Founded by Jamie Masada when he was just sixteen, The Laugh Factory has become an internationally-known comedy club with locations in three states. This original Sunset Strip venue continues to be a favorite of fledgling and world-famous comics alike, with familiar faces from Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Richard Pryor and Chelsea Handler all gracing the stage in years past. The surprisingly intimate space seats only a few hundred people, mostly at café tables and banquettes surrounding the stage, and with the usual two-drink minimum there’s always plenty to eat and drink while you’re being entertained. A nearby VIP lounge offers more discreet access to shows, or (depending on which side of the velvet rope you’re on) for peeking in on the latest celebrity out to catch a laugh. Parking in the neighborhood is almost exclusively restricted, so stick with the valet out front.
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Everyone needs to laugh once or twice, but no more than 10 times in life. Lucky for you, $8 gets you a ticket (a $20 value) for select dates at Hollywood Improv, located at 8162 Melrose Ave.. Hollywood Improv is part of the national Improv chain that helped launch the careers of David Spade, Lily Tomlin, Adam Sandler, and Jerry Seinfeld, but did nothing for the careers of Dikembe Mutombo, Toni Morrison, and Bob Ross. Buy a few Groupons and grab some friends, because comedians require a copious laughter supply to survive.
With your Groupon, you must call at least three days ahead to reserve your ticket for one of the following shows:
Like most comedy clubs, The Hollywood Improv requires a two-item minimum. Check out its extensive menu, which includes the mammoth Improv burger (two ground-beef patties, garlic mayo, Swiss cheese, and lettuce). Email the club five days before your show to make dinner reservations, which gets you priority seating. Check out the available shows, and call the Hollywood Improv to reserve your tickets to the show of your choice.
Citysearch says, "At the Improv, it's big-time acts without the big-time attitude of those Sunset Strip clubs. There's no lining up outside. Enter and have a drink at the warm and inviting bar...The showroom is classic, with the brick wall made famous by years of "Live at the Improv" tapings."
LosAngeles.com says, "Without places like the Hollywood Improv, there would be a little less happiness in the world and probably more violence."
Yelpers and Citysearchers give it four stars:
- This is by far one of my favorite places to go of all time in the way of entertainment. – Bunny L., Yelp
- Overall a great night, inexpensive fun, top-notch comedians, and a mini-ab workout to boot. – Kelley B., Yelp
- I would recommend this place to anyone that wants to have a good laugh and a great time. Leave the uptight, narrow-minded, conservative types at home where they belong!! – ThatGurrlFromLA, Citysearch
- Sonny opened the show by telling everyone to shut up, which seemed especially rude coming from a mime. He seemed very angry about something. – Marlo Cantrell, Seattle Tribune
- Sonny talked throughout the performance and then drank most of my drink. When I protested, he mimed punching me and then actually struck my husband, Dan. – Stephanie Lane, Mime Month
- Halfway through the show, Sonny left stage. When he came back five minutes later, he had clearly been crying. He spent the rest of the show playing “Smoke on the Water” on an acoustic guitar and complaining about not getting in to graduate school. – Keith Baxter, San Diego News
iO West Theater presents improv and sketch-comedy shows and, along with its comedy-sister, the iO Chicago Theater, has served as a training ground for some of America's best entertainers, including Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Eric Stonestreet. The theater's main stage (must be age 21+ to attend) features shows such as Top Story! Weekly, a 60-minute written show touching on America's newsliest items ($5 per ticket), and The Armando Show, 90 minutes worth of improv ripped from the monologue of a celebrity guest ($10 per ticket). There are also all-ages shows at Del Close Theater and The Loft. Across all stages, performers make up situations and details as they go along, and what hilarity emerges is a result of training, audience suggestion, and underlying psychological issues. Call ahead to reserve tickets to fill your empty soul with mirth.
During each beginner improv class, students learn the basic skills of improvisational success, honing in on focus, concentration, teamwork, trust, stagework, and scenework skills. Classes meet for 3.5 hours and take place once a week at ComedySportz' theater at 733 Seward Street. Under the tutelage of experienced funnypersons, students quickly become comfortable and poised to unleash quick-thinking, off-the-cuff remarks.
The Improv Space is a multifunctional comedy laboratory that both teaches and performs unscripted humor. Catch one of the troupe-hosted shows ($5–$10), such as the seasoned cast of Robert Downey Jr. Jr. performing Hometown Interview on Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. In this show, the cast interrogates an audience volunteer for tidbits about their hometown experiences to use as inspiration for a fully improvised comedy show, then the volunteer returns to his seat to apologize to his friends for using their real names.
At ACME Comedy Hollywood, professional funny folk bust through the spotlight of an intimate, 99-seat venue to bust audiences' guts during improv- and sketch-comedy performances. Often dubbed the "West Coast SNL," Hollywood Saturday Night broadcasts live as a celebrity host attempts to crack funny bones through new sketches from top comedy writers and ACME performers. Each show also includes a musical guest with the ability to make whoopee cushion sounds with their lips as they play. In Hollywood Dream Role, an improvised movie unfolds onstage as a celebrity guest is forced to act out the part of a lifetime with no script, set, or makeup artist to cover their vestigial tentacles. Audiences can also opt to ogle top comedians in the Hollywood Stands Up show or risk laughing themselves to death during the mystery improv Murder by ACME! As performers create and move the plot along, the audience follows, ready to correctly identify the killer or frame their date at the drop of the final curtain. Before the show begins, Groupon customers can venture over to neighboring Amalfi Restaurant for a $1 discount on beverages, which, unlike a clawfoot tub full of moonshine, can be taken inside the theater.