To say that Chicago is comedy central would be an understatement. If it’s not enough to have the city as the backdrop of many sitcoms (including but not limited to “Married… with Children”, “Family Matters”, and “Happy Endings”), it is also the hometown of many known comics, including Bill Murray, Jane Lynch, Joan Cusack, and Jim and John Belushi. With Chicago laying claim to the title of the birthplace of improv comedy, it comes as no surprise, then, that comedy clubs are one of the top forms of entertainment offered by the city. Take a look at this list of 10 best comedy clubs in Chicago, Illinois if you want to have some laughs while visiting.
1. Laugh Out Loud Theater
This establishment has been voted as the best place to watch stand-up comedy in Chicago, so you know they mean serious - and funny - business. Drinks are relatively inexpensive, so you can enjoy a pint or a bottle while watching the performances. Tip: the acts get more risque as the night progresses, so if you want to catch a tamer show, be there at opening (7:30 on Thursdays or 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), where even kids are welcome. Otherwise, arrive later if you want to catch acts with raunchier humor.
Laugh Out Loud Theater
Address: 3851 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL
Website: Laugh Out Loud Theater
Opening hours: 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm Thursdays, 7 pm - 12 am Fridays and Saturdays
Price: Starts at 2 USD
2. iO Theater
iO Theater is consistently ranked as one of the top improv shows in Chicago, so you can’t go wrong if you catch a show here. The theater features different shows per night, so guests have their pick of what performance to catch. A fan favorite is the Shakespeare-themed show. Do note, however, that each room is pretty small, so it would be a good idea to come in early. Food and drinks are served here.
Address: 1501 N Kingsbury Street, Chicago, IL
Website: iO Theater
Opening hours: 6:30 pm - 2 am Sundays to Fridays, 6:30 pm - 3 am Saturdays
Price: Starts at 10 USD, although there are some shows that are for free
3. The Comedy Clubhouse
This comedy club is a good option for those who want to enjoy a show in an intimate setting, as the space and the seating here are limited. If you want to watch the show while munching on or drinking something, The Comedy Clubhouse follows a BYOB (bring your own beverage) and snacks policy.
The Comedy Clubhouse
Address: 1462 N Ashland, Chicago, IL
Website: The Comedy Clubhouse
Opening hours: 7:30 - 11 pm Thursday, 7:30 pm - 1 am Friday and Saturday
Price: Starts at 16 USD, although some shows have free admission
4. Under The Gun Theater
If you’re a fan of improv comedy performed in an intimate setting, this one is for you. The theater has a seating capacity of about 90, and it has a bar where guests can order drinks. The parking space is somewhat limited, so be sure to come in early if you’re driving to the area.
Under The Gun Theater
Address: 956 W Newport Avenue, Chicago, IL
Website: Under The Gun Theater
Opening hours: 8 pm - 10 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 8 pm - 12 am Friday and Saturday, 7 pm - 9 pm Sunday
Price: Starts at 12 USD
5. The Revival
According to stories, The Revival was the birthplace of improv comedy. In fact, it got its name to indicate the intent of bringing it back to its glory days. As a comedy club, The Revival features a mix of acts and performances, ranging from stand-up and improv comedies to skits and musical acts with a humorous twist. For those who are interested in renting a small yet cozy and intimate events place, this venue is available for lease for events.
Address: 1160 E 55th Street, Chicago, IL
Website: The Revival
Price: Starts at 10 USD
6. The Second City
OCTOBER SHOWS! Zach & Viggo // Chicago at The Second City 14-16 Zach & Viggo // Toronto at Comedy Bar 19/20 Zach & Viggo // New York at The Peoples Improv Theater 27/28Posted by Zach & Viggo on Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Not only is The Second City one of the longest-running comedy clubs in Chicago, it is also the place where many of today’s beloved comedians - including but not limited to Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Steve Carell - got their start, so it ’s highly possible that one of the up-and-coming acts performing there will be the next big comedic talent.
The Second City
Address: 1616 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL
Website: The Second City
Opening hours: 9 am - 11 pm Monday to Thursday, 9 am - 1 am Friday, 9 am - 2 pm Saturday, 4 pm - 10 pm Sunday
Price: Starts at 60 USD
7. The Comedy Bar
Guests can enjoy good food and drinks while they watch the acts on stage. Besides comedy shows, burlesque shows are also held here, so check the schedule and plan accordingly if you wish to watch a specific performance. If you want to try your own hand at comedy, the bar occasionally hosts open mic nights.
The Comedy Bar
Address: 500 N LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL
Website: The Comedy Bar
Opening hours: 6 pm - 10 pm Wednesday, 6 pm - 11 pm Thursday, 6pm - 12 am Friday and Saturday
Price: Starts at 30 USD, although some shows can be watched for free
8. Up Comedy Club
The name of this establishment is quite apt, as it seems to take pains in bringing its brand of service and humor to another level. A buffet is served here and features a variety of food options. While the space is a little confined, it also allows guests to get good views of the show practically from anywhere in the seating area. The humor here is witty and sometimes, even educational. Do note that some of the acts and the humor here can occasionally be risque.
Up Comedy Club
Address: 230 W North Ave, Fl 3, Chicago, IL
Website: Up Comedy Club
Opening hours: 9 am - 10 pm Sunday to Thursday, 9 am - 12 pm Friday and Saturday
Price: Starts at 62 USD
9. Laugh Factory
The Laugh Factory is a small yet cozy establishment that has an intimate ambiance. The biggest highlight of this comedy bar would probably be its occasional open mic nights, which give guests the opportunity to realize their dream of being stand-up comics, even for just one night. Be aware that there’s a two drinks minimum policy here, but even non-drinkers can go around this, as non-alcoholic beverages are sold here as well. Food is currently not served here.
Address: 3175 N Broadway, Chicago, IL
Website: Laugh Factory
Opening hours: 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Price: Starts at 20 USD
10. Zanies Comedy Night Club
Zanies Comedy Night Club might be small (patrons literally sit beside each other), but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in humor. Do note that there’s a minimum two-drink and food policy here. Guests can also avail of the dinner and show package, which allows them to enjoy dinner at one of Zanies’ partner restaurants.
Zanies Comedy Night Club
Address: 1548 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL
Website: Zanies Comedy Night Club
Opening hours: 8 pm - 9:30 pm, Sunday to Thursday; 8 pm - 9:30 pm, 10:15 - 11:30 pm Friday; 7 pm - 8:30 pm, 9 pm - 10:30 pm, 11 pm - 12:30 am Saturday
Price: Starts at 50 USD
Chicago: Comedy central
With Chicago having built a reputation for itself as a comedy central, it comes as no surprise that a number of comedy clubs dot the city. While it’s worth checking each and every one of these clubs, spending only a limited time in the city will mean choosing the tried and tested places for getting a lot of laughs. Take a look at this list to see the top comedy clubs worth checking out in the city.
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