Best Comedy Clubs in Boston

10 Best Boston Comedy Clubs Will Have You in Stitches

Boston's comedy scene was known for busting out big name talents, like Lenny Clarke in the 1980's, creating a culture for comedian's who wanted to make a name for themselves. Boston was the place to be get noticed doing stand-up.

Since then, comedy has changed, funny is not what funny once was and up and comers, seeking to reinvent live comedy shows are dying to be seen, and are using the old guard of comedy as well as some creative venues to get discovered. Boston, like the comedians it hosts, is undergoing a comedy revolution where several mid-sized clubs garner national attention (hosting "regulars rather than up and comers), a few theaters host select big names, and in line with the trend of pop-up shops and food trucks comedy venues are being established in unexpected locations.

The North Shore has had a foothold on comedy for ages; Giggles and Kowloon Komedy in Saugus are two restaurants that host stand-up each weekend. Both often headline big names and get the big crowds. 

Boston and Cambridge are home to several funny spots: Improv Asylum, and Nick's Comedy Stop, The Gas, and Comedy Studio are just a few. 

This comedic revival once again makes Boston a top spot for laughs.


The Wilbur Theatre
Photo courtesy of The Wilbur Theater

The Wilbur is where the best of the best come to be seen for the short spans while they are completing the Boston leg of their national tours. You'll be lucky to score a ticket to stars like Kathy Griffin, and Jimmy Fallon. Plus, the Wilbur itself is a a venue to be seen; one of the most historic and elegant theaters in Boston, the Wilbur, built in 1914 has been updated with a state of the art sound system. Not only host to comics, but also other live performances, planning is key to seeing any show at the Wilbur Theater.

Local Expert tip: The Wilbur is more than just a comedy club, making tickets to events here hard to come by. Seek out these shows well in advance.

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Tiki Hideaway Grandma's Basement is not actually in a basement and really isn't a hideaway. This is one of Boston's comedy clubs and is actually a lounge in Fenway's Howard Johnson's Hotel. Hosting comedy acts Wednesday-Sunday (with open mic on Thursdays), you're sure to giggle more than a little at one of their shows. Featuring young, old, newbies and veterans performing anything from rants to sketch for a mere $5 cover. Tiki Hideaway is looking to bring a fresh voice to Boston's comedy scene. Add affordable drinks and Chinese food to your night and the 9PM shows will be quite pleasant to attend.

Local Expert tip: Tiki Hideaway offers a late night alternative to Boston's club scene.

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Dick's Beantown Comedy Vault claims to be, "Boston's Most Fun Comedy Club" for good reason. As Boston's only seven night a week, full service (serving food and drinks alongside the laughs) comedy club this is the one place you can enjoy comedy any night and at a good price ($15-$20). With an "Alley" location, you can easily go from the comedy show to one of the city's hottest clubs to grab a drink and dance the night away when you're done. For those who are a bit below 21, you can still see a show at Beantown Comedy Vault as it caters to those 18+.

Local Expert tip: Dress for a night in the clubs as Beantown Comedy Vault is flanked by several of Boston's best.

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Cambridge's ImprovBoston offers five nights of laughs to audiences looking to lighten their moods. Featuring a variety of formats (sketch, improv and stand-up) Improv Boston welcomes audiences from near and far to let loose and get a good laugh. Presenting a regular selection of comics geared towards entertaining audiences of all ages, ImprovBoston makes for a fun multi-generational night out, even kids are welcome a their early evening family shows (check the schedule for showtimes). Also home to an acclaimed comedy training program, ImprovBoston is committed to developing new talent. Sign up for a class and try your hand at comedy, who knows, this could be your next career.

Local Expert tip: Located in Central Square the T makes ImprovBoston easily accessible.

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Each Friday night, Allston's popular neighborhood bar, Great Scott, hosts one of the most entertaining comedy shows in the Boston area. "The Gas" routinely draws a crowd for their hysterical shows featuring comedians, many of whom have made appearances on "Last Comic Standing," "Comedy Central Presents" and "The Tonight Show." Headliners include Todd Barry, Marc Maron, The Whitest Kids U' Know and Myq Kaplan, The laid back, dive bar atmosphere of Great Scott creates a trendy spot for the "The Gas" to showcase the comics who come to perform. Making it comfortable for patrons to watch and belt out a hearty laugh.

Local Expert tip: Great Scott is popular with the college crowd. Those going for "The Gas" tend to be a bit more mature.

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The North Shore stretch of Route 1 that is just beyond Boston is a themed stretch of road that includes the legendary Prince Pizza. Its replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa catches every eye while driving by. And it is inside the walls of Prince Pizza where the popular comedy club, Giggles makes its home. Order a pie and take in one of stand-up's legends, like Lenny Clarke who makes regular appearances here. Every Friday and Saturday, Giggles comes to life and puts on some of the funniest shows int he Boston area, and serves the laughs alongside their delicious pizzas and inexpensive drinks.

Local Expert tip: Giggles is outside the city, making it necessary to have a car.

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Sketch Comedy at its finest. The Improv Asylum in Boston's North End is home to a resident cast that performs nightly shows with audience participation. Enjoy their bucket-o-beers, ideal for sharing and find your seat, because once the show start you will not want to miss a moment (especially since you will find yourself the butt of the joke upon reentry). Actors here train together and prepare general "sketches" of each performance; you provide the twists and turns that make each show unique. Allowing you to visit the Improv Asylum more than once and enjoy very different shows. If you can swing it, try their Saturday night "Raunch" show- starting at 11:59.

Local Expert tip: Improv Asylum performs multiple shows each night allowing you to enjoy dinner first at one of the North End's restaurants.

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North Metro

Kowloon Komedy is located within the popular Kowloon Restaurant. Best compared to a department store, Kowloon Restaurant serves Cantonese and Szechuan Chinese food, Thai, and sushi making it a one stop shop for Asian cuisine as well as the perfect place to catch a comedy show. Everyone in your group can find something to fill their stomach then grab a tiki drink and get your funny fix at Kowloon Komedy where acts go beyond the basics to include favorites like Frank Santos- the R-Rated Hypnotist, in addition to the big names Bostonians love. And you'll certainly laugh 'til it hurts.

Local Expert tip: Tickets are needed for comedy shows.

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Nick's Comedy Stop has been turning out big laughs for ages, but their shows never get old. Inviting new talent as well as well-established stand-ups, Nick's introduces the new while maintaining its roots as the place that helped Boston get on the comedy map. Often selling out performances, Nick's is a favorite of new comers looking to get lots of attention. National comedic legends Phyllis Diller, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld have appeared at Nick's and favorites like Lenny Clarke, Denis Leary, and Dane Cook still pop in to have a laugh with the Boston crowds. Also available for private parties, Nick's has kept Boston Laughing for more than a quarter century.

Local Expert tip: Nick's shows sell out often. Be sure to get your tickets well in advance.

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Make your way through the Hong Kong in Harvard Square and climb the stairs to the third floor where you'll find the Comedy Studio. Many a comic has broken out at this restaurant club, once lauded by Hollywood big wigs as a breading ground for the next big name, the Comedy Studio is still going strong. Hosting more than just stand-up and sketch, Comedy Studio also has a schedule filled with political humor, new talents, and group performances. Provides a good laugh to those of varying tastes. Serving food as well as drinks you can come for dinner and stay for the show.

Local Expert tip: On Mass Ave, the Comedy Studio makes the perfect end to a day exploring Harvard Square.

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Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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