San Francisco Night Laugh - The Comedy Clubs
San Francisco is a lively city full of culture and entertainment, so it's no surprise that there is a great selection of comedy clubs for people of all tastes. There are comedy clubs in North Beach, Chinatown, and the Financial District. Enjoying a night at one of these clubs will be sure to make your night out memorable. Here we've compiled the best six of what San Francisco has to offer in terms of comedy and stand-up, in no particular order. We hope you enjoy reading and get an idea of what might be the right club for you!
Cobb's Comedy Club
915 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
The 400-seat venue is multipurpose and allows for movie screenings as well as stand-up comedy. A variety of comedy types here, ranging from traditional stand‑up to drag queen brunches, and open mic nights. Famous comedians who have performed here include Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Dave Attell, and Dave Chappelle. Shows cost about $20–$50 per person.
At Cobb's, a security check is done at the entrance, and your purse isn't expected to be bigger than a certain size. If it is, you'll have to check in your bag in front, but no worries, check-in is free. The menu contains dinner options, but my best recommendations are finger foods. Drinks are a little expensive, but they are worth the price as they are larger than you would expect. You have to buy a minimum of two drinks, but they can be non-alcoholic. The men's restroom is upstairs while the women's is downstairs, close to the bar. There is also a single bathroom next to the women's for those with wheelchairs, crutches, etc.
There's no facility provided for parking, so you'll have to park on the street (but there is a 2‑hour limit) or in any of the nearby garages at a fee.
Opens on Wednesdays from 1 to 6 pm, Thursdays from 4 to 9 pm, Fridays from 4 to 11 pm, Saturdays from 4 to 10:30 pm, and Sundays from 4 to 8:30 pm.
Phone: 415 928 4320
Punch Line San Francisco
444 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
This 182‑seat capacity venue is the San Francisco comedy club to visit If you’re looking to see international acts in a relatively intimate setting. The venue is quite small and tables are arranged close to one another, creating a very cozy atmosphere. It is a perfect date night spot to take your special someone. You have to buy a minimum of two drinks per person, so each person should expect to pay an additional $20‑30 as cocktails or wine cost $12‑$14 and beers cost around $10 each.
The venue is located in the financial district so there are not a lot of nearby restaurants within walking distance to eat at beforehand. I would recommend eating in north beach or china town before moving over to the venue. For easy navigation, hop on the BART, get off at Embarcadero station, and take a 6‑minute walk to the venue. Ho up the stairs right on Battery and wander around on the second story until you find the entrance. Be aware that even though the show starts at 8, you should arrive latest at 7:30 because seats fill up quickly, especially if you have a larger group of people. Especially for the bigger names, I advise that you get your ticket ASAP.
Phone: 415 397 7573
Cheaper Than Therapy
533 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Cheaper than Therapy is located at the historic Shelton Theatre and right in the heart of the city next to Union Square. Here you'll feel a great sense of community as they usually have local comics perform. After the shows, you can stay get and meet comics, have conversations and take pictures with them.
The location is right next to a 7‑Eleven, down the stairs, and into a small bar to hang out in before the show starts. You want to go early so you can hang around, listen to the piano, and hit the bar before the standup show. The bar and box office open 1 hour before showtime. Inside the venue is a theatre-style seating and there are honestly no bad seats. Entry fee costs $20‑25.
The shows usually last 70 to 90 minutes and feature a handful of comics who perform for 15 to 20 minutes each. Cheaper Than Therapy is one of the more popular local comedy venues in San Francisco, so it’s best to get your tickets in advance. Tickets tend to sell out at least a couple of days before shows. Note that the shows are rated 18+, so it is not a location to visit with your kids. Opens on Thursdays 8 pm, Fridays 8 pm & 10 pm, Saturdays 8 pm & 10 pm, and Sundays 7 pm.
Phone: 415 506 8474
Secret Improv Society
533 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102
They host some of the best improv shows in the whole of SF with award‑winning theatrical comedy performances, as well as song shows, only for $15. Secret Improv Society has the most intimate shows you'll ever attend. There are plenty of opportunities for audience participation, whether through yelling out suggestions or going up the stage to join in a game. The cast contains very talented comedians who can create humor out of almost any situation and a witty house musician who inserts perfectly timed tunes into the performances.
Also, you get some free Oreos when you attend the shows, and there's no minimum number of drinks you have to buy. The venue is really small, so you should get your tickets in advance as shows get sold out. Opens only on Fridays and Saturdays from 7‑9:30 pm. And as a bonus, if you’ve ever wanted to learn improv, Secret Improv Society offers free drop‑in improv classes on the last Wednesday of every month at 8 pm at St. Cyprian Church.
Phone: 415 596 6661
The Setup: Stand‑Up Comedy
222 Hyde St #3324, San Francisco, CA 94102
Welcome to the SF location that gives you the "NYC feel". The Set‑up is an underground comedy club that we'll consider a must‑visit in completing your San Francisco experience. The beautiful venue which was transformed into the cozy patio lounge that it is today was an underutilized parking lot between two buildings. The venue is located in the Tenderloin district which isn't the safest area around, so I strongly advise that you Uber directly to the location if you're not familiar with the environment. If you choose to walk, do it with a friend or more. The venue is quite small and seating is limited, so get there 20‑30 minutes ahead of showtime.
There are usually two shows per night; one at 7:45 and the other at 9:45. Check online for the line‑ups of the night. You should also purchase your tickets online as they are cheaper; save up to $5 per person. Also, make sure you buy the correct time you want to attend, as so many people make the mistake of purchasing tickets for a night and not paying for which of the shows they purchased tickets for. A drink costs about $7‑10 and the bar opens at 7 pm. Come early to get cheaper drinks. Note that you must be 21 or older and only street parking is available if you're coming with your vehicle. Opens on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4 to 10 pm, and Fridays & Saturdays from 4 pm to 12 am.
Phone: 415 742 7222
The Marrakech Magic Theater
419 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This is one of San Francisco's best-kept secrets. The Marrakech Magic Theatre is one of the more unique comedy options in SF. Shows are hosted by Jay Alexander, who is one of the best entertainers you'll ever meet. He puts on high-energy performances, mixes magic and mentalism well with comedy, and carries his audience along amazingly. The venue usually contains not more than 50 people per show. At the location, you go downstairs to what is like a secret cellar that opens up to a Moroccan club from the 1930s. Jay visits with his guests one-on-one so you get to know him personally so it's not like you're just a number in the crowd.
Get there 45 minutes early to partake in the delicious and reasonably priced food and drinks in the Oasis Lounge, where you can see some close-up magic before the formal show. While you're at it, Jay Alexander introduces himself and goes up to every table to do a magic trick. It really helps set the stage for the next hour. Jay then personally escorts each group into the beautiful Moroccan theatre. There is not a single bad seat in the house. The shows cost $55‑$70 per person and are good for all ages. You can also book Jay's services for your events and gatherings. If you're looking for something different, book Jay. There is no middle ground with magic shows ‑ they are either terrible or amazing, and Jay Alexander is amazing!
Phone: 415 794 6893
Phone: 415 742 7222
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