Looking for a laugh? Here’s where to find the best comedy clubs in Mississippi River Country, whether you’re looking for some improv fun or a national headliner.
The Second City, Chicago, Illinois
Boasting such illustrious alumni as Bill Murray, Eugene Levy, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chris Farley and Stephen Colbert (just to name a very few), Chicago’s Second City is considered one of the most influential and prolific comedy theaters in the world. Second City has held its hilarious shows in Chicago since 1959, and the troupe also has training programs and theaters in Los Angeles and Toronto.
Another group of improv performers of note in the Windy City? ImprovOlympic, whose performances take place at the iO Theater in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Comedy Club on State, Madison, Wisconsin
This club in Wisconsin’s quintessential college town (which is also the state’s capitol) has developed a great reputation on the stand-up circuit for its friendly vibe and lounge-like atmosphere, not to mention the top-notch national acts it draws. Bigger shows are often booked at the nearby Orpheum Theater.
Acme Comedy Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Acme Comedy Company has welcomed nationally touring comedians to its cozy space in the Twin Cities for more than 25 years. Located in the historic Itasca Building in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District, Acme is the premier destination for stand-up comedy fans in Minnesota. Sticks Restaurant is also on-site.
Zanies, Nashville, Tennessee
Zanies Comedy Club was initially founded in Chicago in 1987, but a Nashville location opened in 1983 and has been making Music City residents and visitors laugh ever since. This phone-free comedy club (don’t worry, you’ll be able to check it once the show ends) seats 300 and is located in the historic Waverly Place neighborhood in Nashville.