Best Comedy Clubs in Washington

Why So Serious? Check Out These D.C. Area Comedy Clubs for Laughs

Washington, D.C. is the district that people come to when they want to discuss important issues, pour their hearts into causes they are passionate about and aid bills into becoming laws. It can be quite the stressful, serious place but as cable and network late night hosts prove – the nation's capital is a goldmine for comedy.

10Best has searched area clubs and performance groups to find the best places to make your sides hurt from laughing so hard. Since this is a town that revolves around politics, The Capitol Steps comedy group is your best bet for political satire. They have been poking fun at politicians for nearly 35 years and aim to put the 'mock' in democracy.  

Want to see a 'Who's who' of nationally and internationally known comedians perform? Head to DC Improv where Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black and Ellen DeGeneres have all taken the stage. If you are looking for more local, up and coming talent, The Topaz Bar is a great spot for a free weekly show. The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse offers multiple entertainment options including must-see comedy acts.

So if you need a good workout for your abs, don't do crunches. Just head to these amazing comedy clubs in the nation's capital.




Founded in 2001, this dinner/variety show group brings in nationally touring comedians along with live music and magicians to the D.C. area. Be sure to catch their 'Weekend Uncensored' shows which hark back to the more traditional stand up comedian formula. Their shows are hosted on Fridays and Saturdays inside the Windows Over Washington restaurant at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Crystal City. Take in a dinner show at 7 p.m. or the late show at 10 p.m. You can choose from a menu of small plates, main courses, burgers and greens. Just make sure to chew wisely when the comedian is on the stage.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: A great venue to see amazing comedy, have great view and get a incredible view of the district.

Gina's expert tip: Check their website for a schedule on who is coming to perform soon.

Read more about The Comedy Zone DC →

Lygo DC
Photo courtesy of Lygo DC

With a mission to make people laugh, enhance the local community and advance the careers of comedians, LYGO DC succeeded. LYGO is an acronym for Laugh Your Grits Off because the group started in 2012 with a brunch and comedy show – now named Wake & Bacon that continues today. Catch their shows at Bier Baron Tavern on Wednesdays and Thursdays and their brunch show at Shaw's Tavern on Saturdays. The group has hosted shows for over 300 local, regional, national and international comedians. The group has created another act called Happyness Hours which is also bringing top notch comedy to the nation's capital.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: The Wake and Bacon comedy show on Saturdays is not to be missed!

Gina's expert tip: Be sure to check their calendar of events for updates on shows.

Read more about Lygo DC →

Columbia Heights
Wonderland Ballroom

Sundays can seem like such a dull, sad day because the long work week is just hours away. Instead of moping, go to Wonderland Ballroom's Sunday night Underground Comedy show. You will find some of the area's best comics and freshest talent performing at the weekly show. Be sure to check out the bar's calendar because comedy shows are peppered throughout a given month including 'Don't Block the Box' and 'Sometimes Pop-Up Comedy and Improv Show.' Besides the laughs, you can also listen to live music or try your voice at karaoke. METRO: Columbia Heights

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: The 'Don't Block the Box' show is one you will not want to miss.

Gina's expert tip: Check out the website for weekly specials including $1 tacos and free beer with a burger.

Read more about Wonderland Ballroom →

Underground Comedy
Photo courtesy of Underground Comedy

With all the political bickering, Washington, D.C. needs cheering up seven days a week and thankfully Underground Comedy is here to help by making your face hurt from laughing so much. Shows feature new, up and coming talent along with drop in by comedians known throughout the world. The group puts together shows for different venues including The Big Hunt in DuPont Circle on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Bier Baron Tavern on Thursdays and Saturdays. Most shows, which are for ages 21 and up only, are on a first come, first serve basis so get there early for a seat.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: A great company to watch up and coming talent develop and hone their craft.

Gina's expert tip: Some shows have cover charges while others do not. Professional shows require tickets.

Read more about Underground Comedy →

Some of the best comedy laughs come from innovative, imaginative performances that can go in unpredictable directions. Head to the Washington Improv Theater to see unscripted shows and expect to laugh til your sides hurt. Shows are performed by members of the theater's ensemble and Harold teams which each feature their own style of comedy. Every show is different so feel free to come to multiple shows as you will see something new each time. For those who are inspired to try something different, you can sign up to take classes on the creative art of improv.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: An unscripted show may be terrifying for amateurs but a blank canvas to fill with jokes for professionals.

Gina's expert tip: They serve beer and wine at the venue but for a meal you might want to head to a nearby restaurant before the show.

Read more about Washington Improv Theater →

Topaz Bar
Photo courtesy of Topaz Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel

Topaz Bar is a Moroccan-themed club featuring top-notch drinks and delicious small meals. Located inside the Topaz Hotel, the venue also has a great free comedy show each Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. called the Laughing Buddha-ha. The show features 10 local comedians taking the stage for 10 minutes each. Make sure to bring a joke of your own to tell. They have a contest, 'Everyone's a comedian,' where guests can tell a joke and win $25, tickets to a comedy show and a free beer for the one that gets the most laughs. METRO: Dupont Circle

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Who doesn't love a free comedy show with free entertainment?

Gina's expert tip: The venue can only seat 45 so get there early to grab a seat. They go quick!

Read more about Topaz Bar →

The Comedy Spot puts on two shows that you will not want to miss – ComedySportz, DC and The Blue Show. ComedySportz features two teams battling to make the audience laugh. Skits and songs are made up on the spot through audience suggestions. A referee even calls out fouls and the audience picks the winners. If your mom comes to The Blue Show, she should bring some soap because this improvised comedy gets foul-mouthed fast. Leave the kiddos at home while you laugh at these unedited performers. These two shows are performed at top area comedy club – DC Improv.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Going to their improv shows is a great way to watch masters at their craft.

Gina's expert tip: The group offers classes on how to improve your improv game.

Read more about The Comedy Spot →

Want to see well-known touring comics in a fun atmosphere? Cross the district boarder and head on over to the the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. This 1930s art deco theater features top-notch comedy and live music shows, movie showings, and a restaurant. Comedy shows are performed on their main stage and in a smaller green room. Check out their list of upcoming shows and you will see names you recognize from Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, The Daily Show and Chelsea Lately. If you want a good seat to must-see shows, buy tickets as soon as they are available and come early the day of the event.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: This venue offers a winning combination of activities including comedy shows, movies and live entertainment.

Gina's expert tip: If you don't buy your tickets online, have cash for the box office because that's all they take.

Read more about Arlington Drafthouse →

With a goal of putting the 'mock' in democracy, The Capitol Steps comedy show takes on Washington politics and politicians in hilarious song parodies and skits where no elected official is safe. Formed in 1981 by a group of Senate staffers who were trying to provide entertainment for a Christmas party, the group has gone on to perform shows across the country and record multiple comedy CDs. Of course their home base is Washington, D.C. and you can see a show every Friday and Saturday night at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center amphitheater. Be prepared to laugh hard at serious subjects. METRO: Federal Triangle

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Late night hosts aren't the only ones who can poke fun at politicians. A great show to take in while in the nation's capital.

Gina's expert tip: Go to the group's website to download a coupon to get a free album at one of their shows.

Read more about The Capitol Steps Comedy Show →

DC Improv

Everyone needs a good laugh and what better way to tickle your funny bone than to come to DC Improv, one of the top comedy clubs in the nation. A 'Who's who' of comedians have performed here including Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle, Lewis Black and Jerry Seinfeld and they continue to bring in tour headliners and local celebrities. The venue features a restaurant with a daily and late-night menu for those who work up an appetite while laughing. Beer, wine and liquor are also available for purchase. Their comedy school offers participants the opportunity to learn how to do improv and standup. METRO: Farragut North

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Some of the biggest names in the business have performed here and keep coming back to fine tune their routines.

Gina's expert tip: Open mic night recently restarted in late 2014. Check out their schedule for the once a month show.

Read more about DC Improv →


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina