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Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal at Hot Tub
Photograph: Mandee Johnson Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal.

17 places to see comedy that aren't comedy clubs

Skip the comedy clubs and instead see some of your favorite stand-ups at a taco stand and other unique locations

By Michael Juliano

Between bachelorette parties, talkative drunks and two drink minimums, traditional comedy clubs can feel like the absolute worst place to see stand-up. We're not saying that all of LA's legendary comedy clubs are bad, just that sometimes we need a break from them. Some of LA's most exciting comedic talent has taken a break from club stages, too, and gravitated toward gastropubs, cafes and cocktail bar backrooms. If you're in the mood for a comedy show and looking for something a bit unconventional, consider these 17 comedy club alternatives.

Comedy Night at Best Fish Taco
Photograph: Courtesy Loud Village

Best Fish Taco in Ensenada

Every other Tuesday night, this hole-in-the-wall taco joint in Los Feliz hosts the likes of Brett Gelman, Kyle Kinane, Maria Bamford and more for Comedy Night at Best Fish Taco.


Stories Books & Cafe

Dave Ross and Matt Ingebretson put on the more-wholesome-than-it-sounds Good Heroin show every Sunday night at this cozily cluttered Echo Park bookstore. Some past performers include Time Out favorites like Kate Berlant and Eliza Skinner.

Photograph: @willsteph

A super secret location

Anything-goes comedy meets a late-night dance party at Crave, a secret, semi-regular show; the location is always kept under wraps until the night before.

The Nerdist Meltdown Theatre
Photograph: Atrossity Photography

Meltdown Comics

NerdMelt Showroom, the Chris Hardwick-approved space in the back of this Hollywood comic book shop, has become a comedy destination thanks to a stellar lineup of sub-$10 shows, including the TV show-spawning the Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.
Little Joy Bar
Photograph: Molly Cranna

Little Joy

Every Thursday night, the free Little Joy Show squeezes a surprisingly solid lineup into the backroom of this spruced up Echo Park dive bar.

Brew HaHa is more than a backyard comedy show. It's a patriotic celebration.
Photograph: Courtesy Brew HaHa

Some dude's East LA backyard

Whenever a comedian mentions the secret word, it's time to take a drink. That's the main gimmick of Brew HaHa, a backyard comedy show from producers Brad Silnutzer, Aaron Black and Marissa Gallant.

Rockin' the burbs is Chatterbox Comedy Night in Covina
Photograph Courtesy of Marc Shur


Every Sunday night, this Covina dive bar brings a mix of cheap beer, live music and comedy to the free Chatterbox Comedy Night.

Angel City Heritage Festival.
Photograph: Courtesy Angel City Brewery

Angel City Brewery

The Arts District brewery offers more than just craft beer on Thursday nights. Come out for a duo of free comedy shows, Scratch Comedy Improv Night on the first Thursday of the month and 3rd Thursday Comedy Night on, well, we think you get the point.

Host/Producer Rachel Mac performs at endearing Bitchface Comedy Night
Photograph: Courtesy Rachel Mac

Jones Coffee Roasters

Pasadena's old school, industrial coffee shop is the home of Bitchface Comedy, a monthly night of alternative stand-up and music hosted by Rachel Mac and Amy Silverberg.

Photograph: Courtesy play


We suppose comedy deserves its place among yoga and meditation at this Arts District collaborative space. Every last Tuesday of the month it hosts Good Looks, a consistently strong (and free) stand-up show put together by Ian Karmel and Andrew Michaan.

110 and Bellevue
Photograph: Courtesy DL English Design

110 & Bellevue (Whole Foods in Pasadena)

Not only is there a gastropub on the second floor of the Whole Foods on Arroyo, but the bar hosts a free, squeaky clean comedy show the first Tuesday of each month.

Riding with Nicol
Photograph: Courtesy Nicol Paone

A double-decker bus

A double-decker bus parked outside Pantages doesn't scream comedy, but nonetheless it's the home of comedian Nicol Paone's Riding with Nicol, a roving tour of all of her personal life mistakes in LA.

Comedy Palace
Photograph: Courtesy Comedy Palace

The Palace

This Chinese restaurant in Los Feliz hosts a free stand-up show, Comedy Palace, every Thursday night with a mix of big names, local up-and-comers and monthlong residencies.

Otherwild Bizarre Bazaar
Photograph: Courtesy Laure Joliet


The eclectic Echo Park boutique is home to more than just jewelry and home goods; comedian Casey Jane Ellison hosts a monthly show, Other Comedy!

The Kibitz Room on Fairfax Avenue
Photograph: Riley Carithers

Kibitz Room at Canter's Deli

Comedians Ester and Jacklyn Steinberg have hosted the likes of Bill Burr and Ron Funches at the Kibitz Room Comedy Show, a free stand-up set on the last Monday of the month in Canter's agreeably worse-for-wear taproom.

Spare Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

The Spare Room

From time to time, Loud Village puts on Comedy Bingo, a free game hosted by a talkative comedian. Show up to the Hollywood bowling alley bar for beer, brats and bingo.


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