In 2013, Will Ferrell told the press about watching open mic nights in Irvine during his college days. Like many hopefuls, Ferrell signed up to take the stage at the Irvine Improv, but backed out a few times. Things have worked out rather well for Mr. Ferrell, of course, but Orange County does have other comedians brave enough to try their bits in front of live audience. The following venues have nights set aside for comedy and also feature good eats and drinks to complement the laughs.
Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir
220 N. Malden
Fullerton, CA 92832
Feeling creative? Head over to Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Local musicians, poets and comics step in front of an open mic on those evenings to try out their material. This community-supported coffee house also has plenty of caffeinated beverages, food and snacks to enjoy while sitting at a table. A homage to those great coffee houses from a different era, Max Bloom’s will make you smile one way or another.
2675 Irvine Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
For a struggling or new comic, there are few places better than the Anchor Bar to make a debut. On Monday evenings, several comedians step behind the mic at this popular local establishment. In addition to the entertainment, fans of this venue also like the decor, beer selection and the wait staff. Mondays are tough on all of us, but a good mixture of beer, comedy and pizza at the Anchor Bar can take the sting out of the day.
The Harp Inn
130 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Calling itself the “most authentic Irish Pub in Orange County,” the Harp Inn features some great OC live entertainment. Stand-up comics take the stage on Tuesday evenings and, as Will Ferrell did so many times in Irvine, they have to sign up ahead of time. The pub gives every comic five minutes in front of the audience before moving on to the next hopeful. The rest of the week features some great musical entertainment and another open mic on Mondays. No matter if you are a comic or a comedy fan, check out the Harp Inn.
Related: Best Comedy Clubs In Orange County
Irvine Improv Umami Burger Patio Stage
527 Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
Irvine has changed a lot since Will Ferrell’s youth, as has the Irvine Improv. Located in the Spectrum Center, the once-small venue has evolved into a rather large complex. On Wednesdays, the Umami Burger Patio Stage next to the Improv hosts an open mic night for the first 21 comedians who sign up. Get your best material and reserve your slot starting at 8:45 p.m. Showtime is at 9:30 and all jokes must be PG-13, so keep it clean it Irvine!
Brix Sunset Beach
16635 Pacific Coast Highway
Sunset Beach, CA 90742
Comedy and Huntington Beach go together like surfers and waves. Sunset Beach, a Huntington Beach community, is home to Brix, a place with good food, wine and comedy. On Wednesday evenings, the professional comics take the stage from 8 to 9 p.m., with open mic taking place after that. The earlier you sign up for a spot the better. Bring your best material down to Sunset Beach and entertain some OC residents.
Related: Best Amateur Nights In Orange County
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Steven Bryan calls Irvine, California his home. A freelance writer for more than 20 years, he has interviewed a wide range of notable celebrities, including a variety of up-and-coming musicians and artists as well. Passionate about movies and comic books, he also makes an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic-Con.