Get us in your inbox

Search
Improv Asylum
Photograph: Courtesy Improv AsylumImprov Asylum

The best comedy clubs in Boston

The comedy club scene is no laughing matter in and around Boston, with plenty of options for enjoying standup and improv

Written by
Cheryl Fenton
Written by
Linda Laban
Advertising

After the last couple of years, we could all use a good laugh. Get full-on side stitches with jokes from funny men and women at Boston area comedy clubs. Some of America’s most popular contemporary comedians (Conan O’Brien, Denis Leary, Amy Poehler, Lenny Clarke) gave us their first funnies in Greater Boston, making laughter a local tradition. Whether it’s go-with-the-flow improv or rehearsed routines, venues of all sizes cater to big senses of humor. Make a night of it with drinks at the best rooftop bars in Boston or set the mood with dinner at one of the most romantic restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best Boston comedy clubs

  • Comedy
  • Central Sq
  • price 2 of 4

This comic institution based in Central Square has been a major player on the Boston theater arts scene since the early 1980s. While the pandemic has made some serious changes to their on-stage offerings, regular shows can be experienced at the Rockwell Theater in Davis Square (with a full bar). This non-profit arts organization still offers workshops, a national touring company, and classes.

  • Comedy
  • Bay Village
  • price 2 of 4

Nick’s has been a comic theater staple in Bay Village since 1977, the very time when improv and stand up was in its rip-roaring  infancy. It’s still in operation, with good local and national headliners every weekend, all in a relaxed atmosphere. There is a full bar, but no food. 

Advertising
  • Comedy
  • price 2 of 4

If you can make it out to Route 1, there’s great comedy to be enojyed amongst the north-of-Boston chain restaurants and dicey motels. The weekly lineups are studded with Boston comedy legends like Lenny Clarke, and the space itself is housed in the legendary North Shore pizzeria Prince’s (you’ll know it by the replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa out front).

Advertising
  • Comedy
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

Laugh Boston is another well-trod comedy venue with both big time comic writers and new comedians—SNL alum are regulars—featured on its calendar. Reoccurring nights include Boston comic Ken Reid, who brings his TV Guidance Counselor podcast to the stage. Laugh Boston has a full bar and serves snacks and sandwiches, plus desserts. Schedules can be a little funny, with shows varying throughout the week.

  • Comedy
  • Improv
  • North End
  • price 2 of 4

This is Laugh Boston’s smaller sibling, housed in the North End, and serving as an incubator for new talent. To that end, the resident pros also host classes for aspiring comics, as well as special custom shows and corporate training programs. Generally, there’s a comedy show every night, both improv and sketch, including the brand new, all-improv show from the NXT Cast every Sunday and Wednesday night at 8pm. There is a bar. Midnight shows on weekends are not for the easily offended. 

Advertising
  • Comedy
  • Roslindale
  • price 2 of 4

This Roslindale theater is the home of two locally owned and operated improv and sketch comedy organizations: ComedySportz Boston, the award-winning, competitive improv comedy show performed in 31 cities across the US and Europe, and The Riot Theater Company, featuring the veteran troupe Improv Jones. The theater—which also has strong education and community programs—has added a virtual component with online shows, as well as a variety of late night, improv, stand up, sketch and theater shows on Saturdays at 10pm. Days and times vary, so check the website.

  • Comedy
  • Somerville
  • price 1 of 4

The Comedy Studio moved from its longtime location in Harvard Square to Somerville’s Union Square in 2018. The Comedy Studio is locally run in the spirit of classic improv and stand-up clubs, and mixes in new talent and veterans. There are live stand up shows every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Vera’s showcasing some of the best comedians from all over the country hosted by Rick Jenkins.

Advertising
  • Comedy
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Formerly The Davis Square Theatre and Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway comedy club, this basement-level theater features a variety of shows throughout the week: everything from skits, standup, burlesque, and variety to children’s shows. Regular nights include Shit-faced Shakespeare, which lampoons the bard’s works with no-holds-barred innuendo and toilet humor, but in full Shakespearean character and costume. The bar does not serve food, but some shows are available as a dinner-show hookup with nearby Saloon restaurant.

  • Music
  • Music venues
  • West End
  • price 3 of 4

Though the City Winery hosts many musical acts, it is also the place to be entertained by top name comedians. Performances take place both the main room and the Haymarket Lounge—a smaller, club-like space with a full bar. The bigger the name, the bigger the space, and the likes of Jay Mohr, Ben Bailey, and the entertaining designer-turned-raconteur, Isaac Mizrahi, have held court. 

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising