Things to do in San Jose

Popular San Jose Comedy Clubs

Laugh until you cry in San Jose. These comedy clubs mean serious funny business.

San Jose may be best known for its tech scene, but the heart of Silicon Valley isn't always about business and cutting-edge innovation. After all, even professionals have to unwind.

You don't have to look far to find hilarious things to do in San Jose. The city is filled with hidden comedy gems that leave audiences rolling with laughter. These are some of our favorite spots for a good, hearty laugh.

Savor Side-Splitting Silicon Valley Improv

Artistry takes all kinds of forms when it comes together. Sometimes, you're left with a dazzling piece to admire later. Other times, you wind up with a melody stuck on repeat in your mind.

These Silicon Valley improv shows will leave you with a stitch in your side from laughing too hard. You'll also develop a reverence for the skills that go into performing completely unscripted alongside others to create a cohesive experience.

1. San Jose Improv

At San Jose Improv, laughter fills the air. Your cheeks will ache from all the grinning you'll do here. This local venue hosts both well-known names and new comedians.

Prepare to be dazzled by comedians creating their skits and shows on the spot. The true beauty of improv is that you never know how it will play out because the comedian doesn't even know until it happens. Want to try your hand at making an audience chuckle? You can hop on the stage at open mic night, held once per month.

When you arrive, order a meal or snacks and drinks and settle into your seat for a good time. You'll find typical bar fare here, ranging from fried mozzarella sticks and fries to entrées such as spicy chicken sandwiches and street tacos. Keep in mind there's a two-item minimum order requirement.

2. American Improv Theatre

At the American Improv Theatre in the Convergence Arts Center, you can settle in for a fun night as improv comedians incite a laughter riot among the audience. This venue regularly hosts improv shows, including an all-women team on Saturday nights, just waiting for the chance to knock your socks off.

If you think you have an ear for comedy, you can take improv classes and join the ranks of the performers. You'll dive headfirst into the wonderful, wacky world of acting on the spot. Classes are available for people with all levels of experience.

Beginners start with exercises designed to build trust and communication with scene partners and learn how to think like an improv artist. Intermediate actors elevate this to another level, learning the art of impromptu character development. At the final level, all skills are put to the test and perfected through practice.

3. Made Up Theatre

When a show's whole shtick is to go in without a script, you never know what you're going to get. However, at Made Up Theatre, that's part of the appeal. Without a script to guide these gifted improv comedians, the audience steers the ship.

Shows range from family-friendly to adult-oriented, and you can even catch them online. You can also participate in classes and learn the art of improvisation from the pros in a supportive space.

Whether you're painfully shy or you've always wanted to try your hand at comedy, these classes will push you out of your comfort zone. You'll learn improv skills and have scene study opportunities.

You can even pursue musical improv classes if you want to push the limits even further. After all, the only thing more impressive than carrying on a successful improv show is doing it while in song.

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4. ComedySportz

ComedySportz is Silicon Valley's longest-running show. It's one of the most unique things to do in San Jose because it adds a whole new element to the art of improv. Competition is the name of the game, and you get to control the show in this all-improvised, audience-interactive comedy competition.

You're in for a night of belly laughs as teams take the stage to compete for the win every weekend. The referee acts as the final say, issuing fouls to people (including members of the audience) for going out of bounds.

Did you hear a joke that was so puntastic you couldn't help but groan? The referee won't let that slide. Dad jokes and the like will have the referee throwing in the flag, forcing the offender to grovel to the audience for forgiveness. It's up to you to decide if the apology deserves a pass or if the player has to do the walk of shame to the bench.

5. All Out Comedy Theater

The seasoned performers at All Out Comedy Theater in Oakland live to evoke cheers from audience members just like you. With a rotating calendar of themes, ranging from typical improv comedy to crafting improvised fantasy adventures and entirely unscripted musicals, something is sure to catch your eye.

The venue offers improv classes for budding comedians of all experience levels, even if your elbow is the only funny bone in your body. In this eight-week course, you'll learn the fundamentals of comedy, and you can watch as many shows as you want for free during your enrollment.

6. BATS Improv

BATS Improv offers in-person and online shows, but for the best experience, you should go in. It holds performances at the Fort Mason Center for the Arts and features all sorts of shows in myriad themes. Since there's no script to follow, each show is completely different, even if you attend a show with the same theme multiple times.

If you're looking to join in, BATS has the largest improv training center in San Francisco, where numerous classes await. You'll learn how to craft compelling scenes, how to help shy people come out of their shells, and the fundamentals of moving a story along.

It even offers a youth program, so the whole family can learn how to make things up on the fly.

Photographer: Ajale

Quirky Stand-Up and Sketch Comedy

Of course, not all San Jose comedy shows focus on improv and bringing multiple people into the mix. In stand-up and sketch comedy, one person takes command. We understand the sheer bravery it takes to get on stage in hopes of earning cheers from the audience and the imaginative creativity that goes into mesmerizing all who watch.

7. Tommy T's Comedy Club

Walking into a room with a stage, a mic, and a stool or two might not seem too impressive. But on the stage at Tommy T's Comedy Club, giggles abound, and roars of uncontrollable laughter are the highest form of flattery.

This venue features everything from individual performers ready to dazzle with their jokes to fully themed showcases. Elevate the experience with a drink or two from the bar and kitchen. There's a two-item mandatory minimum purchase for each attendee. It serves typical bar fare and desserts, as well as cocktails and wines.

Just be careful while consuming your treats. The person in front of you probably won't appreciate you spitting your drink out at them while laughing at a particularly witty one-liner.

8. Alameda Comedy Club

At Alameda Comedy Club, you can participate in open mic nights or sit back and enjoy the biggest names in local comedy. Shows vary dramatically, from comedic drag shows over brunch to showcases of some of the region's funniest people. You're bound to get your money's worth of laughter here.

While many of the performances are aimed toward adult amusement, kids aren't completely left out. Workshops for children interested in stand-up comedy offer the perfect chance for some family-friendly fun.

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9. Killing My Lobster

At Killing My Lobster, prepare to be delighted with some of the best experimental sketch comedy in the area. While stand-up comedy involves one person addressing the audience and improv comedy involves groups of people performing impromptu skits, sketch comedy takes a different approach.

The venue hosts one show per week, where well-rehearsed short skits are performed live on stage. This is a popular spot, so if you're ready to die of laughter, you need to buy tickets early.

10. Cheaper Than Therapy

Cheaper Than Therapy performs several nights per week at San Francisco's Shelton Theater. If laughter is the best medicine, then these shows are true cure-alls. Hilarity ensues as a lineup of expert comedians take the stage by storm. These performers know how to captivate an audience from the moment they take the stage.

The theater starts serving drinks an hour before the show, with no minimum order requirements. Keep in mind these shows are restricted to those aged 18 and older.

11. Cobb's Comedy Club

If you're looking for dinner and drinks to go along with your show, Cobb's Comedy Club is the place to be. The venue has 400 seats and serves sandwiches, appetizers, and salads.

While the minimum order is two drinks per person, meeting the requirement is easy. A robust array of cocktails, beers, and wines line the menu, and other drinks are available by request. This venue has a selection that rivals many San Jose bars.

Cobb's Comedy Club has hosted big-name comedians. Many of its headliners have appeared on The Tonight Show and The Late Show, and some have appeared in comedy specials.

These nationally acclaimed comics know how to read the crowd and incite laughter all night long.

Photographer: Fun4All

Original Neighborhood Comedy

Sometimes, the funniest performances come from comedians who have yet to be discovered. At these venues, supportive communities come together to watch their local talent shine.

12. Bangou Productions

Bangou Productions has one mission, and that's destroying comedy. It offers an inclusive environment that celebrates comedians often overlooked on big stages, dismantling expectations one joke at a time. The shows feature performers from walks of life, including neurodiverse individuals and members of the LGBTQ community.

You'll have to keep your eye out for shows, as they pop up sporadically around the San Francisco Bay area, but if you can catch one, it's worth the effort. You won't find a more inclusive, supportive community for comedians.

13. Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club

While Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club may feature some of the nation's top comedians, it's also a phenomenal location for local talent. Professional headliners host Wednesday night comedy showcases featuring amateurs and local club regulars.

It also serves as a venue for new talent to go head-to-head, vying for the title of best comedian. Shows sell out frequently, so be sure to get tickets early. Like many other venues on the list, there's a mandatory two-item purchase for each attendee.

14. Grapes & Giggles

At Grapes & Giggles, the only thing better than comedy gold is comedy gold with a glass of wine in hand. This traveling comedy show features some of the best comedians you can find and makes pit stops for nights of delight at wineries around the Bay Area.

You'll usually find a monthly show at the Domenico Winery, and you can dine in the winery's Osteria restaurant before the event. You can't take your meal into the show, but you can order drinks, appetizers, and desserts at your table. Other events pop up in the area as well. Be sure to make reservations early since tickets go quickly.

Photographer: Monica Silvestre

15. Comedy Oakland

When you're looking for somewhere a bit more relaxed to get your humor fix, head to a Comedy Oakland show. This comedy club hosts performances regularly in three Oakland venues, including The Washington Inn, Calabash, and Seawolf Public House.

You can buy food and drinks off the menu, and there are no order minimums. While audience members at Seawolf Pub must be aged 21 and older, the other two clubs don't have an age requirement.

Since the material may not be appropriate for younger children, the club recommends all attendees be aged 18 and older. However, if you have an older teen, they can tag along for the show. You'll be treated to comedy pros alongside up-and-coming talent.

Discovering San Jose's Comedy Scene

Everyone needs a little humor in their lives. Whether you're looking for a relaxing night out or something high-energy where the audience yells and cheers, the comedy scene in Silicon Valley has you covered.

We commend these comedy clubs in San Jose for their dedication to their craft and passion for pleasing the audience. We embody that in our own shows. Like the comedic geniuses you'll find at these clubs, we know how to captivate our audience.

When we take the stage, expect a lively performance. Breathtaking acrobatics leave you spellbound as our performers take you on a journey that knows no bounds. We craft stories that evoke a full range of emotions with our out-of-this-world tales.

As you watch our shows in San Jose, you'll enter a whole new universe of fantastical characters and awe-inspiring displays. On our stage, nothing is impossible, and dreams become reality.

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