They say that laughter is the best medicine, and luckily for us, Philadelphia is full of opportunities and places to catch top-notch comedy shows. While stand-up specials and sketch comedy are both close runners up, we can’t get enough of Philly improv, and we want to let you in on The McCann Team’s favorite spots to sit back, relax, and enjoy the best laughs that our city has to offer.
- Philly Improv Theater – Presenting its shows at The Adrienne Theatre in Center City, Philly Improv Theater has been one of the leaders in the Philadelphia comedy scene since they opened their doors in 2005 and has rapidly become one of the most distinguished comedy venues in the country. Current and past performers have gone on to entertain audiences on highly acclaimed comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and 30 Rock, making this spot one of the best places to catch local up-and-comers before they make it big! They love to feature Philly talent such as local favorite improv group Pig Dipper, and they offer multiple shows a night every night of the week, not to mention some classes if you think you’ve got what it takes to captivate an audience the way these pros do. Head on over and prepare to leave with your sides in stitches!
- Good Good Comedy Theater – Chinatown isn’t just a neighborhood for grabbing some amazing grub – take your evening on over to N. 11th and Race St. to enjoy one of the many incredible live shows at the Good Good Comedy Theater. Named Best Comedy Club in the 2017 Best of Philly awards, this intimate theater was opened early 2016 after their proposed Kickstarter project was funded in less than two days. They provide endless laughs with up to four different improv shows a night. Not only is this a classic Philadelphia success story, they keep their shows cheap AND BYOB!
- ComedySportz by CSz Presents – ComedySportz is one of Philadelphia’s longest running professional improv shows, presenting two shows every Saturday night at The Adrienne Theater for over 25 years. Two improv teams engage in a rapid-fire competition for the most laughs from the audience with a referee present to call fouls and an announcer providing additional clever commentary on everyone’s progress. ComedySportz may be the most popular event they offer, but CSz always has special events up their sleeves such as late night adults-only improv (BYOB), touring shows, and New Year’s Eve events. Unlike comedy clubs, they have no food or drink minimums, so be prepared to laugh yourself silly while still keeping it easy on the wallet.
- Venice Island Performing Arts Center – We recently mentioned this theater in a piece about where to catch local theater pieces on the cheap, but this multifaceted 250-seat event space is also home to some of Philadelphia’s best improv comedy shows as well. They currently offer a free monthly recurring show hosted by local Philadelphia improv team Ryan Rebel Presents called Improv Island which is sure to keep you in fits of laughter, and the venue is perpetually on the lookout for new acts. Stop by Lock St for some side-splitting performances!
- Plays and Players – This theater company can trace its roots all the way back to 1913 when it originally opened its doors on Delancey Place as the “Little Theatre of Philadelphia.” Far from little in this day and age, this theater hosts an astounding array of top-notch performances with its improv comedy shows at the forefront. Another Philadelphia-based improv collective, Where The Trees Are, shine on stage every month during their recurring show The Treehouse featuring a rotating list of Philly comedic prodigies. Don’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate the comedic geniuses that flourish in our great city!
These theaters are only a snapshot of what Philadelphia has to offer in the way of laughter, but we know they’ll knock your socks off! This city knows how to keep the good times rolling, and we can’t wait to hear what you think in the comments below.