London is certainly not short on comedy clubs but if you’re keen on an evening full of belly laughs rather than tumbleweeds, you’ll need to know the best from the rest.
From hidden gems to big name comedians, there are so many to explore. So if you are planning a laugh-filled night and want to know what the best London comedy clubs are; make sure you read the next few hundred words!
1. Top Secret Comedy Club
Contrary to what the name might suggest, this isn’t top secret anymore. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden on Drury Lane, acts perform every night of the week in one of two venues. John Bishop, Eddie Izzard, Jack Whitehall, Russell Howard, Dara O’Briain, Seann Walsh and Jason Manford are among the big-name comedians you might see trialing new material, as well as plenty of upcoming stars.
2. The Covent Garden Comedy Club
Open for more than 14 years Under The Arches @ Heaven, the Covent Garden Comedy Club has a rich history and is renowned for being the breeding ground of future talent as well as featuring stars from television and radio. Lee Mack, Jimmy Carr and Alan Carr are among those to have starred on stage. Three comedians perform every night of the week from 8.00-10.00pm. It is very reasonably priced too.
3. The 99 Club
A multiple winner of the Best London Comedy Club award, you’ll get a top class evening of entertainment with the likes of Russell Howard, Lee Mack, Stephen K. Amos, Andy Parsons, Jason Manford, Rich Hall, Lenny Henry among those to have performed. You’re more likely to see some of the world’s up-and-coming comedians do their stuff at the venue in the heart of Leicester Square or at additional venues in Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus the 99 Club has expanded to.
4. The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store has now passed 35 years in business and continues to entertain with an impressive mix of standup shows, improvisation acts and open mic nights throughout the week. The Comedy Store is ideally located between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus and features three nights of stand up a week, while alternative comedy is available on two nights. With such a rich history, you could be witnessing the next Steve Coogan, Paul Merton, Eddie Izzard, Julian Clary or Frank Skinner, all of whom have played The Comedy Store.
5. Comedy Carnival
Some of the most famous names from the comedy circuit feature at Comedy Carnival, stars of Live At The Apollo and Mock The Week among them. At Bar Rumba on Shaftesbury Avenue off Leicester Square, Comedy Carnival has shows every Friday and Saturday night from 8.00-10.00pm and also stages a gig on one Saturday each month at Infernos on Clapham High Street. The familiar faces of Reginald D Hunter and Holly Walsh are complimented by some of the freshest talent from across the world.
6. The Boat Show Comedy Club
A unique evening awaits at The Boat Show Comedy Club because it’s not often you’ll spend time watching comedians on the Thames. Located inside a refurbished paddle steamer, the 300-capacity club is located at The Tattershall Castle on Victoria Embankment and sees acts perform every Friday and Saturday night as well as on Tuesdays. Four comedians feature on each bill but you’re unlikely to see the same thing with comics performing no more than around three times a year. Famous comedians are also known to pop in for secret gigs.
7. Soho Comedy Club
Ideally situated in the heart the city, the Soho Comedy Club provides some of the best stand-up comedians from three separate locations. The 7 Dials Club in Covent Garden has shows on Friday and Saturday nights to enjoy from 8.00-10.30pm, while a stone’s throw away The Prince of Wales Theatre has acts performing every Saturday between 9.30pm-11.30pm. For lovers of a more intimate gig, the Soho Comedy Club also has Monday evening comedy at The Round Table in Leicester Square with plenty of future stars on the bill.