Ha Ha Land… Los Angeles Comedy Clubs
Besides its worldwide reputation for film and music, Los Angeles is also well-known for its lively comedy scene. Many famous comedians such as Dave Chapelle and Andy Kaufman made their reputations performing at the various comedy clubs scattered across the city. As well as hosting established names, most of the venues also serve as hotbeds for rising comedic talent.
We tell you six of the best clubs to laugh the night away. It’s not too important when your flight to LA lands, as most have shows throughout the week.
Performing at the Hollywood Improv is known as the rite of passage for almost every upcoming LA comedian. Its iconic brick wall stage, central Hollywood location and casual drop-ins from big names such as Dave Chappelle. give it an almost sacred atmosphere; a comedy church if you will.
Found on Melrose Avenue, shows are put on throughout the week with Happy Hour drink prices for those who show up early. Half-priced drinks and great comedy – what could be better?
The Comedy Store
Established in 1972 by comedian Sammy Shore and his wife Mitzi (parents of comedian Pauly Shore), the Comedy Store is a landmark of the LA comedy scene. Boasting three separate stages, there are shows practically every night showcasing a mix of newbies alongside veterans such as Dane Cook and Marc Maron - who once worked as the doorman here too.
It’s hard to miss its black exterior along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, so be sure to drop in for a joke or two.
Hosted in the back of comic book shop Meltdown Comics, the Nerdist Showroom was created by comedian/podcaster Chris Hardwick with the backing of the Comedy Central Network. What started as an occasional DIY comedy night has quickly become a major LA comedy draw, thanks to its ability to draw big names to its casual, intimate environment.
It’s not just stand up that can be experienced here too. The Nerdist Showroom also hosts entertainment as diverse as podcast recordings, art shows, panels for creatives as well as an improv and sketch school. An additional bonus is that many of the shows are free!
The Laugh Factory
If you want to catch a comedy celebrity live, the Laugh Factory is your best bet to do so. Almost any night of the week guarantees to have a famous comedian on the bill, so booking tickets is sometimes the only way to avoid missing out. The inside is typical of what many expect from a comedy club; dimmed lighting, a simple stage with one stool and intimate seating around small tables just close enough to the stage. The Laugh Factory is the true king of Los Angeles comedy clubs.
A comedy theatre with a twist, The Groundlings is also an improv school. With prestigious alumni like Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy and John Goodman, you’re likely to see a rising star on stage here. The shows vary from completely improvised to rehearsed comedy sketches and skits. Be ready to get involved as audience participation is an essential part of the improv shows.
If you just want to sit back and laugh, the Sunday Company shows features character-driven sketches that start out as improvised parts weeks beforehand. With tickets at around $15 each, a show at the Groundlings is fantastic value for a night you’re bound to remember.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
What started out as a sketch show on Comedy Central has now evolved into one of Los Angeles’ central hubs for comedic talent. Similar to The Groundlings, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is another improvisation school mixed with a theatre for comedy shows. Started by renowned comedians/actors Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts, there’s a variety of comedy styles including stand-up, improv, and sketches.
There are two UCBs, one on Franklin and another on Sunset Boulevard, both offering the same types of performances. The UCB’s signature ASSSSCAT improv shows come particularly recommended, costing only $10 on Saturdays and free on Sundays. Another bargain for comedy genius!