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Arts

Comedy Clubs in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / March 29, 2011

Comedy Clubs TorontoToronto comedy clubs can be a great source of laughter if you're sick of just relying on City Hall for your daily dose of funny. (Or are those tears?) Some of Canada's best and brightest comedians have spawned from our humble clubs, as well as a few of those chronic amateur-night-attendees who, bless their hearts, just haven't been able to make it to Saturday Night Live.

Whoever takes the stage, chances are a night out at one of Toronto's comedy clubs will certainly be a good time. That is, unless you sit front row centre for a stand-up show...or walk in late. Speaking from experience, let me just say that both will make your cheeks a little pinker.

For those who aren't chronically tardy, here are a few places to catch live comedy in Toronto:

Comedy Bar
Comedy Bar at Bloor and Ossington has a little bit of everything offered seven nights a week. Perhaps a little tricky to navigate on a first visit, Comedy Bar has more than just stand-up, with improv, sketch, and alternative shows always on the roster. Food and drinks are pretty reasonably priced as well.

Yuk Yuk's
On the edge of Toronto's Club District, everyone knows this place. Yuk Yuk's is the classic dinner theatre and standup comedy venue, with shows featuring notable headliners and up-and-coming comics. Yuk Yuk's has also served as the launching pad for famous funny Canadian including Russel Peters and Howie Mandel. And if schadenfreude is your thing, you'll want to check out its Tuesday amateur nights.

The Second City
The Second City is a cozy spot for fantastic sketch comedy. The shows are often quite topical (anyone seen $#*! My Mayor Says?) and followed by audience interactive improv. And if the inspiration strikes you, you can enroll and come back to The Second City at King and Spadina for one of its improv, writing, or specialty courses.

Bad Dog Theatre
Though it has given up its home on the Danforth, Bad Dog Theatre promises it's not quitting improv comedy. For now, Bad Dog is producing shows at temporary venues and offering workshops out of 918 Bathurst until it find a new space. Its flagship show, Theatresports, will relaunch in April at Comedy Bar.

Absolute Comedy
Absolute Comedy is another venue for live stand-up, with a layout that is just awful for being picked up and picked on by comedians on stage. On Yonge north of Eglinton, Absolute also offers a pretty standard menu of pub food, drinks, and a discount PRO/AM night every Wednesday where the pros and amateurs share the stage.

Aside from comedy clubs, there's a long like of comedy nights at various venues around the city. Here's a snapshot of some of them:

Did I miss a good comedy club or venue in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo by Roger Cullman.

Discussion

24 Comments

turdlet / March 29, 2011 at 09:37 am
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Spirits has an open mic night on Wednesdays.
Geoff Hendry / March 29, 2011 at 09:57 am
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Geoff Hendry and Associates is a monthly comedy and music show at Supermarket Bar and Restaurant. Next show is on April 11th, 8:00pm.
huskylord / March 29, 2011 at 10:08 am
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Thanks for providing this.
JJ / March 29, 2011 at 10:20 am
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There's also a weekly Monday Night Comedy show at the Hard Luck Bar every Monday.
Steph / March 29, 2011 at 10:33 am
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I went to the Comedy Bar for the first time recently for a Friday night Improv Battle and it was hilarious! I know these things can be hit and miss so I was really pleasantly surprised. Food was very reasonably priced and delicious. I would highly recommend people to check this place out!
TSK / March 29, 2011 at 11:00 am
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For those interested in comedy:
Although not really a comedy club, Spirit's on Church holds an excellent open-mic night every Wednesday. Actually, it isn't technically an 'open-mic' because comics can't just walk in off the street or anything.
TSK / March 29, 2011 at 11:01 am
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oops, didn't read that first comment - sorry folks.
Darryl / March 29, 2011 at 11:13 am
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Spirit's Open Mic has been run by Jo-Anna Downey for 15 years (it celebrated just last week). I interviewed her about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXRxCg2rwfY
Tim / March 29, 2011 at 11:22 am
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Just so there's no confusion, we aim to remove comments that violate our comment policy as stated here:

http://www.blogto.com/commentpolicy/
Sunshine / March 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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BlogTO should not let people leave comedy listings as comments until it confirms them to be true. It's potentially misleading.
Kevin / March 29, 2011 at 01:30 pm
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The Impatient Theatre Co. has been teaching and performing in Toronto for more than 10 years. Our five weekly shows, featuring more than 100 performers, comprise two of the seven nights at Comedy Bar on any given week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and our training centre at Queen Street W. and Roncesvalles is the fastest growing training centre in the country.

Here's more info: http://www.impatient.ca/

Cheers,
Kevin Patrick Robbins
Artistic Director, Impatient Theatre Co.
Executive Producer, Toronto International Improv Festival
Brian / March 29, 2011 at 06:04 pm
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The Boom comedy does a awesome sketch night at the Supermarket in Kensington the last thursday every month. Jay Wells is truly a standout; I dont think there is anything he wont do to make you laugh.
Joe / March 29, 2011 at 06:20 pm
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I heart jokes actually has shows Monday-Wednesday
Monday-fox and fiddle welessly 8:30pm
It's pretty good
Tuesday- the central 7 & 8 pm an open mic at 7 then at 8 pm there is a different themed show everyweek
Really fun and amazing line ups
Wednesday- fox and the fiddle near keele and finch 10 pm
Really great headliners and full of York students
Joeeee / March 29, 2011 at 06:21 pm
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I heart jokes actually has shows Monday-Wednesday
Monday-fox and fiddle welessly 8:30pm
It's pretty good
Tuesday- the central 7 & 8 pm an open mic at 7 then at 8 pm there is a different themed show everyweek
Really fun and amazing line ups
Wednesday- fox and the fiddle near keele and finch 10 pm
Really great headliners and full of York students
Nancy / April 6, 2011 at 10:35 am
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Eton House on Tuesdays
Underdown Pub on Wednesdays
Dee / June 16, 2011 at 02:11 am
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Hard Times at the Hard Luck!! MONDAY NIGHTS!!
Phil Gillies / July 27, 2011 at 04:04 pm
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Toronto's longest-running, and best, comedy night is at Spirits Bar & Grill on Church Street. Every Wednesday night for 16 years now.
L. / January 22, 2012 at 11:16 am
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Could you please tell me thename of the comedy show held in the firehall? I was there years ago and will be visiting
Toronto over the summer 2012. I'd love to go there again but can't find it on Google.
terry / May 18, 2012 at 04:17 am
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Can someone, either the author or a guest, provide some info about the comedy shows at the bottom of the article (i.e. the ones that take place in bars)?

Most of those bars' websites don't even mention they have comedy shows so that's a little unsettling. Things like start times, end times, cover charges, whether there's a minimum order, etc. would be appreciated.

Matt / November 14, 2012 at 01:17 pm
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New hot spot for comedy! It was an early Sunday evening Nov 4th 2012; I wasn’t looking for a crazy night out but something to break up the monotonous Sunday night club scene. Much to my surprise I came across this quaint spot by the name of Midpoint. Located in the Queen Street West area, just west of the Drake, I was thankfully delighted to indulge in a comedic experience so close to my neck of the wood. Not to mention the talent was really quite good, I would almost say excellent! Anyway I spoke with Eric the owner who was very kind a personable, he told me that this was a new thing for the club and so far has been picking up speed. The room is small but that’s what I loved about it, holds about 30-40 people, a little bit of a dive bar but that’s just Queen St West. I would highly recommend you take a poke inside and get a good laugh on. Nice place to bring a date, a few friends, or even go buy yourself like I did. The staff and comics were easy going and all round fun people. Oh and by the way, the drink special kicks ass!

I believe the address is: 1180 Queen street west
Joanne Baker / January 3, 2013 at 02:09 pm
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The Underground Comedy & Social Club is located on the Eastside of Toronto. It’s the first 420 friendly Comedy Club, 7 years running now, and welcomes the best cutting edge comedy, burlesque, music and podcasts Toronto has to offer. The Underground strives to bring you entertainment as it was meant to be, in a friendly environment free of the rules and politics that usually confine genius.
Joanne Baker replying to a comment from Joanne Baker / January 3, 2013 at 02:14 pm
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We are located at 670 Queen St East, check my website for info on upcoming shows!
terry / March 31, 2013 at 08:00 pm
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The show at Eton House is no longer happening every Tuesday. It has been scaled back to once a month (last Tuesday of every month) until further notice. The host, Joanna Downey, is going through some health issues.
terry / April 4, 2013 at 03:05 am
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Lot Comedy Club is Toronto's newest comedy club. Its home is in the Lower Ossington Theatre though, so I guess it'd be more accurate to call it a comedy show instead of a comedy club.

Shows are Fridays and Saturdays with an open mic on Sundays. I have not seen any shows yet so I can't comment on that. Check their Facebook page for more details.

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