In these days of brutal heat, relentless political and pharmaceutical ads, and our nation’s most sensitive secrets compromised at a Florida resort, we could all use a humorous distraction. Luckily, we live in a comedy capital, with plenty of local options offering talent old and seasoned—and two-drink minimums.
Note that many clubs have rules about cell phones (for obvious reasons) and COVID-19 (they’re against it and typically require proof of vaccination and a mask). Check websites if you want to know exactly what’s expected.
Here’s a roundup of comedy clubs around us. There’s also plenty of comedy at other venues around town, with many places dedicating one or more nights a week to making people laugh. Check out this Los Angeles Times story for dozens of additional, well-researched options.
7307 Melrose Ave. at Poinsettia
We are fortunate to have a premier improv and sketch comedy theater and school just to our west. The Groundlings’ 45-year history informs its up-to-the-minute shows, offered Wednesdays through Sundays. Cookin’ with Gas, on Thursdays at 8:00 pm, is the longest running short-form improv show in LA and stars Groundlings alumni.
Upright Citizens Brigade
5919 Franklin Ave.
UCB, like Groundlings, is an improv company with a storied past and a combination of classes and shows. The Franklin Avenue building has been closed since lockdown began, but a September 2022 reopening is promised. Check the website for updates.
The Hollywood Improv
8162 Melrose Blvd. at La Jolla
Get dinner and a comedy show seven nights a week at the Improv. The club, born in New York, has had an LA outpost since 1975. (I had my bachelorette party here, in 1988.) It mixes established performers with up and comers and even an open mic. Go ahead, you know you’re funny! Next Tuesday, see Craig Robinson, Jay Pharaoh, Brian Monarch and those ever-popular “special guests” at 8:00pm.
2511 Wilshire Blvd. (in the Hayworth Hotel near MacArthur Park
This beautiful 190-seat theater opened in 2018 and (drum roll) survived the pandemic. A full calendar includes performers like Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer Michael Cruz Kayne and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rachel Bloom, plus branded shows from Funny or Die and Netflix is a Joke that keep things hysterical on the regular.
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd. (just north of the Beverly Center)
Largo’s extensive lineup ranges from big names like Demetri Martin, Marc Maron and Sarah Silverman to the Improvised Shakespeare Company—and that’s just in the next week. Other than pre-sales, the club is cash only, so plan accordingly.
The Comedy Store
8433 Sunset Blvd west of Kings Road in West Hollywood
Sammy and Mitzi Shore founded the Comedy Store in 1972; after their divorce two years later, Mitzi ran it until her death in 2018. But the show must go on, and the club continues to host big names and newcomers in its three rooms. This weekend, see David Spade, Iliza Schlesinger “and more” in the main room.
The Laugh Factory Hollywood
8001 Sunset Blvd. at Laurel Ave.
Now in its 43rd year, the Laugh Factory has an impressive lineup every night. Tonight at 7:30pm is All-Star Comedy featuring Melissa Villasenor. Upcoming performers include Caroline Rhea, Paul Rodriguez and Craig Robinson (he’ll be rushing over from the Improv!), as well as other familiar and up-and-coming names.
1944 Riverside Dr
The Elysian is a longer drive, but hopefully in these days of $6-a-gallon gas you have an electric vehicle so distance means nothing to you. Come for the extensive seven-nights-a-week lineup of shows like Girl God Plays Chess, Linda Hollywood’s Big Hollywood Night and Jerrod Carmichael: Ari Told Me I Lack Focus.