Mister Kelly’s is back in the limelightKerry Reidon March 2, 2021 at 8:15 pm

The crown jewel of Chicago nightclubs lives on at the Newberry Library and in an upcoming documentary.

Back when nightclubs were smoke-filled rooms, where people dressed up for a night on the town, and before the 1980s explosion of comedy rooms like Zanies (and various other Ha-Ha Huts, Laugh Lodges, and Chuckle Chambers featuring generic brick walls and a lone mike onstage), there was Mister Kelly’s.The legendary Chicago Rush Street establishment, owned and operated by brothers and Hyde Park natives Oscar and George Marienthal, ran for 22 years (1953-1975), during which time it endured two fires and the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Richard Pryor was booked there during the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination, which according to some accounts started him on the path to more controversial and “blue” comedy that didn’t sit right with George Marienthal; at any rate, he never worked at Kelly’s again.…Read More

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