Get us in your inbox

Search
London's best comedy clubs
Image: Time Out

The best comedy clubs in London

Laugh your head off at these great London comedy clubs and nights

https://media.timeout.com/images/105815735/image.jpg
Written by
Time Out London editors
&
Sarah Cohen
Advertising

Let’s face it, we haven’t had much to laugh about this year – but chuckling is now back in a big way as London’s comedy clubs reopen. This city has the biggest and best comedy scene in the world. But where to start? Our list of London’s best comedy nights and clubs encompasses local gigs, central hangouts and theatre shows where you’ll find performances from the funniest comedians in the business, all guaranteed to raise your spirits and leave your ribs tickled.

RECOMMENDED: our complete guide to theatre in London.

London’s best comedy clubs

99 Club Leicester Square

What You might have been handed a flyer for this West End club while walking through Leicester Square. But unlike some other flyering comedy nights, this one isn’t a rip-off. The 99 Club gang have been in the business for more than a decade, and their Leicester Square branch is their flagship venue. It usually offers top-quality circuit line-ups four nights a week. Expect a hike in entry price around Christmastime, but generally the 99 Club’s remarkably good value, too. 

Where Ruby Blue, 1 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Nearest tube Leicester Square.
When Every Wednesday to Saturday.
How much Generally £9-£20.

What Promoter/compere/TV warm-up man James Gill has rapidly built up the Always Be Comedy empire and it’s pretty obvious why ABC’s pub gigs have been such a success: absolutely stonking line-ups. The club books some great names – every act could easily headline – and regulars have included Nick Helm, Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan. Guaranteed laughs.

Where The Tommyfield, 185 Kennington Lane, SE11 4EZ.
Nearest tubes Kennington.
When Several shows a week.
How much £8-£10.

Advertising

NO SHOWS AT THE CAMDEN HEAD CURRENTLY, BUT THERE ARE PAID-FOR PERFORMANCES AT THE BILL MURRAY

What Long queues form outside this club, which runs seven nights a week, and the promoters turn folk away every weekend. Entry’s free, but the line-ups aren’t full of amateurs, and donations are encouraged at the end of the night. On Fridays and Saturdays you can catch handpicked rising stars and a few professional comics performing their funniest sets, and weekdays feature either new material spots, improv troupes or solo shows. But Angel Comedy’s biggest sell is the inclusive, welcoming atmosphere – despite being a freebie gig, the punters are all here for the comedy rather than simply a cheap night out.

Where The Camden Head, 2 Camden Walk, N1 8DY.
Nearest tube Angel.
When Every night.
How much Free! Well, donations. Give generously.

What For three decades this highly respected club has been providing weekend laughs for the good people of Balham. At Banana Cabaret’s cosy room inside The Bedford pub you can catch no-nonsense stand-up bills of circuit stalwarts, booked by promoter David Vickers. Comics love Vickers – he gave many of them a spot at his top-level club in their early days – so they often pop back to SW12. Vickers and his Banana Cabaret team are also behind the superb Balham Comedy Festival, which takes over the Bedford pub for a week or so each July, and attracts starry names. Here’s to another 30 years, eh David?

Where The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD.
Nearest tube Balham.
When Every Friday and Saturday.
How much Around £15.

Advertising

What A go-to destination for stand-up lovers, The Bill Murray in Angel – formerly the Mucky Pup pub – is the brainchild of the team behind hugely successful pay-what-you-want gig Angel Comedy (see above). The venue hosts regular Angel Comedy gigs plus other experimental line-up shows, solo offerings and work-in-progresses. And because The Bill Murray often hosts multiple shows a night – in two different rooms – it feels a bit like a mini Edinburgh Fringe right here in London. Now if only the aloof US film star would drop in one day…

Where 39 Queen’s Head St, N1 8NQ.
Nearest tube Angel.
When Seven days a week.
How much Various prices.

What The line-ups aboard this floating comedy club are consistently superb, with a mix of circuit pros, breakthrough TV stars and established up-and-comers. The Boat Show’s been known to attract celebrity special guests, too – Sarah Silverman even popped in once. Ticket prices are very reasonable for a weekend club.

Where Tattershall Castle, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2HR.
Nearest tube Embankment.
When Every Friday and Saturday.
How much £12-£16.

Advertising

What The room upstairs at The Camden Head recently went through a quick refurb and rebrand and emerged as the Camden Comedy Club, complete with a neon sign above the stage. The venue’s programme is nicely varied, with different promoters and comedians taking over the L-shaped space on different nights. On Saturdays its home to the confusingly titled Hampstead Comedy Club (it moved there from a venue in Hampstead – it’s not being deliberately abstruse) where veteran comedian-promoter Ivor Dembina hosts enjoyable line-ups. It’s wallet-friendly, too – you’ll rarely pay more than a tenner, and lots of gigs are free.

Where 100 Camden High St, NW1 0LU.
Nearest tube Camden Town.
When Most nights of the week.
How much Various prices. Most gigs cost a tenner or less.

What It’s true, The Comedy Store is still the daddy of all comedy clubs. Seemingly as old as London itself (it actually started in 1979, above a strip club), The Store has been instrumental in the growth of alternative comedy, and still to this day hosts stunning shows most nights of the week. Veteran improvisers the Comedy Store Players perform every Wednesday and Sunday. Don’t miss the raucous King Gong new act night on the last Monday of the month. And the weekend bills are still consistently excellent, even if the line-ups haven’t changed much in the last decade. As a purpose-built comedy club, the room is pretty much the best for stand-up in the capital. The 400 chairs hug the stage, keeping each show intimate, as comedy should be. It’s not just reputation that keeps it as popular as ever.

Where 1a Oxendon St, SW1Y 4EE.
Nearest tube Piccadilly Circus.
When Six to seven nights a week.
How much Depends on the show. King Gong’s £8, but the weekend line-up shows can be £20 or more.

Advertising

CURRENTLY CLOSED. DUE TO REOPEN SEPTEMBER 2021

What One of the oldest clubs in the country (it’s been running for more than 30 years), Peter Grahame’s basement gig in Crouch End is still absolutely brilliant. On Thursdays you can catch a large bunch of new acts (most of whom have waited months for a spot), Saturdays feature top-notch circuit talent, and Sundays have more of a laidback variety feel. Plus, the staff are tremendously friendly and none of the shows will put much of a hole in your pocket.

Where 2 Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA.
Nearest tube Finsbury Park, then the W7 bus.
When Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday, plus occasional other nights.
How much £5-£11.

What The Amersham Arms, decorated with an ever-changing mural, hides a 300-seat music venue out the back, which plays host to Happy Mondays Comedy at the start of the week. Siôn James is the resident host, introducing invariably top quality line-ups of comics. Plus it’s super cheap. Plus plus the pub does great burgers. Win win win.

Where Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Rd, SE14 6TY.
Nearest tube New Cross Overground.
When Every Monday.
How much £7.

Advertising

What For value for money, variety and consistently stunning line-ups, it’s hard to beat Knock2Bag. The bills here are packed to the rafters, with a bunch of top-quality acts and there is always a mix of inventive sketch troupes, weirdo character acts and slick stand-ups, from household names to the finest new comics. And no, we have no idea what the name means, so don’t ask.

Where Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette St, E9 6NU.
Nearest tube Hackney Central Overground.
When Most Thursdays and various other dates.
How much £16.50.

What LST isn’t strictly a comedy venue, it hosts heaps of music and theatre too. But its basement space is home to enjoyable regular comedy nights and Edinburgh Fringe previews, and the 400-seat main house is a favourite room among the big names. Stewart Lee, Jerry Sadowitz and Doug Stanhope often play long runs in the main theatre, and Bill Bailey, Michael McIntyre and Micky Flanagan have all performed warm-up gigs here in recent years. 

Where 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX.
Nearest tube Leicester Square.
When Most nights of the week.
How much Oh, depends on the show. Various prices.

Advertising
Live at the Chapel

RETURNS ON AUGUST 14 2021

What This Islington comedy club often provides some of the most interesting line-ups in the capital. Taking over the gorgeous Union Chapel, the shows here are all killer, no filler, featuring comedy big guns (Simon Amstell, Noel Fielding and Stewart Lee for example) alongside supporting comics who are all headliners in their own right. Throw in a terrific live band, a tea-serving kiosk and a lot of swearing in a church, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a night out. Amen.

Where Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN.
Nearest tube Highbury & Islington.
When Irregular Saturdays.
How much £20.

What It’s not technically a comedy club: Soho Theatre’s main focus is fringe, well, theatre (you might’ve guessed that from the title.) But across its three performances spaces, this is undoubtedly the best venue for interesting, innovative and downright funny comedy in London. Rather than multi-bill nights, the theatre usually programmes hour-long solo shows from some of the finest comedy acts in the world. In its Theatre, Downstairs and Upstairs rooms, the venue hosts London performances of Edinburgh Fringe hits, the best in international stand-up, and shows that are a little more theatrical than straight man-and-a-mic stand-up. Where are you most likely to see the latest Edinburgh Comedy Awards winner? Soho Theatre. Where did US comedy giants Doug Stanhope and Aziz Ansari first perform in London? Soho Theatre. Where can you see superstar names – like Eddie Izzard and Russell Brand – testing new ideas? You get the idea… Basically, if you want to see exciting, cutting-edge comedy, get yourself down to Soho Theatre.

Where 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE.
Nearest tube Tottenham Court Rd.
When Most nights of the week.
How much Roughly £10-£25, depending on the show.

Advertising

What The line-ups at this new-material night are ridiculously good for the ticket price of just £5 (£3 concessions). Sketch troupe Gein’s Family Giftshop and one-man skit machine Goose curate the bills and perform themselves. Previous line-ups have included Sara Pascoe, Mae Martin and Joe Lycett. For a fiver, that’s just suspicious.

Where The Pleasance, Carpenters Mews, North Rd, N7 9EF.
Nearest tube Caledonain Rd.
When Irregular dates.
How much £5, £3 concs.

Up the Creek

What This purpose-built comedy club in Greenwich was originally set up by the late, great Malcolm Hardee in the ’90s, and it’s still one of the best rooms for live comedy in the capital. The atmosphere here is lively, to say the least. It’s less of a bearpit than it used to be, but Up the Creek’s crowd of locals still aren’t afraid to torment the comics – if a punter thinks of something funnier than what’s being said on stage, they will shout it out. But if it’s spectacular line-ups you’re after, try the weekly Sunday Special. It has a more relaxed vibe, the ticket price is cheap, and the bills often feature arena-filling names testing new material.

Where 302 Creek Rd, SE10 9SW.
Nearest tube Cutty Sark DLR.
When Every Thursday to Sunday. Plus other occasional one-offs.
How much £7-£15.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising