Best Comedy Clubs in New Orleans

10Best places for comedy in New Orleans

Comedy, like so much of the entertainment scene in New Orleans, is crackling with homegrown and imported energy and innovation. Pop-up open mics and regular stand-up shows happen at bars and theaters large and small all over town, fomenting a landscape ripe for creativity.

New Orleanian humor tends to be on the dark side, an observation that's beyond the obvious if you've ever been to a Krewe du Vieux parade during Carnival season. Locals find just about nothing sacred, which makes it open season for performers with a witty bent.

Local comedy shows run the gamut from improv to stand up and sketch comedy, with plenty of drag and burlesque thrown into the mix for spice.  The city gets its share of nationally touring comics as well, big names like Whoopi Goldberg onstage at the Saenger with cutting edge comedy from Comedy Central stars like Ralphie May onstage at more intimate venues like House of Blues.


Locals know Love Lost Lounge for its offbeat day-by-day event scheduling, which includes a weekly comedy show on Tuesdays called Comedy Catastrophe hosted by Cassidy Henehan at 10 p.m. Tuesdays. The free show is always a hoot, and there are typically drink specials and always a menu of Vietnamese tastes from the kitchen. This is a neighborhood place, a "Cheers" kind of bar where everybody may not know your name but they'll call you baby just the same. make this a top New Orleans nightlife venue. Lost Love Lounge is one of the oldest–if not the oldest–continually operating taverns in the Faubourg Marigny.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Lost Love Lounge is one of the oldest continually operating taverns in the Faubourg Marigny.

Beth's expert tip: The pop up kitchen serves Philly style steak sandwiches and veggie options into the late night.

Read more about Love Lost Lounge →

French Quarter
House of Blues

Comedy is a regular, but hit or miss, happening at The House of Blues in New Orleans. The venue makes a great Opened in 1994 in the French Quarter, this historic blues house offers standing room viewing of a stage that gets concert-goes right on top of the performers. Each stand-up contains a box welded to the bottom containing original Mississippi mud, ensuring "that every artist has the roots and the spirit of the South planted beneath their feet". The New Orleans iteration has some 300 pieces of folk art lining the walls and hallways of the interior.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: HOB is a well known national brand with a particularly NOLA bent.

Beth's expert tip: Check the concert calendar before your trip and get tickets in advance.

Read more about House of Blues →

Carnaval Lounge
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Carnaval Lounge is an alt music venue that rises to the top of the dive bar heap in a city that may just have invented the genre. Like most things New Orleans, Carnaval has multiple personalities. Mondays you'll usually find a combo of comedy and burlesque for all kinds of fun. The bar is also a live rock and roll music venue, well not really it's a Goth heavy metal venue. Ok, forget that. You can catch a Cajun band for sure. Or if you're lucky, a somber Balkans folk trio that inspires what looks like Greek dancing. There's a convivial live and let live attitude here that is one of the best things about this town when it really comes together.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: This happening bar on St. Claude Avenue draws an eclectic friendly crowd for comedy and all else.

Beth's expert tip: Order from the kitchen, Cozinha de Carnaval, at the bar, from a menu of Brazilian Street Food - get the garlic shrimp on a skewer!

Read more about Carnaval Lounge →

French Quarter

Although One Eyed Jacks isn't just a comedy club, it's also not just a dance club or a burlesque hall or a dance venue. Whatever you're seeking, most visitors fall in love with One Eyed Jacks, an unpretentious place that offers outrageous comedy, live music, burlesque, leather nights and an always popular Thursday 80s night dance party. This local favorite is known for its flashy decor, complete with chandeliers and a grand staircase, excellent stage views and relaxed atmosphere. Great drink prices and hysterical comedy sketches seal the deal. Like so many things New Orleans, One Eyed Jacks isn't one thing, but you'll find something funny going on there most evenings.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Like so many things New Orleans, One Eyed Jacks isn't one thing, but you'll find something funny going on there most evenings.

Beth's expert tip: One-Eyed Jacks offers a happy hour most evenings from 6-7 pm, buy one get one free.

Read more about One Eyed Jacks →

Howlin' Wolf

From traveling business types to hard-core college students, the Howlin' Wolf draws a diverse crowd that tends to skew on the younger side. Located near the Convention Center, this live music club also features free comedy shows, Comedy Beast in The Den every Tuesday, a free stand-up showcase hosted by Andrew Polk of Massive Fraud and Comedy Gumbeaux in The Den bar on Thursdays and The club holds about 500 people with an upstairs balcony area as well as pool tables in the back. The ambiance is loud, the crowd energetic, and the prices for drinks and cover are affordable. The bathrooms, however, are on the rough side so be prepared.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Free open mic nights on Thursday area a draw at this popular CBD club.

Beth's expert tip: Bar bites, sandwiches and tacos are served late at Howlin' Wolf's Den.

Read more about Howlin' Wolf →

Wood beams and Art Deco-style decor add visual appeal to the open design of this club's interior. Enjoy reasonably priced drinks at the bar and be sure to stay and hear live music from emerging bands. Occasional cover charge. Usually, on the first Saturday of the Month, Close Me Out Drunk Storytelling hosted by Andrew Healan takes the stage at 8 pm for a free show. And on the second Wednesday of most months, it's I Probably Shouldn't Ask, sexy standup hosted by Abigail Isaacoff and Camille Roanne. On the fourth Saturday, it's The Rip-Off Show, a game show meets stand up hosted by Geoffrey Gauchet.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: This snug theater space is a great fit for stand-up and improv comedy fests, plus classes, burlesque and a lounge for beers.

Beth's expert tip: Shows and times vary wildly so check the website to be sure.

Read more about Hi-Ho Lounge →

Allways Lounge is a locals' favorite bar located on the edge of the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. Just off the bar, there's a stage for everything from comedy and gay bingo, along with productions including Freaksheaux to Geaux, a delicious gumbo of music, circus, sideshow and burlesque. Saturday is home to Local Uproar, a night for laughs hosted by UK comedian Paul Oswell, widely regarded as one of the best comedy showcases in town. It's also one of the only nights hosting nationally touring comedians on a regular basis. This is a quirky, offbeat place, no doubt, so discover before everybody else does.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: You just don't know what you'll see on the Allways stage, but it's always funny weird.

Beth's expert tip: If you are looking for a bizarrely wonderful evening of comedy, drag or burlesque, this is your ticket.

Read more about Allways Lounge →

The Zeitgeist, now ensconced in their new digs in Old Arabi, doesn't do comedy full-time, but often features live comedic performances from some of the best local acts in the business. You'll also find offbeat film comedies, like The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, an hilarious, heartwarming tale of animal misfits from France from the Academy Award-nominated directors of Ernest And Celestine. You might find an improv comedy group in residency here, blowing up audiences with laughter on the intimate stage. The venue is run by local volunteers and artists and is always in tune with the pulse of the city. Musicians in residence is another draw - currently cellist Helen Gillet is in the house.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Zeitgeist is at the head of the curve in artsy businesses changing the Old Arabi landscape.

Beth's expert tip: Try the nearby Kitchen Table Cafe for a fine dinner before the show.

Read more about Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center →

7th Ward/St. Roch
The New Movement
Photo courtesy of The New Movement

Founded in Austin, The New Movement now includes the NOLA branch run by New Orleans natives Chris Trew and Tami Nelson. Billed as a full-time comedy conservatory, TNM includes improv classes, local and touring comics and the popular Monday night Knockout, TNM's weekly comedy clash between two different shows. The victorious production advances in the tournament with the overall Knockout Champion claiming the ultimate crown - a primetime slot on TNM's stage. Shows are 18+, there's a bar on site and content tends to be geared to grown-ups. There are however classes designed for teens and kids, a fun option if you're traveling with the family.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: TNM is yet another reason to explore artsy St. Claude Avenue.

Beth's expert tip: It's free to go to the Monday night Knockout comedy smackdown - but you pay $5 if you want to vote.

Read more about The New Movement →

Sign up by 8:30 to take your shot at "Think You're Funny?" the weekly Open Mic Stand Up Comedy night every Wednesday starting around 9 pm. Bands take the stage about 10 pm on other evenings at this jivin' Uptown music venue. Carrollton Station showcases everything from Zydeco and Cajun to classic rhythm and blues and jazz-rock fusion. The ambiance is cozy and the crowd friendly. Carrollton's also schedules a Tuesday Song Writer's acoustic night, which highlights up-and-coming New Orleans talent. You just never know what's on the eats menu, but $1 dogs and tacos are two popular items to pair with drink specials.

Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: A happening bar uptown, this is a fun place for comedy on Wednesdays.

Beth's expert tip: You can take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar to this popular Uptown spot.

Read more about Carrollton Station →


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth