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Joel Kim Booster
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanJoel Kim Booster

10 comedy shows to see (with tickets still available) at Netflix is a Joke: The Festival

Netflix is bringing over 250 comedy sets to L.A. These are the 10 you need to see.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
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Over the span of a week and a half, Netflix is a Joke: The Festival is bringing just about every major comedian to Los Angeles—and that’s really not hyperbole. The comedy fest, which takes place at venues around the city, includes appearances from the likes of Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Chelsea Handler, Bill Burr, Patton Oswalt, Amy Schumer, John Mulaney, Conan O’Brien, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and a staggeringly long list of others.

In fact, we’ve counted over 250 shows during the comedy fest’s run, which after a two-year delay finally lands at seemingly every local comedy club and theater from April 28 to May 8. Since you can’t attend all of the shows, we thought we’d step in and select 10 of our favorites—and specifically ones that still have tickets available, given that shows from many of the names we listed above are already sold out.

Netflix keeps adding more sets to the lineup, so we’ll continue to revist this guide as the fest approaches (worth noting: Ali Wong, Chris Rock, Ken Jeong, Ramy Youssef and Ray Romano are all technically listed on the fest’s website with “show to be announced” attached to their names).

10 comedy shows to see at Netflix is a Joke: The Festival

Hollywood Palladium. Apr 29–May 1, May 5–8 5–10pm; free.

Though it may have festival in its name, Netflix is a Joke is really more of a stacked series of shows around the city than a one-stop fest—with the exception of this free event in Hollywood. The Drop In features weekend evening sets hosted by the sorts of big names already attached to other sold-out events (including Joel Kim Booster, Janelle James, Jimmy Carr, Lil Rel Howery and Bob the Drag Queen). It’s all wrapped up in a colorful lot outside of the Hollywood Palladium that features mini-golf, an obstacle course and a bar.

Orpheum Theatre (DTLA). May 1–4 at 7pm; $59.50 and up.

The exact lineups are still a mystery, but if Seth Rogen is handling the guest list, you know it’s going to have some star power and comedy chops. See the actor lead table reads of SeinfeldFridayWhen Harry Met Sally… and Clueless. Proceeds benefit Hilarity for Charity, which cares for families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and promotes brain health research.

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The Bourbon Room (Hollywood). May 1 at 7pm; $25.

Forget lavishly crafted musicals that take years to put together: Comedians Jessica McKenna and Zach Reino put a fresh one together every week on their improv podcast, which they’re bringing live to the Bourbon Room.

The Greek Theatre (Griffith Park). May 2 at 7:30pm; $79.50 and up.

Maybe it’s unfair to expect a real-life Curb Your Enthusiasm sort of scenario for this sit-down with Larry David, but the ingredients are certainly all there: The iconic Seinfeld cocreator will have a chat with Curb director Robert B. Weide at the Greek. Will there be complaints about the traffic, parking and weather? We sure hope so.

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Hollywood Roosevelt. May 2–5 at 3pm; $45.

Start practicing your fist pump: Arsenio Hall is reviving his talk show (again), but this time just for four days at the Hollywood Roosevelt. We don’t know exactly who’ll guest on the limited-run talk show, but we’re sure they’ll all be worth a woot woot.

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Hollywood Palladium. May 3 at 7, 9:45pm; $69.50 and up.

Sure, it might be a promo timed to the final episodes of Grace and Frankie. But it’s also one of our favorite lineups in the whole fest, with the legendary duo of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin hosting an evening of stand-up that includes Michelle Buteau, Cristela Alonzo, Margaret Cho, Heather McMahan and Tracey Ashley.

The Fonda Theatre (Hollywood). May 6, 7 at 7, 9:45pm; $73.75.

Not only can you see Letterman slip back into his role as interviewer, but you can also catch the icon get back into stand-up—alongside guests that include Rosebud Baker, Phil Wang and Sam Morril on the first night, and Brian Simpson, Robin Tran and Naomi Ekperigin on the second.

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YouTube Theater (Inglewood). May 7 at 8pm; $79.50 and up.

Seeing Tina and Amy together is sure to give you the warm and fuzzies if you’re nostalgic for their Weekend Update cohosting days. But most importantly, they’re both remarkably funny in their own right—and seeing the 30 Rock and Parks and Rec stars together is a tough opportunity to pass up.

The Greek Theatre (Griffith Park). May 7 at 7:30pm; $29 and up.

We’d watch Billy Eichner host just about anything. That it just so happens to be one of the most remarkable stand-up lineups we’ve seen? Even better. This celebration of queer stand-ups at the Greek includes Eddie Izzard, Margaret Cho, Sandra Bernhard, Tig Notaro, Wanda Sykes, Solomon Georgio, Joel Kim Booster, James Adomian, Fortune Feimster, Bob the Drag Queen, Trixie Mattel and many, many more.

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