Chicago comedy clubs: The best places to find the funny in Chicago

Chicago comedy clubs abound. These are our favorite full-time venues for stand-up, sketch and improv comedy.

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  • Chicago comedy clubs: The Second City has occupied its Wells Street address since 1967.

  • Photograph: Dave Rentauskas

    Chicago comedy clubs: Annoyance Theater marked 25 years of Co-Ed Prison Sluts and similarly twisted fare in 2012.

  • Chicago comedy clubs: iO is soon to give up its longtime Wrigleyville digs for a reported relocation to Lincoln Park.

  • Photograph: Mark Wright

    Chicago comedy clubs: Jokes & Notes owner Mary Lindsey was previously co-owner of All Jokes Aside, where comics like D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey and Craig Robinson honed their chops in the �90s.

  • Photograph: Scott Regan

    Chicago comedy clubs: Laugh Factory, with two longstanding locations in southern California, opened its Chicago outpost in the former Lakeshore Theater space in 2011.

  • Chicago comedy clubs: The Comedy Bar relaunched in 2012 with Jim Belushi as a high-profile new partner.

  • Photograph: Mark Colomb

    Chicago comedy clubs: The Upstairs Gallery in Andersonville has quickly become the top spot for weird, wonderful word-of-mouth shows.

  • Chicago comedy clubs: Zanies's Old Town outpost hosts a steady lineup of touring comics with support from local acts.

  • Chicago comedy clubs: The Public House Theater's new Wrigleyville digs hosts the slosh hit Bye-Bye Liver on the weekends while small sketch groups get stage time on off nights.

Chicago comedy clubs: The Second City has occupied its Wells Street address since 1967.

Chicago's reputation as a comedy town is well deserved. Comedy clubs dot the city's map. We're the city where improv comedy was born and sketch was refined, where SNL comes looking when it needs to replenish the well; it was here that Nichols met May and Poehler met Fey. The Chicago comedy scene is so pervasive that sketch troupes and stand-up comedy nights regularly crop up in bars, pubs, music clubs and theaters. But as full-time venues for improv, sketch and stand-up go, from grandaddy Second City to its newer cousin UP Comedy Club, these are the cream of the crop.


RECOMMENDED: Best Chicago comedy nights


The Second City

Old Town

  1. 1616 N Wells St, (at North Ave)
More info

iO Cabaret

Wrigleyville

  1. 3541 N Clark St, (between Cornelia and Eddy Sts)
More info
  1. 4830 N Broadway, (between Lawrence Ave and Ainslie St)
More info

Laugh Factory

Lakeview

  1. 3175 N Broadway, (at Belmont Ave)
More info

Zanies

Old Town

  1. 1548 N Wells St, (between Schiller St and North Ave)
More info

The Comedy Bar

River North

  1. 157 W Ontario St, (at LaSalle Dr)
More info

Jokes & Notes

Bronzeville

  1. 4641 S King Dr, (between 46th and 47th Sts)
More info

The Public House Theatre

  • Price band: 1/4

Wrigleyville

  1. 3914 N Clark St, (Clark St and Byron St)
More info

UP Comedy Club

Old Town

  1. 230 W North Ave, (at Wells St)
More info

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  1. 1515 W Berywn Ave, (at Clark St)
More info
  1. 157 W Ontario St, (at LaSalle Dr)
More info

The ComedySportz Theatre

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 929 W Belmont Ave, (at Wilton St)
More info
  1. 230 W North Ave, (at Wells St)
More info
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