San Francisco's Best Comedy Clubs to Make You Laugh 'Til You Hurt

When work proves trying and the world seems bleak, counter the dreariness with a visit to one of San Francisco's best comedy clubs. These entertainment havens provide evenings of laughter and escape, ensuring that patrons walk away with a cheerier outlook and a lighter spirit. Comedy clubs have developed past simple stand-up, so be sure to check the most recent listings for what's being offered.

For example, if you're interested in the chaotic and inventive hilarity of improv, the Secret Improv Society might be the best venue for you. If you like a more prepared, rehearsed comedy that still includes groups, the sketch comedy of the Punch Line Comedy Club might be your place. But if you believe in a night of staring at someone impudent enough to believe they can make a whole room of people laugh, then check out some of the stand-up acts at Cobb's Comedy Club

Rest assured, however you get your chuckles on, this town will use its best panhandle to tickle even the most finicky of funny bones. San Francisco has always promised gorgeous natural views, fantastic food and wonderfully romantic nights. But remember: if you're willing to look hard enough, there's always something funny going on in San Francisco.

As this list reflects, improv dominates the comedy scene in San Francisco. EndGames is one of the latest on the scene, although their improv instructors have refined their skills at legendary improv clubs of Chicago, New York and LA. What...  Read More

Can you think of a better night than laughing until your belly hurts and then filling said belly full of tacos and beers? We thought not. If you need a break from the North Beach-centric comedy club scene, head to the heart ( and many would...  Read More


Unlike most comedy clubs that have a revolving line of local or national comics, the Marrakech Theatre depends on one man: Peter Morrision. Since he's a seasoned vet who has put on 3000 shows over the last fifteen years, he's not a bad person to...  Read More

Marina District

Featuring the largest and longest-running improv troupe in San Francisco, this award-winning comedy club's Fort Mason location is a must-visit for anyone seeking a hysterical escape from the everyday. Make sure to bring a tissue, and ladies,...  Read More

Empire Plush Room
Photo courtesy of used in book.

Born in the '20s as an illicit speakeasy, Plush Room originally plied guests with well-mixed drinks and premiere entertainment. These days, performers are still top-notch, and the atmosphere remains convivial, but patrons imbibe freely without...  Read More

With irreverent and inventive humor, cheap beer and free Oreos, there's much to love at this San Francisco comedy club's Saturday night improv extravaganza. In the cozy Shelton Theater, a phenomenally talented, good-natured cast performs highly...  Read More

Chicken Scratch

One of the most raved about comedy clubs in San Francisco, Chicken Scratch describes their mission as "Slaughtering the world's evil with laughter. Pizza. Beer. Sometimes inappropriately pathetic low-stakes poker." While audience members can't...  Read More

If you're hoping to see the biggest names in funny business while in San Francisco, this comedy club's star-studded lineup has you covered. From Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres to Sarah Silverman and Dave Chapelle, the standup standouts who...  Read More

El Rio

This dance club generally entertains a packed house. Live bands perform on weekends, salsa's the rage on Sunday, a global dance party wins applause on Friday, rock 'n' roll takes the stage on Saturdays, and Wednesdays are punk and rock nights....  Read More

Among the most beloved comedy clubs in San Francisco, Punch Line is an intimate 200-seat theater that has showcased such star-quality headliners as Jay Leno, Wanda Sykes, Zach Galafianakis and Whoopi Goldberg. The venue is beautifully designed,...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom

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