Looking for a good laugh? You've come to the right city. Los Angeles is a legendary breeding ground for comedic talent, in no small part because of all the sitcoms and comedy films produced here. The entertainment industry is hungry for actors that can tickle America's funny bone. But even if landing a film or TV role is the golden apple for many comics, their path to stardom typically involves working the crowds at L.A.'s many illustrious comedy clubs. Whether they're legendary showcases or small theaters, comedy clubs are the best places to catch both established performers working on new material and comedic hopefuls rising through the ranks. Usually the shows are reasonably priced; for less than $10 and a two-drink minimum, you can often enjoy an evening filled with laughs—and maybe even catch an appearance by a celebrity comic. From stand-up to improv, these five spots will have you in stitches!
This stand-up comedy club churns out big laughs with big-name celebs. Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and the Wayans Brothers are just a few of the jokesters who were discovered here. Seasoned performers headline, but this "factory" also manufactures new stars by hosting open mic nights and contests for fresh faces.
The Comedy Store
If you're shopping for great comedy, this "store" has it all: three stages of comedic action ranging from comedy legends to up-and-comers. Dave Chappelle, Roseanne Barr, and Louis C.K. have all been regulars here. Comedy is in the venue’s DNA: The club is owned by Mitzi Shore, mother of actor/comedian Pauly Shore.
The Hollywood Improv
Everyone who's anyone in the stand-up business has played the Improv. Veterans like Bill Cosby, Lily Tomlin, and Jay Leno performed here early in their careers. Rising stars make up the majority of the lineup, but be prepared for surprise cameos from the likes of Arsenio Hall and Bill Burr.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (LA)
Amy Poehler and Matt Walsh are among the founding members of this offbeat comedy theater. The venue hosts all manner of funny stuff, including standup, improv, and sketch comedy shows. You might catch newbies from the UCB comedy school or marquee names like Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and Mike Myers.
The Groundlings Theatre
The character-based sketch and improvisational style of this comedy troupe has been popularized by shows like Saturday Night Live. Christen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Will Forte are just a few Groundlings alums who went on to SNL. Check out their nightly showcases for a preview of the next crop of talent.