Where to Have a Laugh: The Best Comedy Clubs in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known as one of the best comedy hubs in the country. It’s the city where popular comedians frequent sold-out clubs, new faces begin their careers with late night stand-up, and comedy buffs catch diverse, gut-busting shows on every corner in Hollywood. Take a look at this list of top comedy clubs before your next trip on the town; a few of Hollywood’s hidden gems may surprise you.

Laugh Factory Hollywood
Opening in 1979, this comedy club has one of the best reputations in Hollywood. Located on Sunset Boulevard, Laugh Factory has earned their spot on this list with their weekly All-Star Comedy shows, bringing the top comedians to the stage that are known to deliver. Simultaneously, Laugh Factory opens their doors to aspiring comedians, with their ever-popular Open Mic Nights. Whether it’s to catch your favorite comedian on their one-night special or the new faces of today, a night at the Laugh Factory will give you a taste of the best in Hollywood.

Hollywood Improv
Now a comedy franchise with locations all over the country, the L.A. Improv opened in 1974, making a home for every big name in comedy, especially in the 80s. Many got their start on The Improv stage, with Jim Carrey performing at age 19, and Eddie Murphy at only 15. With a jam-packed calendar of young headlining comedians, don’t show up late; the opening acts at The Improv are carefully handpicked so you could be laughing with the next Seinfeld or Letterman.

The Comedy Store
The club with one of the richest histories in Hollywood is The Comedy Store. Opening in 1972, the club was led by Sammy Shore and Rudy Deluca. But taken on by Sammy’s wife, Mitzi, was when the success of The Comedy Store skyrocketed. Mitzi’s vision to develop an artist’s colony for prepping the next best, especially female comedians, gave The Comedy Store its iconic reputation. Aside from the busy calendar juggling the best comedians today are year round classes taught by Mitzi’s children, which are offered to train new faces and hone stand-up skills.

UCB Theatre
With two Los Angeles locations, The Upright Citizens Brigade, hosts original shows featuring UCB company members, who have developed their skills at the UCB Training Center. With a focus on improv and sketch comedy, members of UCB have gone on to work in the most groundbreaking shows on television such as SNL, 30 Rock and The Office, to name a few. With events all night every night, you can find a show to fit all genres and comedy styles.

The Groundlings
With a company of 30 members teaching and performing round the clock, The Groundlings is one of the top comedy playgrounds in Los Angeles. Like the best comedy clubs in the area, The Groundlings was home to many celebrities when they were first getting started. With competitive schooling, The Groundlings alumni list is one of the longest, including Kristen Wiig, Will Forte and Kathy Griffin.

M.i. Westside Comedy Theatre
Opening in 2009, the college group from UMASS Amherst, Mission IMPROVable, founded their theater in Los Angeles. After touring to colleges all over the country, the original M.i. boys established a company, with over 50 men and women, to develop original material and test it on Westside Comedy’s stage. Additionally, many company members tour the M.i. shows throughout the year. Be sure to catch the original owners of the club every Thursday night in their long form Improv show, The Grind.

Largo at the Coronet
Previously known as Largo, is the notable club for filling their calendar with musical guests and comedians. Mostly one-night events, the comedy scene at Largo at the Coronet is vastly expansive, showcasing improv groups touring the country and special events with classic comedians like Sarah Silverman and Judd Apatow. Proceeds from many Largo shows are given to charities.

The Ice House
A comedy house rooted in nightclub history is The Ice House, known for having over 50 live comedy albums taped since its opening in 1960. Emerging from “an alley off a one way street,” The Ice House hosts shows within the intimate showroom of 200 seats, frequented by the top comedians to ever exist.  With a few acts a night, this comedy club is known for its gritty, completely uncensored comedy. If you’re looking to laugh at the truth and nothing but, head over to The Ice House for unfiltered stories from headliners like Brad Garrett and Ian Bagg.

Comedy and Magic Club
Located in Hermosa Beach, the Comedy and Magic Club is known for its “10 Comedians!” shows, featuring 10 headlining comedians performing their best 10 minutes of material. These days, you can find Jay Leno headlining every Sunday night at 7pm. This club has been referred to as “a shrine to comedy,” with its rich history and list of now famous comedians to first perform on its intimate stage.

Comedy Living Room
Comedy Living Room aas named one of the 13 hottest places to catch live comedy in L.A. by The Hollywood Reporter, Comedy Living Room started in 2012 in a literal living room. Comedy fans and friends, Matt Lottman and Frank Chad Muniz opened their home to host comedy open mic nights with friends to try out new material. Today, the duo hosts a night of comedy in their Hollywood living room once a month. This unique show with a lineup of trending Comedians completely survives off of donations. Bring a beer for yourself and Aziz Ansari as you settle in a comfy couch for an unforgettable night of comedy.