Comedy

Offbeat Comedy for Any Night of the Week

Photo courtesy of the Pack Theater

The comedy scene in Los Angeles is so marvelously diverse and expansive these days. There are dozens upon dozens of shows on any given night and, as such, it can be easy to miss something magical if you don’t know where to look. In fact, some of the more offbeat, underground nights in town truly offer the best of stand-up, improv, and sketch throughout the city.

The following list guides you through the vast field of comedic growth so you can catch some of the absolute best every single night of the week. 

MONDAY

Photo by Nick Gast/Courtesy of Cleft Clips

Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen
The Virgil is the place to be for comedy on Monday. Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal built one of the best stand-up comedy shows in New York with Hot Tub, then moved it across the country to L.A. and quickly became legendary. This show features the best of the best in big names (Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman, Eugene Mirman, and Reggie Watts) and will be your next big comedy obsession. FYI: It’s always standing room only. 8 p.m. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Boulevard

Photo by Jeg Jooper/Courtesy of Mommy

Mommy
Hidden away in a side room of the minimalist-chic Bar Covell, Sophia Cleary and Heather Jewett’s weekly stand-up show stirs up quite a crowd. Focused on featuring their absolutely favorite comics in town, Cleary and Jewett always bring the most inclusive lineups they possibly can (as well as some mischief) to a classy joint. 8 p.m. Bar Covell, 4628 Hollywood Boulevard

Kibitz Comedy
The Kibitz Room at the world-famous Canter’s Deli has always attracted many of the best comedians throughout the decades. Once an after-hours hangout for the likes of Comedy Store regulars in the ’80s, it now has its own solid Monday night stand-up show brought to you by Ester Steinberg, Brent Gill, and Nicole Blaine. 8:30 p.m. Kibitz Room at Canter’s Deli, 419 North Fairfax Avenue 

Photo by Noah Eberhart/Courtesy of The Business

The Business
This collective-run night has seen its way from San Francisco to L.A. to NYC to L.A. again and has landed itself as a great late-night Monday night spot in Echo Park. Hosts Megan Koester, Anna Seregina, Chris Garcia, Sean Keane, and Bucky Sinister make a great lineup on their own, but they always include many of the city’s finest comics, as well as excellent performers from out of town. 9 p.m. Little Joy, 1477 Sunset Boulevard

TUESDAY

Photo courtesy of Blair & Great Show/Facebook

Blair & Greta Show
Blair Socci and Greta Titelman have whipped up this slightly odd side room at the East Coast–style Chinese restaurant Genghis Cohen into a pretty major Tuesday. Every week they feature local favorites and stellar comics who happen to be in town, and get the audiences rolling in the pews that the venue has opted to keep in their show room. 8 p.m. Genghis Cohen, 740 North Fairfax Avenue

Roast Battle
One of the main reasons for the revitalization of the Comedy Store over the past several years is the weekly head-to-head comedy roast phenomenon known as Roast Battle. Born out of a rumored fistfight in the Comedy Store parking lot, it has toured around the world and become a big-time recurring event on Comedy Central. Host Jeff Ross, celebrity guest judges, and some of the meanest jokes ever abound late night every Tuesday. 10:30 p.m. Belly Room at the Comedy Store, 8433 West Sunset Boulevard

WEDNESDAY

Women Crush Wednesdays With Marcella Arguello
The all-female lineups of Women Crush Wednesdays, led by the fierce comedy stylings of host Arguello, are one of the highlights at the Hollywood Improv, period. It may take place in the smaller room, but WCW packs in quite the loyal, mighty following thanks to Arguello and the carefully selected guests. 7:45 p.m. Hollywood Improv Comedy Lab, 8156 Melrose Avenue

Photo by Richard M. Johnson/Courtesy of Scot Nery

Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap
Nery, hands down, has been running one of the best weekly variety shows in all of L.A. Wednesday night at King King (in the thick of Hollywood Boulevard’s madness) brings together Nery’s favorite clowns, acrobats, comedians, idiots, carnies, magicians, and more for an ultra-fast-paced variety-comedy extravaganza like no other in town. 8 p.m. The Whitley, 6555 Hollywood Boulevard

#Squatmelt
One Howard Kremer is dedicated to keeping the spirit of the marquee indie stand-up show The Meltdown With Jonah & Kumail alive. It started outside of what used to be Meltdown Comics, hopped around L.A. for a bit, and is now a live comedy show–walking-tour hybrid that revolves around the gorgeous Echo Park Lake. Yes, you’ll be taking a walk with a rotating cast of regulars and special guests who know how to play outside. 8:30 p.m. Swan House at Echo Park, 751 Echo Park Avenue

THURSDAY

Photo courtesy of Peacock Show L.A.

Peacock
One of L.A.’s newest weekly stand-up shows already runs a pretty tight ship. Every Thursday, host Kiran Deol (Sunnyside) and a very nice, neatly handpicked lineup of four or five big-timers like Patton Oswalt and new favorites like David Gborie take over the venue’s kitschy side room. 8 p.m. Tee Gee, 3210 Glendale Boulevard

FRIDAY

Photo courtesy of Faded Comedy/Facebook

Faded
Faded, a great weekly stand-up show, continues the long-standing L.A. comedy tradition of giving performances in the back of nontraditional venues (this one takes place in a space used for belly dancing during the day). They had to take a brief hiatus, but hosts David Gborie, Sean Jordan, Zak Toscani, and Mike Mulloy are back in full effect this Friday with a secret lineup of L.A.’s finest. 8 p.m. Mid City Arts Center, 1644 South La Cienega Boulevard

SATURDAY

Good Heroin
This fantastic stand-up showcase at a lovely local bookstore packs it in almost an hour early for decent seating. Even though hosts Dave Ross (The Late Late Show With James Corden) and Matt Ingebretson (cocreator and costar of Corporate) have made this a higher-profile show for several years now, it still feels like a great secret, as it’s nestled in the venue’s hidden back patio. 8 p.m. Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 West Sunset Boulevard

SUNDAY

Photo courtesy of Golden Hour

Golden Hour
The weather here allows for so many outdoor options; nighttime comedy under the stars is one of them. Kyle Berseth and M.K. Paulsen have maintained their stellar rep with this weekly Sunday show. (Bonus: free hot dogs!) 7:30 p.m. StartLA, 2272 Venice Boulevard

MULTIPLE NIGHTS

Photo courtesy of the Pack Theater

TPT Sketch Night
The Pack Theater may be just one black-box theater within in an entire complex of black-box theaters (the building itself is called the Complex), but it is home to some of the most exciting, daring, intriguing, and hysterical sketch comedy throughout the L.A. scene. For any given show, you’ll get two of the Pack’s fantastic handpicked house teams. Tuesday and Sunday, 8 p.m. Pack Theater, 6470 Santa Monica Boulevard

ASSSSCAT
The Upright Citizens Brigade’s flagship improv show has seen UCB evolve and expand into an empire across decades and in several locations. This is its mainstay, which features the very best improvisers (often including some of the founding members of UCB) re-creating scenes from a celebrity guest monologuist.
8 p.m. Saturday at UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Avenue
Free shows 7 p.m. Sunday at UCB Sunset, 5419 West Sunset Boulevard