Comedy Clubs

When work proves trying and the world seems bleak, counter the dreariness with a visit to one of Austin'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. Shows can include improv, stand-up, or group comedy, and as seen at venues like The Hideout Theatre, they highlight Austin's nightlife scene and the lightning-quick wits of local and national comics.


This circus-themed bar gets props just for being quirky. They only serve beer, but they do provide set-ups, so you can bring your own liquor. Local bands take the stage (backed by a large pink elephant) on Tuesdays and from Thursdays through Saturdays. True to its independent nature, Carousel closes at midnight, so it's better to start your evening here than try to end it.

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Inventive, lighthearted, hysterical and cheap (or free!), this Austin gem is what every comedy club should aspire to be. Founded in 2009, The New Movement has quickly become a tour de force in the improv world, constantly churning out new ideas and showcasing the most talented up-and-coming comedians. TNM also organizes a fantastic annual comedy festival known as the Megaphone Marathons and offers some of Austin's most raved-about improv classes. BYOB and prepare to ROFL.

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Cutting-edge social satire from some very witty folks. With its professional and outrageously funny sketch comedy, the group has been earning raves ever since its inception in 1998.

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Looking for laughs in Austin? This well-loved comedy club delivers refreshingly funny stand-up, raucous improv and a wildly popular variety show called PUNCH! A delightful deviation from the tired dinner-and-a-movie routine, the performances at Cap City frequently showcase the biggest stars in the comedy cosmos, with past headliners including Dave Chapelle, Rob Schneider and Carlos Mencia. Plus, laughter here comes with a side of stiff drinks and scrumptious snacks for a well-rounded evening of hilarity.

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Congress Avenue

When it comes to comedy clubs in the Austin area, The Hideout is indisputably one of the most cherished laugh factories in the city. In this coffee-shop-slash-comedy-venue, patrons can grab a yummy coffee drink or an ice-cold beer before settling in for an evening of hysterical comedy. The astoundingly affordable shows feature an assortment of improv formats, including the "2x4" short duo sets, "The Violet Underbelly" full-length plays and the ever-popular "Maestro" competitions.

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Esther's Follies

A highly acclaimed cultural icon in Austin, this comedy club meets musical meets magic show has been sending audiences into uncontrollable fits of laughter for decades. Filled with hysterical headline-inspired satire, mesmerizing musical performances and awe-inspiring illusions, Esther's Follies is a sidesplitting variety show starring a diverse, sensationally talented cast. The show even makes use of the theater's large windows overlooking 6th Street, with part of the action taking place right outside in downtown Austin.

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One of the most distinctive comedy clubs in the Austin area, ColdTowne was named the city's number one comedy theater by "The Austinist," and for good reason. Set up like a cozy living room, this intimate theater features top local performers, nationally recognized comedians and a superbly talented house improv troupe in a variety of show formats, all for $5 or under. BYOB and maybe some tissues because you're guaranteed to laugh until you cry.

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