Los Angeles has long been considered one of the top destinations for stand-up comedy in the United States. With a thriving comedy scene that includes a wide range of clubs, festivals, and talented comedians, it's no wonder that LA is often referred to as the "Comedy Capital of the World."
Live Comedy in Los Angeles: Where to Go
The Comedy Store
There are a seemingly endless amount of comedy clubs in Los Angeles that are well-known for showcasing some of the best stand-up comedians in the business. The Comedy Store is a legendary comedy club located on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. It was founded by comedian Sammy Shore in 1972, and quickly became one of the most influential clubs in the city's, and even country's, comedy scene.
The club's early days saw the rise of a new wave of comedians who were pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in stand-up comedy. Comedians like Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, and Jay Leno all got their start at The Comedy Store, honing their craft and building their careers in front of the club's notoriously tough audiences.
The Comedy Store's impact on the LA comedy scene has been immense. It helped to establish the city as a center for stand-up comedy, and has played a pivotal role in launching the careers of some of the biggest names in the business. The club has also been a breeding ground for new talent, with many up-and-coming comedians using the club's open mic nights as a platform to showcase their material and connect with industry professionals.
To this day, The Comedy Store remains a fixture of the LA comedy scene, and continues to attract some of the best and brightest comedians from around the world. With its rich history, unique atmosphere, and unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of comedy, The Comedy Store is sure to remain a cornerstone of the LA comedy scene for many years to come.
The Laugh Factory
The Laugh Factory is a comedy club located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Founded in 1979 by comedian Jamie Masada, the club quickly became a popular destination for both established and up-and-coming comedians.
Over the years, The Laugh Factory has hosted countless legendary comedians, including George Carlin, Jim Carrey, and Dave Chappelle. The club is known for its diverse lineup of comedians, with a mix of established stars and up-and-coming talent taking the stage every night.
In addition to its nightly shows, The Laugh Factory is also known for its philanthropic efforts. The club has a long history of hosting benefit shows to raise money for various causes, including the families of fallen police officers and firefighters, and victims of natural disasters.
The impact of The Laugh Factory on the LA comedy scene has been noticeable. It has provided a platform for comedians from all backgrounds and styles to showcase their talents, and has helped to launch the careers of some of the biggest names in the business. The club's commitment to diversity and inclusivity has also helped to shape the broader comedy landscape in LA, inspiring other clubs and venues to follow its lead.
Today, The Laugh Factory remains one of the most popular comedy clubs in the LA area, and continues to attract audiences and comedians from around the world. With its commitment to showcasing the best and brightest talent in comedy, as well as its ongoing philanthropic efforts, it's no wonder that The Laugh Factory has become a comedy juggernaut in the stand-up comedy industry.
Other popular comedy clubs in LA include The Improv, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Comedy Union. Each of these clubs has its own unique atmosphere and attracts a wide range of comedians and audiences.
Live Comedy in Los Angeles: What to Do
In addition to its many comedy clubs, LA is also home to several comedy festivals which bring together some of the biggest names in comedy for week-long events that include live performances, panel discussions, and more.
Popular comedy festivals in the Los Angeles area include the LA Comedy Festival, the Burbank Comedy Festival and the upcoming Netflix is a Joke Fest. These festivals provide a platform for both established and up-and-coming comedians to showcase their talents and connect with industry professionals.
Live Comedy in Los Angeles: Who to See
Los Angeles has long been a breeding ground for some of the best and brightest talent in stand-up comedy. While the city has a rich history of legendary comedians, there are also plenty of up-and-coming stars who call LA home. Here are just a few of the most notable comedians from LA who are still performing live shows today:
Ali Wong - Born and raised in San Francisco, Ali Wong got her start in stand-up comedy in LA. She gained widespread recognition for her Netflix specials "Baby Cobra" and "Hard Knock Wife," and has since gone on to become one of the most popular comedians in the business.
Eric Andre - Eric Andre is a comedian, actor, and host of "The Eric Andre Show" on Adult Swim. Born in Boca Raton, Florida, Andre moved to LA in 2008 and quickly became a fixture of the city's comedy scene.
Iliza Shlesinger - Iliza Shlesinger is a comedian, actress, and author who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but now calls LA home. She gained fame after winning "Last Comic Standing" in 2008 and has since gone on to become one of the most popular comedians in the business.
Ron Funches - Ron Funches is a comedian and actor who was born in California and grew up in Oregon. He got his start in stand-up comedy in LA, and has since gone on to appear on numerous TV shows and films, including "Undateable," "Trolls," and "Black-ish."
Taylor Tomlinson - Taylor Tomlinson is a comedian and writer who was born and raised in California. She got her start in stand-up comedy at age 16 and has since gone on to become one of the most promising young comedians in the business.
These are just a few of the many talented comedians from LA who are still performing live shows today. Whether you're a fan of traditional stand-up comedy or more experimental and alternative styles, there's no shortage of options for comedy lovers in Los Angeles.
Live Comedy in Los Angeles: Humble Beginnings
The history of stand-up comedy in Los Angeles dates back to the early 20th century, when vaudeville shows were popular in the city. In the 1940s and 1950s, the city became known for its jazz and comedy clubs, many of which were located in the African American neighborhoods of Central Avenue and Watts.
The 1960s saw the rise of the "counter-culture" comedy scene, with comedians like Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl pushing the boundaries and establishing what would be considered the form of stand-up comedy we're used to today. The Comedy Store, which opened in 1972, became a hub for this new wave of comedians, and helped to establish LA as a center for stand-up comedy.