Things to do in Los Angeles

Comedy Clubs in Los Angeles

It’s impossible to overstate the riotous revelry, whimsical wit, and meme-worthy moments that await in the world-famous comedy clubs of Los Angeles.

Being part of a live audience is a spell-binding experience. From witnessing superhuman spectacles at Mystère to rolling on the floor laughing at one of LA’s comedy clubs, you’re sure to go home with a nourished soul.

Lights, Camera, Laughter: The Comedy Scene in Los Angeles

Journey on a quip quest through the renowned and lesser-known comedy clubs of LA, where global legends of laughter, live entertainment, and podcasting cut their teeth. Many comedians who’ve reached the stardom of George Lopez, Melissa McCarthy, and Chelsea Peretti got their start in a club just like these.

Escape where smiles are currency and outrageous controversy balanced with heart-warming vulnerability.

Come with us as we explore the best things to do in Los Angeles, including specialty comedy shows, long-form improv nights, and drag acts.

Stand-Up Comedy Clubs in LA

A real-life Comedy Central, stand-up comedy is one of our youngest art forms that's truly an emblem of free speech and innovation. The scene thrives in LA and Hollywood, home to the stars and center of the entertainment world, where captive audiences get lost in an on-stage world.

In these places, artistic expression and creativity combine with gritty reality and satire. Your face will be aching with laughter by the end of the night. Welcome to the best comedy clubs in Los Angeles.

Photographer: OurWhisky Foundation

1. The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store is one of the most famous comedy clubs in the world. More merchants of mirth have honed their crafts and found a family of like-minded folks than anywhere else. The Sunset Boulevard institution’s owner between 1974 and 2018 was visionary Mitzi Shore.

Few people have made as big a mark on comedy as Mitzi. In the words of Jim Carrey, “If she loved you, you did well. If she didn't, you did something else.”

Acts including Bill Burr, Burt Kreicscher, Theo Von, Bobby Lee, Jay Leno, Iliza Shlesinger, and Sandra Bernhard have performed gigs there, with the likes of Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and Chris Rock gracing the audience as veterans.

Over the years, its intimate, close-up setting has inspired impromptu sets, jam sessions, and wild after parties that will forever go down in history. Bring a group of friends for an unforgettable evening of mischievous humor and savage laughter at the headquarters of humor. You might even meet your favorite comedian or podcaster.

Photographer: brunocoelho

2. Laugh Factory

Another launch pad for comedic careers on Sunset Blvd., the Laugh Factory, dates back to 1979, when it became the first comedy club to pay performers. Jamie Masada opened the beloved joint as a teenager and still casts a discerning eye over Tuesday’s open mic nights.

Every week, amateur comedians flock from around the world to this warehouse of wit, looking for their big break. Here, you have a unique opportunity to witness history in the making.

The club’s ethos is underpinned by its commitment to racial equality and promoting diversity — a philosophy we're 100% on board with. Bringing people together from different backgrounds and with distinct experiences and perspectives is a surefire way to create something truly world-changing.

Just like us, the Laugh Factory welcomes everyone equally, provided they seek an all-American comedy experience. Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, and Eddie Murphy have all performed at this beloved comedy club in Los Angeles.

3. Flappers Comedy Club

Burbank’s Flappers Comedy Club is inspired by (you might guess from the name) the risqué flapper dresses and low-lit speakeasies of the roaring 20s. Founded by Barbara Holliday and Dave Reinitz in 2008, it’s a relatively new addition to the LA comedy club scene but is already a mainstay.

Notably, Flappers pioneered the live comedy podcast Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspiring other struggling venues to find innovative ways to make money in lieu of live shows.

Go see Uncle Clyde’s Comedy Contest, a rambunctious competition that takes place every year, to find comedy’s next superstar. Alternatively, pop in for the droll delights of established performers such as Kevin Hart, Christina P, Jo Koy, or Whitney Cummings, who regularly take to one of the comedy club’s stages.

4. Sunset Comedy

Mosey on down to Sunset Rooftop restaurant for Sunset Comedy, one of the most affordable ways to get your giggle on in Los Angeles. Laugh under the stars at this surrealist spectacular, with performers showcasing shocking anecdotes, sidesplitting punchlines, and uncanny observations most evenings in November and December.

If you’re looking for joyful japes beneath the Hollywood sky, Sunset Comedy has your back. Temper your appetite with mouthwatering gyros, burgers, salads, and snacks and indulge in delicious hookah to your heart’s content at this LA comedy hot spot.

5. The Clubhouse

Unconventional, edgy, experimental — no, we’re not talking about us, although we could be! We’re referring to East Hollywood’s The Clubhouse. This community-owned and operated venue welcomes anyone to one of its two stages for an open mic performance.

Its intimate theater setting is the perfect place for new acts to unleash their whimsical wisdom on the world. Its engaging atmosphere encourages the audience to feel connected to the performer.

Aficionados of amusement adore The Clubhouse because of its open-minded vibe, facilitating boundary-pushing, genre-defying performances in a range of styles. Park yourself on a seat to see everything from improv and brainy comedy to awe-inspiring character acts and multimedia presentations.

Admission is donation-based, so you can pay as much or as little as you can afford at this chamber of chuckles.

6. Tao Comedy Studio

Looking to become a comedian yourself? Tao Comedy Studio offers stand-up lessons to people at all levels, taught by veteran comic, Bobbie Oliver. Her unique comedy teaching style focuses on helping performers find their unique voice and avoid clichés, tropes, and common pitfalls newcomers can all-too-easily fall into.

Open mic nights give you a chance to practice in front of a captive audience immediately after your lesson.

Don’t worry if the idea of laying your soul bare before an audience doesn’t appeal, there’s an uproarious show to see pretty much every day. Tao Comedy Studio provides a truly inclusive environment that showcases glee connoisseurs from all backgrounds, with famous Riot Grrrl and LGBT+ evenings that go down a treat with everyone.

Photographer: Matthias Wagner

7. The Ice House Comedy

Pasadena’s The Ice House Comedy holds a special place in the hearts of purveyors of comedy alike as the oldest comedy club in the United States. Well into its sixth decade, this laughter powerhouse reopened its doors in 2023 following a makeover at the hands of new owner, Johnny Buss.

Robin Williams, Steve Martin, and Ellen are just a few big names to conjure chuckles at this iconic venue over the years.

8. Dynasty Typewriter

Dynasty Typewriter is an idiosyncratic comedy spot in Los Angeles, showcasing performing arts of every flavor. One of the world’s coolest clubs, it’s part vaudeville, part clubhouse, and specializes in alternative and avant-garde comedy.

Established in 2018, it’s already attracted notable wizards of wit, including Tim Heidecker, Busy Philipps, Kumail Nanjiani, Reggie Watts, and Adam Sandler. Co-owners Vanesssa Ragland and Jamie Flam (whose family owned a typewriter factory in the 1920s) have curated this space to entice you to join them, as creators and artists bring you into their intriguing and mysterious worlds.

Specialty Comedy Shows in LA

We know exactly what we like. When we roll into town, we’re looking for the most audacious, flamboyant, and gaudy comedy shows in Los Angeles. Sound like your vibe? Check out the specialty LA shows below.

9. Venice Beach Outdoor Comedy Club

Venice Beach is a canvas painted in vibrant hues of individuality, eccentricity, and limitless energy. Several times per year, you can head down to Venice Beach Outdoor Comedy Club for an all out outdoor comedy bash featuring headlining comedians, such as Amy Miller, Karl Heiss, and Matt Harawitz.

Events are low cost and operate a BYOB policy, in addition to welcoming picnics, coolers, and anything else you need to have a rip-roaring good time.

10. UnCabaret

Experience the redefinition of stand-up comedy at UnCabaret, from the wonderfully wacky mind of Beth Lapides. Endless curiosity, unabashed hope, and mind-expanding adventure permeate every event, where the uncomfortable and unconventional take center stage.

Founded in 1988, shows have taken place at venues around Los Angeles, including LunaPark nightclub and The Nimoy. In recent years, UnCabaret has ventured online, so you can stream this LA institution’s live shows from anywhere on the planet.

11. Jetpack Comedy Show

Get fired up at the Jetpack Comedy Show, a live extravaganza featuring up-and-coming comedy acts with the freshest, funniest, and freakiest sets. It’s a stand-up comedy showcase taking place every Friday at 8 p.m. at Bar Lubitsch, right next to Plummer Park on Santa Monica Boulevard.

If you’re into the likes of Hannibal Buress, Ali Wong, and Sarah Silverman, you’ll feel right at home at this small venue that’s proud to showcase big talent.

12. Jam in the Van

Jam in the Van is the real deal, living and breathing the philosophy of rebellion. These guys figured out that if you throw a live event of a high enough caliber, Angelenos and LA visitors will come.

Big names such as Anthony Jeselnik and Bill Burr use the JITV stage to practice WIP shows, and founder Jake Cotler curates open-mic storytelling competitions and music shows in addition to comedy nights.

13. Asbury Park Comedy Show @ thehighlowbar

Head down to The High Low bar for its bi-weekly comedy show, Asbury Park, in Los Angeles. You can catch comedians such as Blair Socci, Dave Waite, and Felicia Folkes. Hosted by Meredith Casey and Noah Fielding, let ears ring with laughter and your heart fill with glee as upcoming and established comedy acts dish the dirt, tell uplifting stories, and captivate audiences with unbridled hilarity.

14. Midnight Madness Comedy Show @ Third Wheel Comedy

LA’s comedy scene is dynamic as it is diverse, and that's evidenced by the Midnight Madness Comedy Show at Third Wheel Comedy. Taking place at (you guessed it) midnight every day; night owls, shift workers, and naughty-comedy-lovers rejoice, this one’s for you.

With cheap drinks and free popcorn, it’s an ideal spot to start or end a great night out inside the inspirational former Charlie Chaplin Studios.

Photographer: Corina Rainer

15. Hollywood Improv

Comedy enthusiasts agree that the Hollywood Improv is one of the world’s greatest comedy club franchises. Originally founded in New York in 1963, it made its way to Los Angeles in 1975 and is one of the few LA comedy clubs to have its own Netflix special.

Budd Friendman originally opened Improv as a place for performers to gather after shows to eat, drink, and be merry. To say the venue has seen some famous faces is an understatement.

You can come along and experience a brand that attracted Judy Garland and her young daughter, Liza, where Barry Manilow once worked as a waiter, and Joan Rivers eviscerated enthusiastic audience members with her acerbic wit. What began as an experiment to see if talent would gather in one place has become a true icon of comedy in LA.

16.Star-studded Drag Comedy Shows

Movie theaters in Los Angeles aren’t the only place you can go to see stars. Sass, wit, and charisma combine these star-studded drag comedy shows, down at LGBTQIA+ safe space, West Hollywood.

17. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo

Hamburger Mary’s is a vibrant WeHo venue hosting live comedy nights with the kings and queens of drag practically every day. Beloved since its inception in San Francisco in 1972, the franchise is a hub of generous entertainment, mismatched dishware, and kooky artwork.

Head down to laugh the night away at WeHo’s Hamburger Mary’s with delicious food, karaoke, legendary bingo, lip-sync battles, and viewings of the UK’s Drag Race.

Photographer: Clay Banks

18. The Abbey WeHo

A WeHo go-to for more than 3 decades, The Abbey is a sanctuary for LGBTQIA+ folks and allies. Originally opened as a coffee shop, it’s now a 14,000 square foot nightclub and restaurant that attracts the biggest names in drag comedy. Fan favorites are Saturday and Sunday’s brunches with captivating, high-energy drag acts to help you celebrate the weekend in true WeHo style.

The Final Bow: Los Angeles, Where Laughter Takes Center Stage

You may not know that many popular YouTubers and podcasters began their careers at Los Angeles’ Comedy Clubs. But, once you step inside and experience the atmosphere for yourself, it’s clear to see why.

LA is the epicenter of the entertainment world, where swathes of wannabe icons and established superstars seek fame, fortune, and fabulousness. As a result, there are enough astounding live comedy shows to keep even lifelong LAers laughing every night of the week.

Let your spirits soar amidst the whimsical joy of comedy clubs in Los Angeles, bring them crashing down with some hard-hitting satire, then let a master of merriment gently lift them once more — all in an evening of live comedy.

Looking for another experience that glues you to your seat while sending your mind into the stratosphere? Jaunt through kaleidoscopic realms as we unshackle your imagination.

Here, reality morphs into the dreamworld, performers use celestial movements to weave stories, and ethereal acrobatics and dance transport you to another world. We're your portal to another reality in Los Angeles.

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