Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

What Are the Best Comedy Clubs in Chicago?

5/16/14 | by

Visitors to Chicago can expect the very best in museums, entertainment, shopping and dining, and the level of quality comedic performances are no exception. Offering a pirate's bounty of venues and a range of excellence in talent, visitors to Chicago's comedy clubs will enjoy side-splitting laughs and some of the best entertainment to be found in the entire country from comedians that have become household names to the finest in rising comedy talent.

  • The ComedySportz Theater

Known for being the longest running improv show in all of Chicago, ComedySportz Theater offers guests an interactive format for voting on their favorite routines and comedians by rating various teams with their laughter while a referee tallies the vote, with the team garnering the highest applause winning at the end of the show. All entertainment is entirely fresh and original, as the rules call for comics to improvise right on the spot, incorporating music or poetry if necessary to achieve the ultimate laughs. Audience participation is key and ideas for skits are gathered from the audience during every show.

This family friendly comedy club is appropriate for all ages and blends the best of comedy improv with other programs such as corporate training, improv workshops and private shows for select parties to provide visitors with a comprehensive comedy experience. A bar featuring fruit juices, sodas, beers and wines is available for refreshment.

  • The Lincoln Lodge

Boasting 14 seasons of comedy entertainment, the format for this popular comedy venue offers standup comedy, variety acts and a "Man On The Street" routine lasting a total of an hour and a half and presented each Friday night. Saturday nights are devoted to an act known as "The Blackout Diaries" where audience participation is key and there are even gag prizes for especially lucky participants.

The Lincoln Lodge is located at 2011 W. North Avenue and ticket prices are competitive. While special shows might allow all age groups to attend, regular programs require ages 21 and above. A full menu offering both drinks and meals is also available for refreshment and there are even package deals for large groups of visitors. Five-week comedy courses are taught to students who wish to pick up improv skills or just want to improve their public speaking abilities.

  • The Laugh Factory

Playing weekly to sold-out crowds, this comedy venue occasionally shines with a host of well-known comedic stars such as Kevin Nealon, Tim Allen and David Spade. Their regular programs include a well-rounded group of stand-up comedians who balance their comedic routines with a segment welcoming total improvisation based on the earlier acts. Each evening culminates in an improv competition between all participants. In the business since 1979, the Laugh Factory has an ever-changing array of comedic talent that offers an evening of unparalleled laughs and entertainment.

The venue is located at 3175 North Broadway.

  • Zanies Comedy Night Club

Any night of the week is fair game at Zanies, where there are a full range of comedic acts that transport guests from the humdrum of ordinary life with an ever-changing array of routines that are guaranteed to provide an evening's worth of laughs seven days a week. The format is generally that of stand-up comedic routines, although special occasion shows that shake up the established routine happen from time to time.

Ages 21 and older for both the in-house bar and the entertainment. While their own meal menu is somewhat limited, Zanies also offers a package deal with local eateries; buy a ticket for a show and receive a discount on dinners at local restaurants. The venue is located at 1548 North Wells Street. Zanies also offers comedy classes for aspiring comedians.

  • The Annoyance Theatre and Bar

Contrary to their name, the comedians at the Annoyance Theatre and Bar are not set on irritating their crowd. Each act follows traditional improv or comedy sketch formats to provide the audience with an evening of high quality amusement. Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends are prime nights to enjoy a laugh and teens and above are allowed to attend. This comedy club has been going strong for 24 years, the brainchild of comedic writer Mick Napier and features a range of rising talent.

The venue is located at 4830 N. Broadway and has a full bar for drinks and provides boardgames in the lobby for passing the time before shows open for seating.