Advertisement
Filters

Neighborhood

Filter

Entertainment

Sort by

Showing  Places
Share
Filters
Map
List

Illustration by Ellen Surrey; animation by Li Anne Liew

The 60 best places to see stand-up comedy in L.A.

There’s nothing like the electricity in the air on a good night at a comedy show. Packed in a room full of strangers looking for a good time, comedians who can light up a room experience a taste of godliness that’s unlike any other form of expression, even in a town like L.A. that’s full of entertainment. If laughter is important to you (how could it not be in these times?), there’s no shortage of ways to get your fix of funny jokes across L.A. From the hallowed Hollywood venues that became the stamping ground of comedy legends to the backrooms of local bars, even an abandoned zoo on a lunch hour (yes, really!), there is a place for you to find a comic doing their thing and using the power of laughter to help us all relate to one another a little better and, hopefully, leave our cares at the door. Here’s a list of the 60 best spots for comedy in L.A.

Showing  Places

Bar Bandini

Echo Park Comedy Club
Hunting for a cheap night out in L.A. is near impossible, but at Bar Bandini in Echo Park, you can sip with your pinky up while getting a free side of entertainment. If wine is your jam, Bar Bandini has an expansive offering that includes wine on tap. On Wednesday nights, Kara Klenk and Jared Logan host Better Half Comedy with a bouquet of comics that is also bountiful, and all free of charge. (All donations go directly to comics.)
More Info

Blind Barber

Comedy Club
Blind Barber is, oddly enough, visually stunning all dressed up in a retro style that screams, “Get in here for drinks, food and fun! And get your hair cut! And watch comedy?” The secret is out that Blind Barber’s secret comedy show is happening at its two L.A. locations, and you just have to get on the list. Literally, get on the list because that’s the only way you’re getting in. And you should, because there are laughs to be had and hair to be cut here the second Monday and the last Monday of every month.

Highland Park Location: 5715 N. Figueroa St, Highland Park, CA 9004
More Info

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Highland Park Comedy Club
Celebrate a historic Los Angeles venue dedicated to what is today a relatively niche art of string puppetry. And where there are puppets, there is humor. Most crucially: It’s humor, especially in the theater’s afternoon shows, that’s safe for little ones. Check out current show “¡Fiesta!” for a jubilee honoring Latin America, and watch the schedule for one-off shows featuring local comedians, sometimes clowns, occasionally vintage cartoons and, yes, puppets.
More Info

The Bourbon Room

Hollywood Comedy Club
Located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Vinyl District, this storied building that once housed Cinespace has been reincarnated as another bona fide L.A. venue, albeit less sweaty and a little more well kept – and with a much better drink selection (if you’re into bourbon obviously). Though it’s a rock ‘n’ roll room at its core (and in its decor), it came into its own as a hot spot for comedy during the Netflix Is a Joke Festival in the spring, introducing comedy fans to its swanky Sunset Strip revival aesthetic, looking like the type of place haunted by Sam Kinison’s ghost. Its stage has definitely been rocked by comedians like Sarah Cooper, Josh Johnson, comic trio Please Don’t Destroy, Esther Povitsky and many more.
More Info
Advertisement

Café Tropical

Silver Lake Comedy Club
If you listen closely, every Friday night at 9 p.m., in the backroom of Café Tropical, you’ll hear sounds of laughter. Grab a nectarine papaya tart from the café and step into Cult Comedy, hosted by comedians Aviva Siegel, Jessica Sele and Bri Pruett. The lineup of fantastic comics coming to tell you jokes is ever-changing, and tickets are on a $5 to $20 sliding scale. Plus, pastries? This is a cult you are going to want to be a member of.
More Info

Can’t Even Comedy

Hollywood Comedy Club
The newly established Tuesday and Thursday nights of Can’t Even Comedy on the rooftop of Mama Shelter hotel on Selma Avenue are quickly becoming some of the most electric spots on the stand-up scene. Comedy Store-quality headliners like Iliza Shlesinger, Erik Griffin and Ahmed Ahmed do intimate outdoor shows with a party vibe that starts with open mics from 5-6 p.m. and continues on to the curated shows from 6-9 p.m. Though you’ll no doubt be focused on the comedy, it doesn’t hurt to look around at the 360-degree views from the vibey, brightly accented rooftop to get a nice view of L.A. that stretches from downtown to the Hollywood sign. All shows are free with RSVP.
More Info

Cavern Club Celebrity Theater at Casita Del Campo

Silver Lake Comedy Club
The basement of a Mexican restaurant is home to this alternative black box theater, which features monthly drag shows in addition to comedy showcases and performances. In the past, Cavern Club, an “unabashed guerrilla queer and queer-adjacent theater,” has featured shows ranging from a Bette Midler tribute to a Lilith Fair appreciation night. Up next, the drag show “Golden Girlz Live: Prostitution Whores” will premiere two episodes reimagining the classic sitcom.
More Info

Chatterbox

Covina Comedy Club
The chatter in Covina is that you shouldn’t miss Chatterbox Comedy Night. And for good reason. Chatterbox, a dimly lit dive bar, has affordable drinks and happens to be the perfect place to get some laughs. On Sundays, Chatterbox Comedy Night is where you will be entertained by some of L.A.’s funniest rising comedians. No-muss, no-fuss fun is hard to find these days (especially outside of L.A. proper), so we found it for you.
More Info
Advertisement

Clown Zoo at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park

Griffith Park Comedy Club
This weekly Wednesday clown comedy show was started up by Chad Damiani during the dark days of the pandemic. In the belly of the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, it became a place where clowns and the people who love them could meet and connect with each other outside. The clowns start at 12:30 p.m. with warm-ups for anyone who wants to play, followed by a small show that will turn your lunch hour into a mini circus.
More Info

The Clubhouse

Comedy Club
Indie improv has long been a circuit unto itself that operates outside the confines of any comedy school or singular theater. That said, it still needed a home, and one of the most celebrated improvisers in L.A., Rebecca Drysdale, founded one originally on El Centro deep in the considerably un-glitzy part of Hollywood. Several years ago, the Clubhouse moved to Los Feliz’ biggest strip mall on Vermont Avenue and kept all of its DIY, self-sustaining ethos intact. Best of all, every show at the Clubhouse just takes suggested donations for admission.
More Info
The Comedy Chateau
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

The Comedy Chateau

Comedy Club
The world of comedy can be a slovenly, boorish place. Sometimes you just want a touch of class when you go out – a chance to enjoy raunchy sex jokes with a nice glass of wine and a steak. If that’s what you’re into, the Comedy Chateau has it. Though its purple-castle facade has become a staple on Lankershim Boulevard, inside the club has been the sight of many legendary performances both in the large main room (dubbed the Yorick Room) built for big events and the small side room (a.k.a. the St. Felix Room, named after the club’s owner, Felix Mcnulty, who is a guitar-wielding comic himself), where comedy fans can get cozy while sipping craft cocktails and getting up close and personal with L.A.’s best comics. The Chateau also hosts a wide range of events catering to queer and BIPOC comics.
More Info

Comedy House at Soho House

Comedy Club
Even L.A.’s posh crowd loves to laugh. Luckily, on the last Thursday of every month at 8 p.m., Comedy House hosted by Nicky Paris is there to bring members of this exclusive social club a lineup of A-list comedians in a private movie theater tucked away from the bustling bar and lounge area overlooking West Hollywood. Seated on plush red lounge chairs, audience members can take in some jokes while sipping on fancy booze for a night that feels like a live Netflix special happening in your living room.
More Info
Advertisement

The Comedy & Magic Club

Hermosa Beach Comedy Club
Take a seat beachside while watching stand-up at a venue that has been a staple of Hermosa Beach for the last 44 years. The Comedy & Magic Club is known to be a favorite club where comedians go to see shows. Be sure to check out their “10 comics for $25” nights because the list of talent wanting to get on this stage are impressive and, dare we say, “household-ish?” Oh, and Jay Leno has a Sunday night residency there.
More Info

The Comedy Nook

Fairfax Comedy Club
If you’re looking for an open mic, don’t pass up The Comedy Nook in West Hollywood. Sign up online and the stage can be yours on a wide variety of open mics starting at 12pm. Just $5 gets you a ticket to support the next big act in LA and a drink. Whether you’re talking into a mic or listening to someone holding it, don’t sleep on The Comedy Nook for a night (or day) of laughs.
More Info

The Comedy Patio at Horse Thief BBQ at Grand Central Market

Downtown L.A. Comedy Club
Born out of the necessity to do outdoor shows during the pandemic, the Comedy Patio endures as one of DTLA’s only recurring free comedy shows. It happens every other Thursday at 7 p.m. with your host Jeff Buck on the patio of Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. – a surprising spot to see a show that’s often stacked with comics you might recognize from Netflix, HBO, Comedy Central, late-night TV and more.
More Info

Comedy at the Roosevelt 

Hollywood Comedy Club
Comedy nights at the Roosevelt Hotel grew out of the darkest days of the pandemic, aiming to offer an essential service: laughter. The historic hotel, together with Max Events LLC, wanted to keep stand-up comedy alive at a time when it was most needed. It also wanted to boost jobs in entertainment. At first it was held outdoors, by the pool, featuring a mix of established and emerging comics; when COVID restrictions were lifted, it moved to the hotel’s intimate, cabaret-style theater. Earlier this year it launched two monthly stand-up shows: Well Dressed Comedy (hint: there’s a dress code), hosted by Josh Edelman, includes live jazz; and the Shindig Show, hosted by Jimmy Shin, is a more relaxed, jeans-appropriate affair. Big names grace both stages: Pete Holmes, Darrell Hammond and Madison Sinclair have made appearances.
More Info
Advertisement
The Comedy Store
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

The Comedy Store

West Hollywood Comedy Club
Since 1972, the granddaddy of the L.A. comedy scene has nurtured the biggest stand-up stars of the last five decades and counting. Late owner-manager Mitzi Shore’s vision of establishing a comedians artist colony continues to resonate today with new specials, podcasts and albums galore. Maintaining three different rooms under one roof may sound excessive, but most Store shows still manage to sell out nightly.
More Info

The Crow

Santa Monica Comedy Club
Santa Monica and the entirety of the Westside had been a near comedy desert for several years, with M.i.’s Westside Comedy Theater among the few options, especially compared to L.A.’s Eastside and the triangle of the Big Three comedy clubs in Hollywood. Thanks to longtime Santa Monica denizen and dedicated comedian and producer Nicole Blaine and her husband, Mickey, Santa Monica now has a bright, shiny new comedy club full of hope, two separate performance spaces and, almost unbelievably, a gigantic free parking lot at Bergamot Station.
More Info

The Dime

Fairfax Comedy Club
Come to this tiny bar on Fairfax on a weeknight to see some of L.A.’s up-and-coming comics work out their jokes next to bona fide stars who are known to pop in for quick five- to 10-minute sets between gigs. Started by comic Adam Hunter and hosted by Josh Spear, Dime Bar Comedy on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. is a trusted spot to lighten up with a stiff drink in the little black-and-red bar. Head over after chowing down at Canter’s Deli across the street or watching the vacant souls haunting all the hypebeast clothing stores looking for their next great pair of $400 shoes. Luckily if you’ve spent all your money on swaggy clothes, this bar doesn’t charge a cover … you don’t even need a dime to get in.
More Info
Dynasty Typewriter
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Dynasty Typewriter

Westside Comedy Club
Following the losses of Trepany House at the Steve Allen Theater and NerdMelt at Meltdown Comics, Jamie Flam and Vanessa Ragland’s Art Deco variety theater began showcasing everything from stand-up and sketch to podcasts and puppets. Thanks to spirited jazz, plush décor and a charming selection of beverages, candies and toppings to perfectly pair with fresh popcorn, Dynasty’s comedy shows aren’t merely events, but full-on experiences.
More Info
Advertisement
The Elysian
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

The Elysian

Comedy Club
Very quickly, the Elysian has made itself into the oasis for and of the weirdos in L.A. comedy. Executive director Kate Banford is dedicated to finding the most unique voices in comedy, giving them a stage and collaborating on something that can’t necessarily be defined but is enthralling and hilarious all the same. Her and her team, made of many of the folks that were at the Lyric Hyperion leading up to quarantine in 2020, have managed to accomplish all of this in less than a year of being open for business.
More Info

Feinstein's at Vitello's

Studio City Comedy Club
Located above Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Feinstein’s at Vitello’s Supper Club is cranking out the comedy. Grab some delicious Italian fare, then work off those calories by taking a seat for some belly laughs served up by the likes of Patton Oswalt, Adam Carolla and Jeremy Piven coming in to take the stage. Comedy on the couch more your thing? Throw a pizza in the oven and get cozy because Feinstein’s also offers streaming ticket options, so it has your at-home entertainment covered too.
More Info
Flappers Comedy Club
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Flappers Comedy Club

Burbank Comedy Club
Located in Burbank, Flappers Comedy Club has been a hub for local and national comics alike. Check out their calendar for themed nights, open mics, weekend showcases, and for your favorite celebrities doing drop-ins. Flappers Comedy Club is known for serving up great food and drinks to go along with top-notch comedy making it one of the best one-stop spots for laughs in L.A. County.
More Info

The Glendale Room

Comedy Club
The Glendale Room’s library-themed decor, sourced from an impulse purchase of a shipping container of used books, has made for what might be the coziest room in all of L.A. comedy. It joins the Elysian and the Crow as one of the newest spots in L.A., giving the scene a vitality it hadn’t even seen before lockdown and much-needed opportunities for comedy that wouldn’t happen at a comedy club. The Glendale Room specifically provides a much-needed indie comedy spot in Glendale, rather than just relying on the Alex Theatre playing the Three Stooges during the holidays.
More Info
Advertisement

Good Heroin at Stories Books & Café

Echo Park Comedy Club
If you’re really into stand-up comedy, chances are you’re really into things that are free too. The weekly Good Heroin comedy show at the diminutive, tragically hip Stories Books & Café checks both those boxes on its outdoor patio each Saturday night. A stone’s throw from Echo Park Lake, the laid-back venue features twinkling lights, groovy murals and plenty of seating. Bonus: In addition to coffee, the cafe serves wine in 12-ounce cans and PBR tall boys. Told you it was hip.
More Info

The Groundlings

Fairfax Comedy Club
The ownership and location of The Groundlings may have changed over the years, but something constant is the star power that has come out of this legendary improv and sketch comedy group. Paul Reubens, Jennifer Coolidge, Melissa McCarthy, Jimmy Fallon, Phil Hartman, Maya Rudolph have all cut their teeth on this stage. Even “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” was created and first performed by Cassandra Peterson at this legendary Hollywood venue. Looking for a night out where you quite literally won’t know what will happen next? Look no further than the Groundlings.
More Info
The Ha Ha Comedy Club
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

HaHa Comedy Club

Toluca Lake Comedy Club
Turning off the 134 Freeway onto Lankershim Boulevard, one of the first flashes of life to hit your eyes on this old-school strip of NoHo is the glowing marquee of the HaHa. On a nightly basis, this long-respected hot spot for comedy is full of so many laughs it needed the word “Ha” in the name twice. It’s also one of the few enduring mom-and-pop operations in comedy that has stood the test of time since the late ’80s, though this is technically still the “new” location – it moved a few blocks south to the current spot in 2013. Ever since owners Jack and Tere Assadourian converted their Mexican restaurant into a comedy club decades ago, it’s become a home away from home for the biggest names in the business – think Kevin Hart, Bill Burr and more than a few members of the Wayans family. These days, the Assadourians’ son, comedian Jack Jr., books a bunch of the talent, including a number of the Best Damn Latino Comedy Shows and Middle Eastern Comedy Nights – like any good half-Armenian, half-Mexican comic should.
More Info

The Hollywood Comedy

Comedy Club
The Hollywood Comedy (also known as THC), sits on Melrose Avenue, a coal-black theater wedged in a crevice of a bustling business district. Its glowing red sign evokes the edge of a punk club — and, in a way, it is. Comedians and crowds come in from 2 p.m. to midnight to book stage time and share laughs, dirty jokes and Doritos from the mini concessions bar. When owner and comedian Jiaoying Summers discovered the place just before the pandemic, it was a prim, all-white dress shop that she transformed into a club for L.A.’s comedy misfits. It has since become a hub for diverse comedy shows of all stripes and a place where you’ll always find a lively crowd on any night of the week.
More Info
Advertisement
The Improv
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Hollywood Improv

Comedy Club
There’s no substitute for time served when it comes to developing great comedy. As one of the Big Three clubs that have kept L.A.’s stand-up scene thriving since the beginning, the house that Budd Friedman built back in 1974 is still setting the standard when it comes to A-list headliners who destroy crowds in the main room and its sister workout space, the Lab, on a nightly basis. Anyone who wants to explore our comedy scene has to make this one of their first stops. Period.
More Info

Holy S— Improv at Silverlake Lounge

Silver Lake Comedy Club
Monday night bar crowds are a rare breed, and even rarer when they’re a crowd full of comedic sketch artists looking to hone their skills between pints of PBR. For a night where anything goes, Holy S— Improv at the Silverlake Lounge offers a chance to watch rotating groups of improv crews go crazy on random topics, audience suggestions and tried-and-tested skits that remind us that this staple of Silver Lake nightlife is now where a lot of the best players of Upright Citizens Brigade come to work out and rake in laughs every week.
More Info

The Ice House

Pasadena Comedy Club
Get ready for the newest era at the oldest ongoing comedy club in the country (seriously, look it up). Since opening its doors in September of 1960, a Mt. Rushmore of comics like Tim Allen, Dennis Miller, George Carlin, David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, and Garry Shandling have all taken their place in the spotlight at this Pasadena staple. In 2019, Johnny Buss, son of Dr. Jerry Buss, bought The Ice House and he’s rolling out a swanky new look, meaning this comedy club is about to get even more legendary when it reopens its doors this fall.
More Info

Jam in the Van

Palms Comedy Club
During the pandemic, a decadelong indie music hub on wheels – known for showcasing buzzy bands on YouTube – has masterfully shifted gears into the comedy realm, offering a slate of sold-out stand-up shows. Drawing A-list talent like Sarah Silverman, Craig Robinson, Tiffany Haddish, Bill Burr and more, Jam in the Van – co-founded by Jake Cotler, Dave Bell and Louis Peek – has evolved well past the confines of a van itself, now opting to host comedy shows in its own big parking lot event space, creating an IPA-soaked party vibe that goes perfect with laughs. For the comics, it’s easy to get pumped for a great show in JITV’s greenroom, which comes stocked with a substantial amount of pot, a full bar, ping-pong, foosball and video game machines.
More Info
Advertisement

Jetpack Comedy at Bar Lubitsch

Comedy Club
Order a Moscow mule at this Russian-themed vodka bar that features live music, comedy, dancing, burlesque and cabaret 365 nights a year. On Friday nights, the bar hosts Jetpack Comedy Show’s Big Comics, Small Venue, featuring “Saturday Night Live” cast members and comedians from HBO and Netflix like Hannibal Buress, Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Silverman, as well as surprise drop-ins. Snag a cushioned booth seat or a standing-room-only general admission ticket to this two-hour comedy showcase, which features a coveted no-drink minimum.
More Info

Junior High

Comedy Club
Faye Orlove opened Junior High as all-inclusive, feminist art space in a tiny storefront in Thai Town. Amid gallery exhibitions, experimental screenings, art workshops and more, Junior High has always dedicated a healthy part of its programming to comedy, especially when it comes to celebrating any and all marginalized voices. Due to COVID-19’s ravaging everything, Junior High relocated to a much more spacious building in Glendale on the Brand Boulevard of Cars.
More Info
Largo at the Coronet
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Largo at the Coronet

Beverly Grove Comedy Club
Since the ’90s, the name Largo has been synonymous with L.A.’s first wave of alternative comedy. It just so happens that its original cadre of performers including Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt and more found massive success, and Largo’s reputation (and ticket prices) blossomed over the years along with them. These days, you’ll see the crème de la crème of stand-up, improv, sketch and podcasts in L.A. (and from the U.K. and Australia) as curated by the elusive owner and operator, Mark Flanagan.
More Info
Laugh Factory
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Laugh Factory Hollywood

Comedy Club
Since it’s “Hollywood,” conjuring up the baggage and wonder the name entails, one might think the line to get into the Laugh Factory is by design. But it’s necessary. There’s little to no waiting area inside the dark, multilevel original location on the corner of Sunset and Laurel; “Excuse me” is part of the price of entry. The close booths and tables remind you of a supper club from movies gone by; the two-drink minimum will remind you of that too. Also because … Hollywood, you know two things for sure: Parking will be sketchy, and you’re going to see somebody. The latter has proven true since storied founder Jamie Masada opened the club in 1979 with Richard Pryor onstage. Ever since, it’s been part of the ongoing history of comedians, hosting talent in front of the iconic logo that includes now-superstar Jerrod Carmichael and now-brand name Jordan Peele, as well as programming such as Chocolate Sundaes and All-Star Comedy on Fridays and Saturdays. The video marquee is also never short of names you will want to remember by night’s end, and surprise star comics keep guests – and fellow comedians – on their toes. After the show, everyone mills about on the sidewalk in front, as if needing to hold onto the feeling from inside. A picture here, an autograph there, it’s all very … Hollywood. Right? And even that’s funny.
More Info
Advertisement

Laugh Factory Long Beach

Comedy Club
Anchored at the Pike Outlets in the shadow of the Queen Mary, this port-city branch of the Laugh Factory brings a tidal wave of laughs to downtown Long Beach. Sure, you could be basic and go see a comedy flick at the mall movie theater next door, but you’d probably have a better time watching the best comics from L.A. and beyond destroy crowds in real time over some nachos and beer. From Wednesday to Sunday, this surprisingly massive 670-seat, 12,000-square-foot venue is a place that draws crowds as diverse and lively as LBC itself. When you’re not laughing at comics onstage, you’ll probably be looking around at all the bric-a-brac of the official Laugh Factory Stand-Up Comedy Hall of Fame and Museum, which includes hundreds of pieces of comedy memorabilia from legends like Rodney Dangerfield and Groucho Marx. There are also a bunch of monstrous wax statues, including one of an oversize Chris Tucker guarding the bathrooms – don’t worry, he doesn’t bite (these days he wears a mask).
More Info

Leimert Park Comedy Night at Regency West

East Hollywood Comedy Club
Often featuring different hosts (including Keith “Lookaround” Morris, Hope Flood, Jeff Arnold and more), Leimert Park Comedy Night launches laughs every Thursday night at Regency West, a rental hall that includes a kitchen, a dance floor and a full bar. Though Taco Tuesdays may be the venue’s most well-known draw for the locals, the comedy night follows in the famous footsteps of area events like Phat Tuesdays, where celebrities like Robin Harris and Guy and Joe Torry got their start. It’s a respected establishment that pushes the voices of mostly African American comedians.
More Info

Lounge on Melrose

Fairfax Comedy Club
Located in the Melrose Arts District, Lounge on Melrose has a weekly comedy show called Faded Comedy offering incredible lineups week after week. And since sometimes weekly isn’t enough, you can also head into LoM to entertain your brain with the Faded Drunk Spelling Bee, where a variety of entertainers compete while, you guessed it, faded. Lounge in Lounge on Melrose, laugh and get faded. Sounds like one of those L.A. winning nights out.
More Info

The Lyric Hyperion

Silver Lake Comedy Club
This artsy hub of improv and open mic stand-up has been an ever-evolving bedrock of comedy in Silver Lake since it opened its doors 20 years ago. It’s currently run by new managers – former Broadway actor Brandon Wood and his business partner, Kaela Green. The 65-seat black box theater experience is a bit more malleable than some, with its ability to host a wide range of cabaret-style comedy shows. You can also grab a bite to eat at the venue’s cafe, which offers sandwiches, pastries and a selection of custom cocktails.
More Info
Advertisement

The Nitecap

Burbank Comedy Club
Let’s do the math: Juke joint + comedy × unbelievable entry prices = the speakeasy vibe of the Nitecap in Burbank. If “trust the process” were a club, the Nitecap is it; both comedians and customers were looking for the entrance one spring night for “Alonzo Bodden and Friends.” Pro tip: Go around the corner of the building, and someone will be at the rollaway chain-link gate, ready to check your name off a clipboard. Walk into a small courtyard, remarkable for the hanging string lights and an old soda vending machine that’s perhaps in on the joke because it doesn’t work. Walk inside, away from the college party vibe, and you’re transported to a spartan room, dark and brick with a small stage surrounded by lightly padded chairs lined up for what feels like no more than 50 people. But that lends to the charm. Holding onto a red Solo cup in a convivial atmosphere, you feel as if you’re watching a friend tell stories. So when a comedian checks his notes and says, “I’m just working out some new material,” everything is fine. It’s all fine.
More Info

The Pack Theater

Hollywood Comedy Club
Within the ever-changing stage productions that come in and out of the Complex, a hub of black box theaters on Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue, the Pack Theater always stood as a comedy theater and community unto itself. Under the guidance of managing director Royce Shockley, that’s part of how it kept such a robust virtual comedy schedule going through quarantine and heartily survived to reopen in the nicer theater space next door. Its sketch program, curated by L.A. comedy sketch mastermind Eric Moneypenny, still holds strong as the backbone of the Pack.
More Info

Permanent Records Roadhouse

Comedy Club
If you were to put a dive bar/record store/punk venue into your script set in L.A., one might think that’s going a bit overboard, trying so hard to make a single place sound that cool. Yet Permanent Records Roadhouse is very much all of those things and very real and is very much that cool. It also happens to have a healthy stable of indie stand-up shows, as well as the long-running, live animated comedy show “Picture This!”
More Info

The Puterbaugh Show at Akbar

Silver Lake Comedy Club
Comedic duo Danielle and Tiffany Puterbaugh, along with host Beth Stelling, bring whip-smart wit and an animated brand of sketches and stand-up to beloved queer-friendly watering hole Akbar along with a rotating crew of L.A. stand-ups. This long-running variety show on the first Sunday of every month at 8 p.m. is now in its fourth year in L.A. Come to see comics from HBO, Netflix, Comedy Central and an assortment of other prized credits that you’re supposed to have in L.A. The suggested donation for the show is $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of cash. Proof of vaccination is required.
More Info
Advertisement

Serotonin Comedy Show at Hotel Cafe

Hollywood Comedy Club
Catch a show at Hollywood’s recently reopened Hotel Cafe, which is actually neither a hotel nor a cafe. Instead, the venue — which specializes in live music from local singer-songwriters — regularly features two simultaneous shows on separate stages. On the more intimate second stage, comedians Robert Schultz and Rick Cisario host the monthly indie comedy showcase Serotonin Comedy Show. Next month’s lineup features comics Milan Patel, Luke Mones, Molly Kearney, Lindsay Adams, Andrea More and Ramsey Badawi.
More Info

Skiptown Playhouse

East Hollywood Comedy Club
The Skiptown Playhouse, new home to the Ledge Theatre group, is a theater with 1,100 square feet of space and 36 red plush seats on risers. A newer sister theater, the Cat’s Crawl, opened this year across the street that has twice the seating and is a little more upscale, according to co-founder Vincenzo Carubia. Opened in 2018, the Playhouse hosts film shoots, music videos and an international film festival. The space has been used by entertainers from Zach Galifianakis to Miranda Sings to rapper Trinidad James and is often rented for celebrity photo shoots. The slogan? “If you have a dream or a vision, it’s your playground – or something like that,” said Carubia.
More Info

The Stand Up Comedy Club

Bellflower Comedy Club
Some would consider a two-year delay in opening a comedy club due to COVID-19 to be the worst-possible scenario. But for John Giries, owner of the Stand Up, it just meant a longer opportunity to make his new Bellflower club the best it could be. Opening a state-of-the-art comedy venue inside the classic, city-owned Bellflower Theater, Giries is quickly putting this aging bedroom community in the spotlight with weekly showcases featuring headliners from around the country. It’s also one of the few comedy spots that serves some real-deal barbecue, including tri-tip and baby back ribs. Hot comics and smoked meats? What more reason do you need to drive to Bellflower on a Friday night?
More Info

SuperNova Comedy

Hollywood Comedy Club
What started as an open-air pandemic pop-up in the parking lot of a Hollywood nightclub now welcomes huge names performing in the round multiple nights a week. (It recently branched out to a Las Vegas outpost.) The trippy galaxy videos playing overhead feel otherworldly, but it’s the sturdy cocktails that really get heads spinning.
More Info
Advertisement

Tao Comedy Studio

Comedy Club
Located in Koreatown, this intimate venue hosts four live open mics each week, including dedicated nights for women and LGBT+ allies. Run by husband-and-wife duo Chris and Bobbie Oliver (both of whom are writers and comedians themselves), this feminist stand-up and improv studio and school offers an inclusive, Zen space for comedians of all levels. In addition to comedy shows and festivals, Tao also offers an eight-week intensive stand-up workshop series with dates into November. Come for the $5 open mic entry fee, stay for the private heated patio and limited outdoor seating. The Olivers also host a depression support group for comedians and livestream all of their events.
More Info

Terrace Theater

Comedy Club
When nothing but a big-name comic will get you out of the house, take a scroll through the calendar at Terrace Theater. Located inside of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, the theater has welcomed some of the top names in comedy, like Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, Chelsea Handler and Ron White, to its stage. With over 3,000 seats to choose from and acoustics that accommodate a range of entertainment from ballet to bands, laughter bellowing inside the Terrace Theater hits just right.
More Info

Third Wheel

East Hollywood Comedy Club
Many of the door guys at the Hollywood Improv worked night in and night out trying to imagine a place for comics, by comics. Thus the podcast studio/comedy stage known as Third Wheel was born just East of the 101. Third Wheel hosts an impressive array of open mics and indie shows, including a very popular, seven-night-a-week, midnight open mic called Midnight Madness that brings in comedians from all walks of life. It’s the one place where, if all else fails in a day looking for stage time, you can always get three minutes.
More Info

Townhouse Venice

Venice Comedy Club
If comedy with a side of speakeasy is your style, Townhouse in Venice is going to be your spot. Prohibition is long over, so grab a handcrafted cocktail and head downstairs where you’ll find the perfect backdrop for comedy. Whether you’re catching an act by the bar or on the patio, the lineups are as fiery as the sunset just steps away. The comics breezing in and out of there are ever-changing, so if you are in dire need of a laugh, Townhouse Venice is where you’re going to find some of the freshest talent L.A. has to offer.
More Info
Advertisement

UnCabaret at El Cid

Silver Lake Comedy Club
Comedian and writer Beth Lapides has been hosting this chatty, irreverent alt-comedy show for nearly 27 years. Known for its eclectic lineups featuring big and up-and-coming names, as well as its anything-goes verve (expect the unexpected), UnCabaret is currently live in person (and streaming on Zoom) at Silver Lake’s historic El Cid restaurant, bar and flamenco club on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Originally built in 1925, the tapas eatery was converted into a faux-16th century tavern in the early 1960s, and the dark, cavernous vibe remains. Red velvet curtains, low lights and stiff drinks make this an ideal spot to forget your cares and howl with laughter.
More Info

Upright Citizens Brigade

Comedy Club
UCB Franklin returns as the sole remnant of the empire that was the Upright Citizens Brigade. The original L.A. location is only just now returning to in-person classes and shows after being dark for well over two years – with the UCB name being upended and sold to new, much more corporate owners within that time. It will be a fascinating reentry into the scene for the improv/alt-comedy giant as the “big dogs” return to their roots: their tiny, black box theater on Franklin Avenue.
More Info

Venice Underground Comedy at Killer Shrimp Yacht Club

Marina del Rey Comedy Club
Venice Underground Comedy was one of the many outfits that was struck down by the pandemic in 2020. Co-founders and comedians Bronston Jones and Matt Devlin wanted to make their show a weekly event, so they parted with their longtime home at the Townhouse Venice and found a new partner with restaurant Killer Shrimp. They relaunched on Jan. 12 and have not looked back. Killer Shrimp founder Lee Michaels, a ’60s rocker, has built the space from a 1,000-square-foot venue to 24,000 square feet of waterfront fun, which includes the speakeasy the Killer Yacht Club. It is here in the Yacht Club where the shows are hosted by Jones and Devlin, and admission includes discounts for Killer Shrimp’s secret recipe delights.
More Info
Westside Comedy Theater
(Illustration by Ellen Surrey / For The Times)

Westside Comedy Theater

Santa Monica Comedy Club
As the go-to comedy spot in Santa Monica for over a decade, this venue brings a real stand-up experience to the comedy doldrums of the Westside – complete with an authentic brick-wall backdrop. Notable drop-ins like Dave Chappelle, Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey, Judd Apatow, Tig Notaro and many more have graced this stage along with a steady stream of rising stars. It’s also where stand-up and improv collide, thanks to the mission of the owners who started the place, members of a troupe called Mission: IMPROVable, who still perform regularly every Saturday at 10 p.m. The venue also offers a wide range of classes for youth and teens, as well as adult improv and stand-up classes.
More Info
Advertisement

Whammy! Analog Media

Echo Park Comedy Club
As a truly VHS-only store that opened right on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake, Whammy! is a rare space where one can genuinely feel as though they’re stepping back in time, specifically to the ’90s. That said, if you ever had a local video store, it likely didn’t have a few rows of theater seats and a projection screen for live alt-comedy and cult movie screenings throughout the week like the brand-new Whammy! Analog Media does.
More Info

Yamashiro Hollywood

Comedy Club
Comedy and sushi in the Hollywood Hills at iconic Asian fusion restaurant Yamashiro? Yes, please. Comedian Jay Davis is bringing some of his funniest friends to entertain you all while you bask in the atmosphere that is Yamashiro. Tuesday night at 8 p.m. is showtime, so be sure to get there by 7 p.m. to place your order and get a good seat. Then, let Jay and an impressive lineup of comics do the rest. Instant Tuesday night plans!
More Info

The Yard Theater

East Hollywood Comedy Club
The Yard was once a haven for alternative comedy under the name the Fake Gallery, but then John Ennis (one of “Mr. Show’s” go-to players) took over the space to teach young folks the art of theater. That spirit is still very much a part of the Yard, but, since it survived lockdown, the theater has also opened its doors and its lovely stage curtain for those looking to experiment and develop material, no matter if they’re a stand-up, a sketch comedian or a clown.
More Info

Zebulon

Elysian Valley Comedy Club
This popular hot spot for the psych-rock scene likes its comedy the way it likes its music – loud, sweaty and full of strange sights and sounds that pair well with acid. It’s no mystery why legendary weirdo comic Neil Hamburger would choose Zebulon as the spot for his weekly residency since moving on from the Satellite when it closed. This stage and crowd usually attract comics with a flair for wild performances, whether it’s Hamburger with his schtick as a retro ’70s curmudgeon or the gross-out antics of Sarah Squirm (a.k.a. Sarah Sherman, a featured player on “SNL”).
More Info