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In the age of YouTube and DVRs, seeing live comedy has become a rare experience these days. The stand-up comedy landscape ebbs and flows, but has bounced back strong in recent years with the help of these top-notch venues.
The Irvine Improv
71 Fortune Drive, Suite 841
Irvine, CA 92618
Located in the Irvine Spectrum Center, The Irvine Improv is a 300-person showroom with plenty of shops and restaurants in the surrounding mall to make for a full evening out. The Improv’s brand name and rich history attracts top performers on a consistent basis. Nationally recognized comedians like Brian Posehn and Steve Byrne grace the stage here (and its signature brick wall facade) along with Improv alums such as Bill Maher and Jay Leno. This comedy club also tops many lists as the premier stop in OC because of its ability to attract such high profile comedians. A full service bar is on-site and dinner is served during the opening act, making it a great combo of dinner, drinks and entertainment for a date or night out with friends.
The Brea Improv
120 S. Brea Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821
Like the Improv in Irvine, the Brea Improv carries the same weight and trademark name, netting them top-billing performers. The wait staff is unpretentious and friendly, serving up tasty grub and cocktails, while you get to sit back and enjoy their consistently strong line-up. Comedians are known to use this Improv as a stepping stone to larger gigs, giving audiences an intimate look at the next big things in film and television. In the heart of a revitalized downtown Brea, the Improv allows for local residents to see some of the top comics of our day without having to schlep to comedy clubs in Los Angeles.
3415 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
Not your traditional comedy club, ImprovCity offers sketch comedy fun for the whole family and have been entertaining Orange County since 2009 (inexpensively!) at the Back Bay Conference Center above the Irvine Lanes. Featuring two 90-minute improvisation shows every Friday and Saturday night along with great food and drinks from the bowling alley downstairs, professional comedians perform a variety of games, scenes and songs that are worked out on the spot, making each show a unique and exciting experience for the audience. Occasionally, audience members will even be asked to join the comedians on stage to participate in scenes. ImprovCity also works with local schools by teaching students the art of improv with an emphasis on team building, public speaking and the importance of confidence in decision-making.
Surf City Comedy Club
7227 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
The aptly named Surf City Comedy Club is one of the few spots to catch high-quality live comedy in Huntington Beach, and new ownership has injected fresh life into this already energetic club. Offering a comfortable open layout with portraits of comedy legends adorning the walls, comedians here stand between the likeness of Carlin and Pryor, who appropriately take both sides of the red-curtained center stage. The bar serves up beer, wine and a tasty menu of appetizers and entrees. They also offer comedy classes, taught by professional stand-up comic Jeff Capri, for those aspiring to be professionally funny.
The Comedy Spot Comedy Club (at Don the Beachcomber)
16278 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
One of SoCal’s original tiki bars, Don the Beachcomber transforms into a hotspot for comedy once a month, operating as an annex of the famed Comedy Spot Comedy Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. This historic venue is located right along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. The show features a nice blend of up-and-coming talent and some of the best headlining comedians on the scene. The tiki decor and island-inspired flare make this a unique comedy club you could only find off the Pacific shore.