Liking to laugh and enjoying comedy isn’t exactly an uncommon thing. However, very few people have actually gone to see standup comedy live, which is a shame considering that standup comedy is almost always better live. Comedy clubs are often the unsung heroes of college towns. They give students the opportunity for a fun night of entertainment, typically for very cheap. Many comedy clubs have been around for decades and are woven deep into the fabric of the college town they reside. Below we list our top 10 (in no particular order) comedy clubs for college students.
1. Goodnight’s Comedy Club (Raleigh, NC)
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Goodnight’s Comedy Club has been one of the best comedy clubs in the South for decades. A staple of the comedy boom of the 1980s, Goodnight’s Comedy Club saw a resurgence in 2015 when Helium Comedy purchased it.
Goodnight’s Comedy Club is a great comedy club for college students for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is located within walking distance of North Carolina State University and is just a short drive from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Students from North Carolina State University can attend shows at Goodnight’s almost every night of the week.
Open mic night at Goodnight’s Comedy Club is a great free entertainment option for college students and is also a great place for aspiring comedians to cut their teeth. Goodnight’s also offers a robust schedule of comedy shows that leverage their stable of local talent.
2. Comedy Works (Denver, Colorado)
Another staple of the 1980s comedy boom, Comedy Works Denver has been operating for over forty years. Operating in downtown Denver, Colorado, Comedy Works has provided college students at the nearby Colorado State University with an amazing comedy schedule. In fact, Comedy Works is currently owned by a Colorado State University alum.
Comedy Works Denver currently operates two locations: the original downtown location and a new Greenwood Village location. Both of these clubs offer students the opportunity to see major touring comedians and enjoy shows with local up-and-coming talent. Students interested in trying comedy themselves can also signup for open mic night at either club location.
This club is highly-regarded among comedians as being one of the best rooms in the country and is often chosen for album recordings. Many of these comedians attribute this to the number of college students in the audience who often make for a fun comedy crowd.
3. Hyena’s Comedy Club (Dallas & Ft. Worth, Texas)
With clubs in both Fort Worth and Dallas, Hyena’s Comedy Club has been an integral part of Texas’s comedy scene. Hyena’s Comedy Club has become well-known for its incredible stage and audio setup and the local, regional, and national talent they bring in.
Hyena’s Comedy Club also focuses on ensuring that they provide shows and ticket options at all price points, even prices that college students can afford. Embracing college students, Hyena’s Comedy Club has become a go-to spot for students at the University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas, and more.
Serving students in multiple locations, Hyena’s Comedy Club also makes it a point to help develop their local talent. Pulling on local comedians to host and feature for their shows, Hyena’s Comedy Club also offers an open mic for comedians who are just starting out. This makes the club a great option for the aspiring comedian and comedy fan alike.
4. Comedy on State (Madison, Wisconsin)
Located just on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus’s outskirts, Comedy on State has been providing laughs to college students for years. An integral part of University of Wisconsin-Madison nightlife, Comedy on State brings in nationally touring acts as well as newer up-and-coming comedians, ensuring something for everyone on their schedule.
Comedy on State also offers an open mic night, as well as shows that feature local talent. Being located so close to the University of Wisconsin-Madison has helped Comedy on State become one of the nation’s best comedy clubs. By offering fairly priced tickets, Comedy on State has attracted large crowds of eager college students. A night at Comedy on State is a great way to have a good time without breaking the bank, which is crucial for college students.
Every year, Comedy on State hosts Madison’s Funniest Comic Contest, a contest aimed at promoting local talent. These shows are a great option for college students as they tend to cost less, and there are a bunch of different shows across the span of the contest.
5. Laugh Boston (Boston, Massachusetts)
Started in 2013, Laugh Boston boasts a modern 300-person comedy theater that is state-of-the-art. Since its recent opening, Laugh Boston has quickly become one of the best places to watch comedy in Boston, and one of the better deals for students in the area.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Laugh Boston has provided entertainment for students at Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, and more. Providing students with a cheap entertainment option, Laugh Boston has become an integral part of Boston student night life in the past few years.
Laugh Boston offers a wide range of different comedy shows, many of which focus on offering local talent a chance to show their skills. And if you’re looking for famous touring headliners, Laugh Boston has those in spades. So if you’re attending a nearby college and are looking for a cheap night of laughs, Laugh Boston is a great place to start.
6. The Comedy Cellar (New York City, New York)
One of the most iconic comedy clubs globally, the Comedy Cellar is a great place for college students to catch some of the best comedians in the world working out their brand new material. Founded in 1982, The Comedy Cellar’s original room has been operating out of a small basement below The Olive Tree restaurant. Now the Comedy Cellar has expanded to include the nearby Fat Black Pussy Cat and The New Room.
One of the Comedy Cellar’s main draws is its showcase format that is absolutely packed with top-tier talent. Shows at The Comedy Cellar feature lineups of New York City’s greatest comedians as well as drop-ins from comedy megastars like Jerry Seinfeld, Nikki Glaser, Aziz Ansari, Dave Chappelle, and more.
Located in the East Village, students from New York University, Columbia University, and other NYC universities can attend what is arguably the best value in comedy there is. Not only will you be able to see some of the best comedians in the world, but you’ll also be able to watch them in the middle of working their craft as they work on their newest material.
7. Laughing Skull Lounge (Atlanta, Georgia)
While one of the newer comedy clubs on the list, Laughing Skull Lounge has quickly grown to be one of the best comedy clubs in the United States. Located in the back of The Vortex Midtown restaurant, Laughing Skull Lounge has become highly-regarded for its quality of shows by investing in its local community of comedians and nearby colleges for audiences.
Students at Georgia State University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, or any other nearby Atlanta colleges should definitely check out the Laughing Skull Lounge. Bringing in major touring acts on the weekends, Laughing Skull Lounge also offers many local showcases during the week. This is a great way to see the local talent for cheap.
Laughing Skull Lounge is also the host of the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, which hosts some of the nation’s best up-and-coming comedians each year. Whether you’re a comedy fan or an aspiring comedian, the Laughing Skull Lounge is a great place for college students to enjoy.
8. Tempe Improv (Tempe, Arizona)
Part of the Improv chain of comedy clubs, the Tempe Improv is special as it has made a name for itself in the region. Tempe, Arizona, is home to Arizona State University – one of the universities in the country. For those tens of thousands of students looking for a laugh, there’s no better option than the Tempe Improv.
Attracting some of the nation’s biggest comedic talents, The Tempe Improv can leverage its large network of clubs to bring in some of the greatest comedians working. The Tempe Improv also works to integrate local talent into its roster of opening acts to help give these new up-and-comers a way to hone their craft.
The Tempe Improve has been widely-lauded by comedians and comedy fans alike in a bigger, more modern comedy rooms. If you’re a college student nearby, you can’t go wrong by checking out a show at the Tempe Improv.
9. Punch Line (San Francisco, California)
The oldest comedy club in San Francisco, Punch Line San Francisco, has become deeply integrated into its culture and history. Opened in 1978, Punch Line San Francisco has been the home of some of the world’s greatest comedians, including Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres, Patton Oswalt, and more. Since its opening, Punch Line San Francisco has afforded locals one of the best places to watch standup comedy.
College students at San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, and other local colleges have enjoyed Punch Line San Francisco for decades. Pulling from its pull of astounding local talent, Punch Line San Francisco offers multiple shows a week as well as open mics that are great options for college students.
Whether you’re interested in trying comedy yourself or want to laugh after class, Punch Line San Francisco is a great club for college students.
10. The Comedy Store (West Hollywood, California)
Another legendary comedy club, The Comedy Store, is integral to the history of standup comedy itself. Opened in April 1972, some of the world’s greatest comedians got their start and honed their skills at The Comedy Store. Comedians like Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, David Letterman, and more all began their careers at The Comedy Store.
Located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, The Comedy Store is one of the best comedy clubs for college students in the area. With multiple shows every night, students can catch a show with some of the world’s biggest comedians at a very reasonable price. Most of the shows at The Comedy Store are known as showcase shows where many comedians run shorter sets. This is a great way to get a sampling of many different types of comedy.
It’s not uncommon for major comedians like Tom Segura, Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, and others to drop into work on their latest material. If you go to college in the Los Angeles-area, The Comedy Store is one of the best places to catch some live comedy.
These are just some of our favorite comedy clubs for college students, but rest assured, there’s almost certainly a place near your school of choice where you can go for a night of laughs.