Contrary to a lot of what we write about our little county, there are times when people in OC are actually funny on purpose. Not typically thought of as a stronghold for stand-up comedy, you'd be surprised at the gloriously irreverent, local and nationally touring comedians that line up to have their backs against a brick wall at our local comedy clubs and open mics every night of the week. If switching things up with a mix of dark watering holes, indie clubs and trusted chain venues is your thing, than there are no shortage of places in OC to get your laugh on. Such as life, some places are better than others so we decided to give you our list of the top five comedy clubs that are worth your time.
5. Surf City Comedy Club (Huntington Beach)
When two comics get together to open a comedy club you know you are in for a good time. That is the exact scenario with Jeff Capri and Bob Perkell and their spot, Surf City Comedy Club in Huntington Beach. Every Friday and Saturday night you are in for a treat with an ever changing line-up that has included the comedic chops of Allen Havey, Gene Pompa, Danny Villalpando, and Eric Schwartz. You can even get into the action if you are an aspiring funny lady or man and need some pointers as they hold comedy classes on Tuesday's.
7227 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach; (949) 287-3161.
4. City National Grove of Anaheim (Anaheim)
If a marquee comedian in a larger (yet still intimate) venue is what you are looking for, stop your search at the City National Grove of Anaheim. While they're generally known for their amazing musical acts, in between bands, the Grove is squeezing in some of the best comedic talent from around the country. Margaret Cho, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Lisa Lampanelli, George Lopez, and Sinbad have all made the rounds to Anaheim so make sure you check their schedule because you just never know who's going to come through to dish out the hilarity!
2200 East Katella Ave., Anaheim; (724) 712-2700.
3. Hennessey's (Dana Point)
Hennessey's comedy night offers a great way to shake off your bad case of the Monday's. With no cover charge, every Monday night you can belly up to their bar or tables and check out some of the best local talent O.C. has to offer with special guests weekly. Comics like Friendly Frank, Evan Cassidy, Russell Hicks, Sharon Barragan, and Adam Hunter have all graced the Hennessey's stage supplying the funny in order to help you to shake off the workday woes. On a side note: make sure you stick around after the stand-up performances, make sure to catch some unintentional comedy watching karaoke hosted by Andrea Kooiman. Trust us. Not everyone there is a "singer."
354111 La Plaza, Dana Point; (949) 488-0121.
2. Laugh Factory (Long Beach)
When you find yourself in Long Beach looking for something to do, skip the bar scene people watching and go and see some grade-A wise asses do their thing at the Laugh Factory. Nosh on their extensive dinner menu while being entertained by the likes of Grant Cotter, Patrick Keane, Andrew Santino, and Brody Stevens. Supplying jokes galore, the Laugh Factory has plenty of theme nights to entertain you throughout the week.
151 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach; (562) 495-2844.
1. Improv (Irvine and Brea)
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Our top pick is of course the Improv because they are bringing in some of the best headliners in comedy from Jim Norton, Dave Attell, and Richard Lewis to Craig Shoemaker, Pablo Francisco, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans. The Improv offers all of the quintessential things a comedy club should have--including a night filled with LOLs, racial epithets and bathroom jokes from some of the best. With friendly staff, tasty grub and cocktails, and a killer weekly line-up all year round, you are in for a solid night at either one of these Improv clubs. Believe us, we frequent them enough to know!
71 Fortune Dr. #841, Irvine; (949) 854-5455. 120 South Brea Blvd., Brea; (714) 482-0700.
Honorable Mentions: We also want to give a shout out to some other places around Orange County that have comedy and some that feature open mic nights. Getting up and showcasing your talent is hard and there are some other options when you want to see terrific comics as well as great up and comers. Keep up the good work Westside Bar & Grill (Costa Mesa), The Comedy Spot Comedy Club (Huntington Beach), Boscoe's Sports Grill (Lake Forest), and Anchor Bar (Costa Mesa).