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The Best Comedy Clubs in California
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The Best Comedy Clubs in California

In need of a good laugh? Head to the best comedy clubs in California, namely San Francisco and Los Angeles, to get your fill.

California.com

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5 min read

February 05, 2022

The Golden State is a known ground for up and coming artists, and comedy is no exception. With a slew of comedic stars finding their start in California, certain clubs and venues have soared in popularity and cemented their reputation as noteworthy places in the industry. While there are exceptional comedy clubs in California’s various cities, two stand out for hosting an impressive number of them: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Whether you’re looking to break into the business or simply in need of a good laugh, these famous comedy clubs have you covered with laugh-out-loud funny performances.

The Best Comedy Clubs in Los Angeles To Visit Now

Queen of Comedy Tiffany Haddish has had incredible performances at The Laugh Factory.

The Laugh Factory

Location: 8001 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood 
Founded in: 1979

The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles is a superstar in the world of comedy clubs. Aside from being the place to be for comedians, it also served as the location for Dave Chappelle’s return to comedy after he disappeared from the scene for several years. If you’ve ever binged stand-up clips online, you’ve definitely seen the famous orange logo on the stage of this comedy club in Los Angeles. But don’t settle for watching the shows online, nothing beats seeing it live—get booking! 

Noteworthy performers: Nick Cannon, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Rodney Dangerfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Dunham

Countless famous comedians have performed at The Comedy Store, located right on the Sunset Strip

The Comedy Store

Location: 8433 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
Founded in: 1972

Situated along the famous Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, The Comedy Store is an icon for live stand-up comedy. Unlike many other comedy clubs in California, this joint is known for its nurturing environment and its ability to turn performers into world-famous comedians. While this awesome club commonly features lesser-known talents, it also hosts a number of comedy shows in Los Angeles by internationally recognized comedians.

Noteworthy performers: Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Garry Shandling, Paul Mooney, Jimmie “J.J.” Walker, Andy Kaufman, Michael Keaton,  Joe Rogan, Howie Mandel, Jim Carey, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Ali Wong

The Groundlings is an improvisation and sketch theater that has been bringing laughter to audiences for over 40 years.

The Groundlings

Location: 7307 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
Founded in: 1974

Originally founded as an improv and acting workshop, The Groundlings has blossomed into one of the best sketch-comedy destinations and helped to jump-start the careers of incredible comedians—many of whom have gone on to become regulars on Saturday Night Live. In addition to serving as a venue for amazing comedy shows in L.A., The Groundlings is a school that teaches the art of improvisation through multi-session classes and individual workshops. 

Noteworthy performers: Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, Kathy Griffin, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Lisa Kudrow, Taran Kilam, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day

Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant

Location:  102 East Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank
Founded in: 2008

Despite being a relatively late addition to the impressive list of famous comedy clubs in California, the Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant already has quite a big reputation. With a wide range of comedic offerings—from big names to up and coming performers—this awesome club in Burbank always guarantees a good time. If you want to catch an extra special comedy show in Los Angeles, reserve a table on “Celebrity Drop-In Tuesdays.” Famous comedians routinely drop in on these designated days, with past guests including the likes of Adam Sandler, Adam DeVine, and more famous Californians.

Noteworthy performers: Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Dana Carvey, Cristela Alonzo, Whitney Cummings, Damon Wayans, Gabriel Iglesias, Jim Jefferies, Christopher Titus, Jimmy Dore, Ray Romano

Most Impressive San Francisco Comedy Clubs

Any of these renowned comedy clubs will be the perfect night out with an ample dose of endorphins.

Punch Line

Location: 444 Battery Street, San Francisco
Founded in: 1978

Punch Line is a San Francisco standout in the ocean of comedy clubs in California. Once the dressing room for a rock club called The Old Waldorf, the venue was revamped in 1978 and transformed into one of Chappelle’s favorite places to perform. The institution became so beloved that politicians and comedians alike rallied to save it from closing in August 2019 due to increased rent prices

Noteworthy performers: Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, Rosie O'Donnell, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Drew Carey, Ellen DeGeneres,  Dana Carvey

BATS Improv

Location: Fort Mason Center 2 Marina Blvd, Building B, San Francisco
Founded in: 1986

If you’re a fan of improvised shows, you’re going to love your experience at BATS Improv. More of a welcoming artistic community and a professional theater company than a traditional comedy club in California, BATS cultivates the craft of improvised comedy through creative, engaging, and playful performances and training. Inspired to try your own hand at improv? Sign up for the BATS School of Improv and perfect your comedy skills by training with true professionals.

Noteworthy performers: Greg Proops, Masi Oka, Gerri Lawlor, William Hall

Cobb’s Comedy Club

Location: 915 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
Founded in: 1982

Nothing can keep Cobb’s Comedy Club down—not even a fire. After moving from the Marina District to the Cannery Shopping Center in Fisherman’s Wharf, the venue experienced a fire in 2002 and had to relocate again, this time to North Beach. But the resilient San Francisco comedy club has persevered and continued to welcome top acts. Visitors can sit back and relax in one of the 400 seats at this esteemed comedy club and enjoy some food and a huckleberry twist while watching the show.  

Noteworthy performers: Dana Carvey, Dave Chappelle, Dave Attell, Russell Peters, Jo Koy, Anjelah Johnson, Bill Burr, Louis C.K. 

Cheaper Than Therapy

Location: 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Founded in: 2013

Located at the historic Shelton Theater, Cheaper Than Therapy is an intimate venue offering amazing shows in the heart of San Francisco. Their usual year-round schedule features performances every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Each show at this San Francisco comedy club lasts about 70 to 90 minutes with five to six hand-picked comedians. There’ll be a lot of energy and a variety of different joke styles in one evening—something for everyone’s taste! 

Since this is a newer independent comedy club, you won’t find a long roster of world-famous comedians on their website. Nonetheless, you’ll have a grand time sharing belly-aching laughs with your friends as you watch future celebrity comedians in the making. You’ll get subsequent bragging rights for having seen them perform at a San Francisco comedy club before they were famous.

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