This venue brings laughs to a new U-District venue. Open since summer of 2007, Laughs was launched after its owners had a decade of success debuting and scheduling comedy acts in a Bellevue hotel. The club is now open in its new Seattle location Wednesday through Saturday, with one or two shows per night. Headliner acts are featured on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with all-day Happy Hours on Thursday and a budget-friendly menu on open-mic Wednesdays. Show prices are normally $15 or $20 with a minimum two item purchase requirement from the food and beverage menu. Free parking is available in the well-lit street parking areas right next to Laughs Comedy Club. (Carpool, rideshare service, bus and bike are encouraged.)
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Laughs brings the laughs to its new U-District location with its headliners, open-mic nights and other comedy acts.
Corinne's expert tip: On open-mic Wednesday, visitors get free admission until 8:30 p.m. (when a two-drink/menu item minimum applies).
The 5th Avenue Theatre is known as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies, especially for its production and development of new works. Needless to say, comedy often graces its stage. Since 2002, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. (To date, nine--including hit Disney's Aladdin--have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical--Hairspray and Memphis. The 5th Avenue Theatre also known makes waves for its lauded productions of musicals from the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway. While the shows are sensational, the venue itself justifies a visit, too, thanks to a unique, Chinese-inspired design. (The exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film.)
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: The 5th Avenue Theatre is known as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies, and sometimes comedy sneaks onto the stage too.
Corinne's expert tip: Check the schedule for free talks before certain performances to learn informative and entertaining facts.
If you're in the mood for evening entertainment that's more about sociability than trendiness, head to Forecasters at the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville. The engaging brewpub offers lots of possibilities, from munching grilled lime-and-cilantro prawns or juicy burgers to sharing a few brews with friends. On some Fridays, stand-up comedians get folks laughing, and many Saturdays, live bands play to receptive crowds, regaling them with blues, acoustic rock and more. (Check their website for up-to-date schedules.) Outside dining is available during warm weather, and Forecasters also has a beer garden, which proves a great place for indulging in their tasty creations.
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Forecasters Pub at the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville often welcomes local comedians and musical acts, too.
Corinne's expert tip: Many Seattleites love to spend a sunny day with a bike ride on the Burke-Gilman Trail all the way out to Redhook Brewery, where chilled beers and pub grub prove the perfect reward.
Described by one reviewer as "the Kit Kat Klub" on acid, the experience at Teatro ZinZanni is just that ... an experience. The main event is part circus, part dinner theater. A three-hour tour de force, the evening combines innovative and thrilling feats by a troupe of international "cirque," comedy and cabaret artists with a five-course gourmet meal. Improvisational comedy, music, dance and vaudeville review get blended with pure sensuality, creating a unique and intense new show with each performance. Intimate and fast-paced, the show takes place above, around, and beside patrons as they dine and gawk in awe. Ticket costs includes dinner and show; drinks are not included. Teatro ZinZanni recently announced its partnership with local restaurateur and James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson for its highly-anticipated limited engagement of "Love, Chaos, and Dinner," playing from October 19 through April 29 at Marymoor Park.
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: A twist on the tradition comedy experience, Teatro ZinZanni (part circus, part dinner theater) is quirky and whimsical in its own right.
Corinne's expert tip: Teatro ZinZanni recently announced its partnership with local restaurateur and James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson for its highly-anticipated limited engagement of "Love, Chaos, and Dinner," playing from October 19 through April 29 at King County's Marymoor Park.
Dating to the late 19th century, this venue has been restored to the glory it knew as a movie theater in the 1920s. These days, you can catch acts as diverse as Boyz II Men and The Head and the Heart to Sturgill Simpson and The Beach Boys, and there's even the odd comedy act and speaking engagement, too (think beloved figures from Dr. Maya Angelou to Anthony Bourdain and Chris Rock). Enjoy the sumptuous, gilt-edged surroundings as you take in a show. The ambience is decadent; for example, three million crystal beads adorn 218 chandeliers and light fixtures. The "wow" factor here is definitely worth the trip!
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: The stunning Paramount Theatre books talented musicians, speakers and, on occasion, funny folks like comedian Chris Rock (this September).
Corinne's expert tip: Paramount Theatre tours (90 minutes) are offered the first Saturday of every month. Visitors meet by 10 a.m. in front of the main entrance of the theater, on the corner of 9th and Pine.
Truly an original, this improvisational comedy group was first to perform Theatresports, the trademarked format in which two improv groups "duel" each other for the audience's enjoyment. The result is a fast-paced, witty exchange that has the potential to leave you crying with laughter. Nationally acclaimed for the quality of its performances, the group often attracts celebrity guest comedians. Improv classes are held periodically, and the group also hosts the International Festival of Improvisation every year. (On foot, go to the main entrance of the Pike Place Market at 1st and Pike. There, you'll find Rachel, the market's full-size brass piggy bank, right by the famous Pike Place Fish Company. From the pig, go down the stairs and around the corner into Post Alley, where you'll find the Market Theater, along with the famous Gum Wall!)
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Unexpected Productions Improv brings creativity, wit and laughs to a space inside Pike Place Market.
Corinne's expert tip: Some nights, a very happy hour takes place around 7:30 p.m., featuring comedy improv for all ages, with drink specials in the bar for those over 21 years of age.
An intimate space for shows both quirky and classic. Since its inception in 1992, Theater Schmeater's mission has been: "to produce great plays simply and foster a love of theater as an art form in future audiences." The theater encourages young audiences by admitting any person eighteen years or younger for free to any of its productions. The company also produces annual Free for the Family Park Shows (since 1998) in Volunteer Park. The Schmee is in production year-round, annually presenting 6-7 main stage shows and our Free for the Family Park Show. The theater also produces a handful of special events, including an annual Wine Auction fundraiser and special karaoke nights.
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Since its 1992 inception, Theater Schmeater's mission has involved producing plays and fostering "a love of theater as an art form in future audiences."
Corinne's expert tip: Prospective theater goers can call Brown Paper Tickets (which keeps its fees low) 24 hours a day for operator-assisted credit card sales (1-800-838-3006). Thursdays are generally Pay What You Can (PWYC) at the box office for any unreserved seats. The venue also offers free tickets to Youth 18 and under. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.)
One of the city's premiere venues for improv comedy, Jet City features a widely talented cast whose wit is as quick as its tongue, leading to numerous pithy quips made at the expense of unsuspecting audience members. The "average" show features six performers who utilize suggestions from the audience to improvise a hilarious montage of quirky scenes, games, and songs that keep the crowd laughing from beginning to end. Although shows are always scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, additional shows are sometimes offered on other nights too. Also, check out the Twisted Flicks seriesa monthly comedy show "that makes HORRIBLE movies HILARIOUS." (Looking to test your skills onstage yourself? Check out the classes on offer at this venue.)
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: One of the city's top venues for improv comedy, Jet City features a widely talented cast whose wit is as quick as its tongue.
Corinne's expert tip: Check out group discount and other seasonal offerings. Those who bring a non-perishable food item for the Northwest Harvest drop box in the lobby receive a free popcorn.
Looking for some fast-paced laughs? Head to the Atlas Theatre in Fremont (right off Fremont Avenue, amidst an array of restaurants, shops and bars), where ComedySportz takes improv comedy into the sports arena. Two teams of comedians duke it out in a variety of games, competing for the biggest guffaws from audience members. No two shows are the same; every performance is driven by audience suggestions, so all creativity is encouraged! ComedySportz shows take place every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (giving a perfect option for weekend entertainment that doesn't run too late). Look for an adults-only show the first Saturday of every month.
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: At the Atlas Theatre in Fremont, ComedySportz makes improv comedy a competitive endeavor; 8 p.m. shows on weekends make this an early entertainment option.
Corinne's expert tip: To spice things up a bit, check out the adults-only show the first Saturday of every month at 10 p.m. A bar serves a rotating selection of beer, wine, cider, soda and snacks.
Set literally underground, Seattle's oldest comedy club may be short on atmosphere, but it's long on laughs. Headliners are often nationally or regionally known, and many big names graced the stage during their younger years, including Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres. Drinks are notoriously stiff, and a full menu featuring appetizers, burgers, and the like is available all evening. Shows happen almost every night at 8pm, with additional shows at 10:15pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Comedy Underground is 21 and over; ID is required. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before the show starts. However, Swannie's is open for lunch, dinner and cocktails.
Recommended for Comedy Clubs because: Comedy Underground is a subterranean hot spot that's been around for a long time. Enjoy funny folks and stiff drinks.
Corinne's expert tip: Combine some eats with your laughs; Swannie's is a working bar and restaurant that is open for lunch until closing (try their "famous" nachos).