LOL, am I right? Everyone needs a laugh from time to time, and Los Angeles might just be the place to get one. Amongst the sprawling city jam-packed with strip malls, traffic, and lost tourists, The City of Angels has arguably the strongest comedy scene in the world because of its proximity to the big lights of production studios. Since any show has the potential to be attended by someone who could have their people call your people and launch a career, clubs attract some quality talent. These LA comedy clubs are well worth a visit, whether for a date or a casual night out. Sure someone could bomb and you’ll end up watching someone’s dreams shatter to the sound of crickets but at least you’ll have a few jokes to steal for the office on Monday.
The Comedy Store
This Sunset Boulevard comedy club is beloved for not being overly expensive but still hosting great performers. The Comedy Store welcomes regulars to the stand-up circuit like Russell Peters, Joe Rogan, and Tom Segura. The main stage at Sunset Strip location has been pumping out class shows since 1972 when Elvis’s former comedic opener founded it. Since then, the halls have been populated by legends like Letterman, Robin Williams, and Richard Pryor. They will also often host a number of crowd favorites like Andrea Nittoli.
Upright Citizens Brigade
Officially billed as “an underground organization that tries to undermine society by spreading chaos”, UCB started as an improv and sketch comedy group in the 90s. Nowadays, the group is one of the most competitive teams to be accepted to. Their popularity and reputation continue to grow as original members like funny lady Amy Poehler, Anchorman director Adam McKay, and former Saturday Night Live cast member Horatio Sanz, have skyrocketed into stardom.
If you’re eager to see a unique, live comedy set, check out the 25th anniversary of Uncabaret at Theater at The Ace on Nov 11, 2018 — the original alternative comedy show!
Hollywood Improv Comedy Club
The Hollywood Improv Comedy Club on the famed Melrose Ave offers a full evening as guests can arrive an hour and a half early to enjoy dinner prior to the funny festivities. The stage is in an intimate environment, with its famous brick wall background no further than five feet from many of the tables. Currently regulars like Jeff Garlin, Chris D’Elia, and Whitney Cummings grace the Hollywood Improv microphone.
The Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard has been the setting for many famous and infamous (*cough* Kramer from Seinfeld) performances since its start in 1979. Unlike some big-time clubs, the Laugh Factory actually hosts regular open mic nights for those hoping they can follow in the footsteps of Jim Carey and Jamie Foxx, both of whom were discovered here.
The Comedy and Magic Club
The Comedy and Magic Club, unlike most of these Los Angeles favorites, is not located in the thick of Hollywood but instead is just a block from the sands of Hermosa Beach. Because of its spot in The South Bay of LA, events are sometimes a touch tamer and feature more local talent. However, Jay Leno is a consistent regular, even after retiring from Late Night, and the atmosphere and service at The Comedy and Magic Club is a step above the rest.
The Groundlings Theatre
Like some of the other places mentioned here, The Groundlings Theatre specifically focuses on improv comedy over stand-up. Groundlings is unique as it is first and foremost a school for aspiring comedians. All performances are conducted and written by Groundlings students or teachers. When asked about the success of their alumni Groundlings can name-drop people like Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Lisa Kudrow, amongst many, many others.
Tao Comedy Studio
Nestled between 1st and 2nd street in Koreatown, this stand-up comedy school is owned by comedians Bobbie Oliver and Chris Oliver. The studio promotes a safe, inclusive space, and is particularly proud of its zen-vibes — all with a comedic touch of course. Budding comedians can sign up for classes here, which are rooted in the principles of Tao Comedy, focusing on tapping into each person’s unique creativity and voice. As well as classes, the studio also boasts open mic nights, festivals, and comedy shows. For a night of belly-ache laughter with a spiritual twist, head to Tao Comedy Studio.