Arizona’s most promising side-splitters share the stage with nationally renowned headliners at Speakeasy Comedy Club, a venue taking its atmospheric cues from a Prohibition-era nightspot. Shows on Friday and Saturday nights feature performers who have honed their anatomical knowledge of funny bones during televised appearances on Conan, Last Comic Standing, and HBO specials. Though the club discloses its password to a range of comics from diverse backgrounds, most performers eschew squeaky-clean comedy for a brand of dirty humor that appeals to the noir detectives who regularly lean on the venue's gray brick walls or occupy the back row’s plushy seats. A friendly wait staff supplies cocktails, signature margaritas, and other exquisite libations along with Mexican cuisine to soothe bellies aching from chortling fits.
At Stand-Up, Scottsdale! bellies ache from a rotating selection of nationally known comedians seen on Comedy Central and late-night talk shows. The intimate 180-person venue, where such local legends as David Spade got their start, beckons a cast of talented funny persons that changes regularly. Voted Best Comedy Club of 2012 by Arizona Foothills magazine, the ha-ha hot spot has recently hosted performances by noted names including Dana Carvey, Frank Caliendo, and Norm Macdonald. A full menu of pub-food appetizers and entrees keeps would-be hecklers otherwise occupied, and Wednesday evening open-mic nights allow rookie comics to test their mettle.
The rule of three is more than a spooky truth about celebrity deaths—it's also the body of law that governs comedic extemporaneity. In accordance with this rule, you'll laugh harder and be more attractive if you tell three, six, nine, and other multiples of three friends about today's deal to Jester'Z Improv Comedy Troupe. For $5, you get a ticket to see Jester'Z sidesplitting improvised comedy show on Friday or Saturday nights at 10 p.m.—that's less than the cost of a comedy movie, hardbound comedy book, or admission to the comedy museum in Cedar Falls. To avoid this common improv pitfall, print out this handy list of suggestions by clicking Print, located under the File menu in most browsers.
Every weekend, nationally touring comedians step up to the brick wall at The Comedy Spot Comedy Club to deliver their sets. The performance area allows viewers to get table seating right up to the edge of the stage or hang back in the booths to admire photos of nostalgic comedic icons. While watching, audiences can take in New York– and Chicago–inspired sandwiches and pizzas from the menu. Those looking to hone their own rib-tickling skills can enroll in improv classes or take the stage for a five-minute set during open mic nights. The club’s website even offers fledgling comics tips, such as a dress code, following the light, and checking each patron’s bag for tomatoes.
Voted the Best Local Performing Arts Troupe by readers of the East Valley Tribune in 2011, National Comedy Theatre’s ensemble of players concocts improvised situations at lightning-fast speeds, relying on audience participation and their own wits to elicit thunderous laughter and applause. After turning to their all-ages crowd for assistance in shaping games and scenarios, the cast employs knowledge gleaned from operating-room sketches to tickle ribs with anatomical exactitude. The show often favors spontaneity over prudence, with performers gleefully stepping into their roles as acrophobic skydiving champions or long-winded court stenographers. Audience members get to select the winning team at the conclusion of the show, and can learn the form themselves during improv classes.