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All across the country there are dark, underground rooms, filled with specters of hope, disappointment, humiliation and roaring laughter. In these rooms there is a microphone, and at the other end of this microphone there is an artist. This artist, good or bad, is courageous, wise, and more likely than not, slightly intoxicated and very hungry. They live to make us laugh, and for that we salute them and the cities that let them do what they do best.
Localicious presents the top 10 most popular stand-up comedy clubs in America*:
10. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater – New York, NY
There are a few things folks from Chicago say they do better than folks from New York, and by golly comedy is one of them. Though located in New York, the UCB Theater was founded by Chicagoans, including the fascinating Ms. Amy Poehler. And luckily for New Yorkers, they teach longform Chicago-style improv for a modest fee.
9. Comedy Works – Denver, CO
Despite being in the middle of nowhere and a mile in the air, Denver’s Comedy Works attracts big leaguers such as Jerry, Rosanne, Jay and Ellen. Why? Stiff drinks, a great London-style atmosphere and a dedication the kind of old-school stand-up that fuels comedic passion.
8. Acme Comedy Company – Minneapolis, MN
Could it be that A Prairie Home Companion has imbued an entire generation of Minnesotans with good ol’ Scandinavian humor? That could very well be the case seeing as Acme Comedy has been tops in the nation for years, and we don’t find much else funny about Minnesota, save the fact that everyone sounds like Sarah Palin.
7. Dallas Comedy House – Dallas, TX
Want a good laugh for a good price? Well, Dallas Comedy House has you covered with free shows every week. And when they’re not free, you can still enjoy a full bar with happy hour prices all night long. They’ve always got class acts, but if you think you can do better – take an improv class, or better yet, sign up for open mic!
6. Capitol City Comedy Club – Austin, TX
If we were even remotely funny here at Localicious, we’d have a really good zinger about a comedy club that doubles as a defensive driving school. A spot on this list means they can’t possibly be that desperate for an audience, so they must just take pride in rewarding the driving-incapable with 2 free stand-up passes per class.
5. The Punchline Comedy Club – Atlanta, GA
According to their website “Atlanta’s Number One, #1, Best, Top, Premier, Supreme, Numero Uno, Comedy Club since 1982 is The Punchline.,” and we’ll back them up on that. Word on the street is this place is an “AWESOME” “comedic nirvana”, especially if you love NASCAR jokes.
4. The Second City – Chicago, IL
What were we saying about Chicago and comedy…? Oh right, they know what they’re doing. With a prolific list of alumni including Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert and Bill Murray, and over 13,000 students a year, The Second City is a comedy powerhouse in every sense.
3. Zanies Comedy Club – Nashville, TN
There are a few key ingredients to a great night: good food, great entertainment, and friendly company. While we can’t exactly help you out on the last one, we definitely recommend Zanies Comedy Club to fulfill those other requirements. Order the Almond crusted grouper with feta cream sauce (even the name sounds drool-worthy) or a hot dog and some fries – you really can’t go wrong. As for the entertainment? Well, we’ll let you be the judge of that.
2. Improv Comedy Club – Irvine, CA
Located in the Irvine Spectrum Center, this spot makes for a great first date if you’re into the dinner/comedy/drinks combo. Just be warned, any good comedian will sniff you out in seconds, and will no doubt try their hardest to make the two of you feel as uncomfortable as possible.
1. DSI Comedy Theater – Carrboro, NC
And finally, the #1 most popular comedy club in America is the legendary Dirty South Improv Comedy Theater. They’ve got it all – a comfortable atmosphere and amazing local comedians. What more can do you really need in a comedy club?
*Based on our super complex algorithm of Foursquare check-ins in comparison to population and population density.