The Comedy Store is a no-nonsense club. On Tuesdays it's topical comedy, improv on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the weekends are for top-notch straight stand-up. No messing about. See below for more information about each of The Comedy Store's regular shows, including infamous monthly open-mic night King Gong.
RECOMMENDED: The Comedy Store guide
This is the gig every comedian wants to play; from the open mic comics (who have to join a lengthy waiting list) to the circuit pros and arena fillers. As the title suggests, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night (with added late shows on Fridays and Saturdays) three or four of the finest UK and international stand-up talents perform 20 minutes of their slickest material, with a friendly compere keeping control of proceedings. The line-ups here are consistently superb and rarely beaten – the perfect treat for the weekend.
For new acts trying to cut their teeth on the stand-up circuit there isn’t a tougher and, for some, more humiliating gig than King Gong. But if they get it right, the show can be a thrilling career highlight. The most brutal new act night in London, at King Gong each act has to survive five minutes on stage without being ‘Gonged Off’. Three audience members are given red cards. If their section of the crowd clearly isn’t enjoying the act on stage, they raise their card and once all three are in the air the comic’s set is gonged short. Each month’s winner receives a cash prize, an open spot at the Store and the club owner, Don Ward’s, utmost respect. It’s one hell of a night out, for all the wrong and right reasons.
Since its foundation, the Comedy Store has prided itself on encouraging political and topical stand-up. The Cutting Edge is about as topical as one can get: six super-sharp stand-ups perform short sets, play songs and compete in joke competitions by taking suggestions from the week’s news. The changing line-ups here often include the likes of Andy Parsons, Alun Cochrane, Scott Capurro, Rich Hall and, most recently, Imran Yusuf, all performing scenes of a topical nature.
Established in 1985, the Comedy Store Players are one of the most famous improv outfits in the world. Made up of a core team of Neil Mullarkey, Richard Vranch, Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson, Jim Sweeney, Andy Smart and ‘Have I Got News For You’s Paul Merton, the line-up changes each show, with regular ‘guest Players’ – including Stephen Frost and Phill Jupitus (and on rare occasions Greg Proops, Eddie Izzard and Mike Myers) – joining in the fun. The Players are true pros at improvisation – fans of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ will absolutely love these guys.