There is no better city in the world to find amazing comedy than Chicago. Improv was born here, and there’s no shortage of venues featuring comedy troupes and individual stand-up performers. Whether you’re looking to see a headlining stand-up comedian live or a full night of sketch comedy, there’s a club in Chicago that offers the perfect performance to fit your comedy tastes. There are literally too many to mention in one article. The following list includes a good variety of five fantastic comedy clubs that will keep you laughing.
• Second City. You can’t talk about comedy in Chicago, or the world, without mentioning Second City. Improv comedy was born here in 1959. If many of the performers who grace the stage of Saturday Night Live look familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen them on the Second City stage first. Second City is located on Wells in Old Town. It offers a fantastic night out for a date or with a group of friends. Ticket prices range from $28 – $48, depending on your seating. It’s a small theater, so you’ll enjoy the performance from anywhere.
• iO Theater. The iO was originally called the Improv Olympics and it’s located on the north side at 1501 N. Kingsbury. This was the starting place of some of the most well-known comedians in show business, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, among many others. They offer a wide variety of sketch comedy, improv Olympics, and stand up acts. If you’re unsure what exactly improv Olympics entails, think “Whose Line is It Anyway.” Ticket prices vary, depending on the show. Some might be as low as $12 per ticket, and they’re currently offering free shows on Wednesdays.
• The Laugh Factory. The Laugh Factory in Chicago is located in Lake View and offers both brand new and established stand-up acts. They also host open mic nights, if you’re interested in seeing the newest comedic geniuses on their first time out, or if you’d like to try your hand at an act. Ticket prices range, as low as $17 dollar cover and a two drink minimum.
• The Public House Theatre. This great comedy theater is located on Clark Street in Wrigleyville. Ticket prices range from $17 – $22, and the venue serves great drinks and dinners, so it makes for a fun evening out. They offer comedic plays, such as their current production, “Bye Bye Liver”.
• Zanies. This comedy club is located in Old Town on Wells and features nationally known headline comedians. Tickets start at $25, and there is a two drink minimum. Zanies is 21 and over. It offers a great night out for dates or large groups and features well-known acts.
There are certainly more theaters and small venues, performing great comedy around the city and outlying suburbs. These venues are some of the better-known ones, with a great history of thrilling their audiences.