3

With sell-out performances around the country, you certainly don’t want to miss The Comic Thread in Chicago next month!