Whether you’re looking for a fun idea for date night or just want to see a live performance that isn’t a loud rock concert, a standup comedy show is just the thing. And when it comes to comedy, Chicago has no lack of options. From open mic nights where new comedians can try their hand at the craft to larger venues for nationally-known acts, Chicago offers an assortment of places where you can laugh your cares away, if only for an hour. Here are some of the best places to see stand up comedy in Chicago.
(Photo Credit: The Chicago Theatre's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: The Chicago Theatre’s Facebook)


The Chicago Theatre
175 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 462-6300
www.thechicagotheatre.com

When you think of The Chicago Theatre, you likely envision musical performances by the likes of Ben Folds, Lindsey Stirling, John Mellencamp and other acts. But the venue also plays host to a number of comedians, with Joe Rogan, Margaret Cho and Lewis Black slated to take the stage in upcoming months. Located in Chicago’s Loop, The Chicago Theatre is near an almost endless selection of restaurants and bars for a snack or drink after the performance. The venue is also within an easy walk of numerous public transportation options, so consider leaving your car at home when seeing a performance.

Chicago Underground Comedy
Beat Kitchen
2100 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
www.chicagoundergroundcomedy.com

What are your plans for Tuesday night? Instead of binge-watching Netflix, consider getting your friends together and catching some live standup comedy at Chicago Underground Comedy, or ChUC. Billed as an alternative comedy show, ChUC has standup performances by a number of comedians known on the national and local levels, including Bill Cruz, Katie McVay, Candy Lawrence and Chad Briggs. ChUC happens weekly at Beat Kitchen in Chicago’s Roscoe Village, where patrons can grab a bite to eat and a drink. Patrons must be 21 and up to catch a performance at ChUC.

(Photo Credit: iO Chicago's Facbeook)

(Photo Credit: iO Chicago’s Facbeook)


The iO Theater
1501 N. Kingsbury St.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 929-2401
www.ioimprov.com/chicago

Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, The iO Theater continues to offer an assortment of options for those looking for a laugh or two. Grab tickets to see a sketch or standup act, or catch an entirely improvised play performed by The Improvised Shakespeare Company, which takes the stage on Thursday and Friday nights. If you’ve ever wanted to jump on stage and try some of your own material, then sign up for open mic nights held on Mondays at 9 p.m. With the onsite bar and kitchen, you can grab a bite to eat before the show, too. It’s worth noting comedy fans will likely consider The iO Theatre hallowed ground, as it is where Jordan Peele, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers and so many other comedians have performed.

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UP Comedy Club
230 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 662-4562
www.upcomedyclub.com

Sure, you already know The Second City, renowned for its improv and for launching the careers of Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Bill Murray and so many more, but did you know it also has the UP Comedy Club? The club offers an assortment of comedy styles, including standup and improv. Upcoming performances include Jen Kirkman, Nate Bargatze and Dave Attell, and tickets can be purchased in advance for future shows. UP Comedy Club, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, offers a full food and drink menu, so you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the show.

Zanies Comedy Night Club
1548 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 337-4027
www.chicago.zanies.com

When it comes to standup comedy, Zanies Comedy Night Club offers it all. The venue hosts an array of comedians ranging from new and up-and-coming performers to legends like Richard Lewis. The club hosts themed nights throughout the month. For example, you can catch the Female Funnies, which has a performance lineup of female comics from Chicago. Zanies has locations in Rosemont, St. Charles and Nashville in addition to its place in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. Keep the kids at home for performances, as you must be 21 and up to catch a show.

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Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.