15 Must Visit Comedy Clubs In Chicago

By Aaditee Kulkarni on Aug 18, 2017
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We all have that one friend who always cracks silly jokes. Now they may be silly, but they make you laugh, sometimes till you cry. Today as I sit in my tall office building overlooking a beautiful Downtown Chicago, trying to meet my deadlines (argh!), I remembered a friend like that. And it brought a smile to my face. I realised that laughter is so scarce these days. But I let that thought be, coz work! Over lunch, a friend told me he has two tickets for a comedy show that was happening in one of the clubs nearby and wanted me to go with him. I picked my phone to check my calendar and my wallpaper read "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine - Lord Byron." Now, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass, could I?

Sitting along the scenic Lake Michigan, the City of Chicago is a glitzy city with a brazen architecture and a skyline that will leave you dazzled. The third most populous city in the US, Chicago is a hard-working city. Catch a break, get your friends together, coz we have brought you a list of best comedy clubs to visit in Chicago.

1. Laugh Factory

Laugh Factory - best comedy club in Chicago

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The USA Today called this club "the #1 comedy club in the country." Now that accounts to something. Laugh Factory Chicago opened its door in 2012. Located in the East Lakeview neighbourhood, Laugh Factory is surely not to be missed. Founder Jamie Masada has done a brilliant job at putting together a place that will leave you with a stomach full of guffaw.

As you enjoy your show, you will see waiters bring trays that are so full of drinks that they would make any body-builder nervous. Comedians like Tim Allen, Louie Anderson, and Jim Carrey have performed here. Check out their website for upcoming shows and ticket prices. Chicken tenders here are a must-try!

And just FYI, there is a ‘two drink minimum’ policy at the Laugh Factory, but hey! we are not complaining 😉

Address: 3175 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

How to reach: The nearest subway station is located at Belmont on the Red, Brown and Purple lines.

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2. The Second City Theatre Chicago

The Second City Theatre Chicago

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With star-studded alumni of comedians like Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, The Second City is a must visit comedy club in Chicago. Standard tickets start from as low as US$ 29 making your visit to The Second City in Chicago a night of absolute joy and unadulterated laughter. With live shows every night, this club has gained a reputation of being the world’s premier comedy club.
An adorable backdrop here makes clicking pictures even more fun. If you are one of those who shudders at the thought of audience participation, I would suggest you get your seat in the back rows.

Address: 1616 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
How to reach: The nearest subway station Sedgwick on the Brown and Purple lines. Alternatively, you can also Uber.

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3. CSz Theater Chicago

CSz Theater Chicago - for the best comedy shows

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CSz or the ComedySportz is a ‘for-all-ages’ theatre that offers comedy shows and creativity workshops. With shows happening every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, this venue is quite an intimate one. The actors perform impro acts in two groups based on audience suggestions. This includes comedy scenes, song & dance performances and a few games as well.

With reasonable drink prices, a courteous wait staff and 90 minutes of pure laughs, CSz Theatre Chicago is not to be missed. Its cosy seating area is completely customizable and is a great alternative to the boring meeting rooms.

Address: 929 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

How to reach: The nearest subway station is located at Belmont.

4. iO Theatre

iO Theatre - laughthe night away

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Formerly known as the ImprovOlympic Theatre, today iO is a premier venue for improvisational comedy performances in Chicago. With multiple venues inside the theatre, you will always have some show to catch. At iO, there is never a dull moment. With friendly staff and featured shows like Shakespeare, 3Peat, Cagematch, Devil’s Daughter and The Armando Diaz Experience, the ambience at iO is quite exuberant. Enjoy a round of drinks and some delicious finger food as you laugh the night away.

BTW, their Cheese Quesadillas and OMG Cajun Irish Fries are lip-smacking! 😊

Address: 1501 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642, USA

How to reach: Sedgwick is the nearest subway station.

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5. The Comedy Bar

The Comedy Bar - Chicagos best kept secret

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Planning a funny night out with your besties? One of Chicago’s best-kept secrets, The Comedy Bar is the place to be. With shows running six nights a week, a full bar and dinner menu, this club brings you some of the funniest comedians ever! The club also features many burlesque acts making this a perfect venue for bachelor and bachelorette parties. With great food, incredible shows and super-friendly staff, The Comedy Clubs has to be on your list of must visit comedy clubs in Chicago.

FYI, you can throw tomatoes at comedians on Tuesday nights :D

Address: 500, 500 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654, United States

How to reach: Merchandise Mart on Brown and Purple Lines & Grand on the Red Line are the nearest subway stations.

6. UP Comedy Club

VIP Seating, Private Parties and Stand-Up Comedy acts, UP Comedy Club is not to be missed. If you are one of those guys whose idea of a perfect date is to laugh till you drop, you need to head out to the UP Comedy Club with your special someone. Satire based shows are a hit here, especially the “OK Cupid Act.”

With a super-attentive wait staff and friendly hosts, along with finger-licking good food, UP Comedy Club will bequeath you with a great, fun night!

Address: 230 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

How to reach: The nearest subway station Sedgwick on the Brown and Purple lines.

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7. The Comedy Clubhouse

The Comedy Clubhouse is a club that you will come across during your pursuit of comedy venues in Chicago that are private and intimate. The club offers something to suit everyone's taste. The main stage shows features some of the best comedy improvisers that you will come across. With “$8 online, $12 at the door” policy, you will have a blast listening to some of the best impro monologues here.

There is one more reason to visit The Comedy Clubhouse, this club is ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’ club😉

Address: 1462 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA

How to reach: The nearest subway stations are located at Division and Damen on the Blue line.

8. Zanies Comedy Night Club

Zanies Comedy Night Club

Image Source: Youtube.com

For the lover of all things funny, Zanies is perfect for you. Located in Waverly in the Old own Chicago, Zanies Comedy Night Club has a fun ambience to it. This club has been offering the locals and the tourists some of the best stand-up comedy acts since 1978. With entertaining shows lined up almost every night of the week, you will see comedians like Bob Sagat and Jonathan Kite perform here. The drinks are quite delicious and the club has a ‘two drinks minimum’ policy.

The chocolate cake here is to die for!

Here the seating is on a first come, first serve basis. So, make sure you reach a little early to get the best of the seats.

Address: 1548 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610, USA

How to reach: Sedgwick is the nearest subway station.

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9. Laugh Out Loud Theatre Chicago

Laugh Out Loud Theatre Chicago

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This one club is all about laughing out loud, literally! Clean jokes, drinks and interiors; this place is not to be missed. A wonderful club for your entire family to enjoy, Friday nights are the most fun here. One of the most loved features of this bar is the reasonably priced beer, well-mixed cocktails and the choicest of wines. The shows are audience suggestion-based where a rotational group of comedians perform a series of stand-up acts, monologues and impro acts. What to expect really? Well, I would say something along the lines of a popular TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”

P.S: If you visit after 09:30 PM, you can stay for the last night shows by just paying an extra dollar!

Address: 3851 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613, USA

How to reach: Irving Park subway station on the Brown Line is the nearest public transport.

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10. Annoyance Theatre

Annoyance Theatre in Chicago for funny moments

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A perfect family destination, this comedy club and its young artists will blow your mind away. With more than 25 years of comedy and laughter, Annoyance Theatre can be termed as one of the finest comedy clubs in Chicago. Luke Babylon: The Christian Magician, with his many off-the-cuff jokes and a seamless routine of hand tricks brings magic of this place. Clever writing, formatting and performances add to the charm of this lovely little place.

Address: 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

How to reach: Wellington and Addison are the nearest subway stations on the Purple lines.

11. The Revival

The Revival - for the best comedy shows

Image Source: Youtube.com

A good variety of shows and lively atmosphere, what more do you want on a Friday night? Today a cornerstone of the global entertainment industry, Chicago’s Improvisational theatre was born here in the 1950s. With low lighting and a spacious seating area, this place is very chilled and appeals to the young as well as the older crowd. Shows like impros, stand-ups, story-telling and satires are a big hit here. With several restaurants and a Starbucks nearby, The Revival is a must visit.

One unique act of this club is the Jazzomedy that features an incredible blend of comedy and spectacular jazz artists.

Address: 1160 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615, USA

How to reach: 55th - 56th - 57th St. Metra is the nearest train station.

12. The Public House Theatre

The Public House Theatre

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Strictly for 21 and over, Bye Bye Liver at The Public House Theatre is one of the most fun drinking games in Chicago. If you are not a big drinker, you have a bit hokey kind of a game called the Karaoke Murder Mystery. Trust, you will laugh your guts out. The Public House Theatre is open from Tuesday to Sunday and is one of the most loved old brick comedy cum cabaret-style theatre. The many sketches in-between the interactive plays are absolutely hilarious.

P.S. The drinks here have very, eh, weird names. You are gonna be embarrassed saying it out loud 😊

Address: 3914 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA

How to reach: Sheridan on the Red Line is the nearest subway station.

13. Under the Gun Theatre

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Are you a Harry Potter fan like me? Then you definitely need to head out to Under the Gun Theatre in Chicago. This place hosts an Interactive Harry Potter House Cup trivia drinking game show. What better way to spend your night, eh? A cosy little club, this place offers stand-up comedy, improv, parodies, sketch, music and much more. All the shows here are performed by the resident ensemble and at US$ 15 per person, the price is not too bad either.

The Butter Beer at UGT is not to be missed!

Address: 956 W Newport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

How to reach: Addison on the Red Line is the nearest subway station.

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14. Chemically Imbalanced Comedy

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The CIC, or the Chemically Imbalanced Comedy is a smaller independent theatre which is at par with the other biggies in Chicago. With shows running most nights of the week, this place offers some exceptional comedies, food and drinks. A very intimate club, the “Pimprov” is one of the most watched shows here. Easy parking, great comedy, sumptuous food and unbeatable prices make CIC one of the favourites in our list of best comedy clubs in Chicago.

Do not forget to visit on Wednesday nights for an "Open Mic" night.

Address: 1422 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613, USA

How to reach: Irving Park on Brown Line and Sheridan on Purple and Red Line are the nearest subway stations.

15. The WIP Theatre

Image Source: Youtube.com

A cosy performance venue, The WIP Theatre offers a wide range of entertainment shows. From stand-up comedy shoes to impro monologues to trivia & game show, this club has it all! This club was founded by Tony Valle, a comedian himself to bring a dash of comedy to this Chicago neighbourhood. With attractive offers like '50% Mondays' and '$3 a drink Sunday' a visit to this club is further justified.

You are gonna get WIP-ed here!

Address: 6670 N Northwest Hwy, Chicago, IL 60631, USA

How to reach: Edison Park on the UP-NW line is the nearest subway station.

This brings us to the end of our list of some of the best comedy clubs in Chicago. Remember how you type out 'ROFL' 'LMAO' 'LOL' without meaning it? (yeah, I do that sometimes). Well, it is time to bring those crazy acronyms to a reality. And as Jean Houston once said, "At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities."

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