It is truly hard to beat the feeling of genuine laughter; humor takes many forms and can happen at any moment throughout the day. Some days lack a lot more humor than others – the reason is that you are most likely missing out on these amazing Chicago comedy clubs. Sit back, sip a drink, open your ears, and prepare to work your abs with laughter.
Chicago Comedy Clubs
The Second City
For over fifty-years, The Second City has been taking the Chicago Comedy Clubs scene to new heights. They are responsible for launching many of today’s biggest comedy stars’ careers. Their shows are based on Improv-Sketch comedy routines to add a little more character than just stand-up alone. They do allow anyone ten years or older in, but many of the shows fall on the R-Rated side, so be aware before you bring young ears. There is no drink minimum, so it is completely up to you whether you need alcohol or not to laugh. Up Comedy Club’is their newest partnered venue; it is located just floor above The Second City’s stage.
Zanies has been a premiere location in Chicago for standup comedy since 1978. Local favorites, big stars, and newcomers all share the same stage for the purpose of making at least one of your two-drink minimum come shooting out of your nose. They have three locations to serve the Chicago area, and they provide standup shows on a nightly basis.
The Public House Theater
The Public House Theater is a hilariously perfect combination of theater and comedy. Their focus is to create relatable satire shows that are associated with Chicago culture. They are open almost nightly, with entertainment ranging from their all out shows, to open mics and traditional stand-up.
iO Theater was the training ground for some of the best improv comedians in the industry. Many of the shows interact directly with the audience to gain inspiration and ideas for the skits. The setting is very intimate, making for a more personable experience with the comedians on stage. Reasonable prices and fantastic, witty comedy make the iO Theater a must stop.
The Comedy Bar
Jim Belushi has teamed up with The Comedy Bar to make it one of Chicago’s premiere venues for laughs. With its location in the heart of downtown, it makes it a convenient stop for people seeking out a night of entertainment. The venue is modern with no drink minimum so your tipsiness can be determined at your own pace. Multiple comedians throw-out their best material multiple times a week, with pricing that is hard to beat.
Improv is a great venue to go to if you are seeking a full experience. To compliment their comedy shows, they have dinner options and an appetizer menu for later shows. They attract some of the best improv comedians in the industry to deliver an unforgettable night. They have a two-drink minimum, but drinks compliment food and comedy pretty well anyways. There is quite an abundant amount of seating, but dinner reservations will net you the best seats in the house.
The Annoyance Theatre & Bar
The Annoyance Theatre & Bar is in the process of moving their venue, but it is well worth following their updates to see when they reopen. They focus strictly on improv shows, from all out themed shows to witty comedians doing their best one-offs. They usually enter the night with the mentality of ‘there are no rules’, but the rule of ‘no comedian can refuse a drink’ comes into play on occasion to transform an already hilarious comedian into a hot-mess that entertains like no other.
Comedysportz is a full improv venue that adds a competition element to it. With a referee directing the show, a blue team [home team] and a red team [visiting team] compete against each other to see who can net the most laughs. Ideas are taken from the audience and built upon to create a unique show every time. The show concludes with the announcement of the winning team and a trophy ceremony.
The Playground Theater
The Playground Theater prides itself on elaborate theater creations that aim to entertain, and more importantly bring the laughs out of everyone. They are the only non-profit improv cooperative in the nation. They’perform live improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy seven nights a week to give you an all around comedy experience that is ever changing.
Jokes & Notes
Jokes & Notes aims to provide the South Side with quality entertainment that rivals all other Chicago comedy clubs. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, and offer some of the best comedy entertainment in the city. Some of the funniest stars in the industry have been on this stage, alongside newcomers that can make the crowd erupt like the best of them. There is a two-drink minimum, whether you choose alcoholic or not is up to you.