Located in Old Town, Second City is undoubtedly the crown jewel of comedy in Chicago. This is the place that put both sketch and improvised comedy on the map while launching the careers of many distinguished comics including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Keegan-Michael Key, Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell—to name a few. With long-running revues on both the main and e.t.c. stages and a number of smaller spaces for Second City Training Center students to hone their skills, the long-running institution has made the corner of North Avenue and Wells Street a comedy destination.
Improv and stand-up are the kind of performance art that is traditionally associated with L.A. and NYC. While some might only ascribe such entertainment heroes to those coastal pillars, the Midwest has certainly earned our own sassmouth capital. Chicago's reputation as a comedy town is well-deserved: It's the city where improv was born and sketch was refined, where Saturday Night Live comes looking when it needs to replenish the well. It was here that Nichols met May and Poehler met Fey. The best comedy clubs in Chicago cultivate and build on that rich history to ensure that the city will always be a place where young talent can thrive for years to come. From the Second City to Zanies, these are the best comedy clubs in Chicago for a good laugh.