Comedy Venues

photo by Hayden Molinarolo

Reviewing the best comedy venues in St. Louis.

Written by Audrey Hasse

Everyone likes to laugh, unless they’re a monster. But even then, it seems like they would at least like to evil laugh or make some guttural noise comparable to laughter. Lucky for humans and monsters, the St. Louis comedy scene is growing and has something for everyone. Though often overlooked, it offers several options of cheap nights out for college students.

To see up-and-coming St. Louis comedians on stage, Fitz’s Soda Bar & Grill in The Loop in University City offers a laid back open-mic night every Thursday. There is no cover, a full bar and a kitchen that is open late. The acts begin around 10:00 PM and generally go until about 1:00 AM. Some comedians attend every week while others are trying it for the first time, so their experience ranges. Like any open-mic night, it guarantees a few cringe worthy moments, but for the most part the talent exceeds expectations.

For those in the market for a more traditional comedy venue experience, The Funny Bone in Westport Plaza or The Pageant in University City may be the best choice. These venues often have well-known headliners passing through. The Pageant is a prime stop for big name acts such as Margaret Cho and Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney. The Funny Bone has acts nightly, with Tuesdays being their weekly open-mic night. Many times, comedians headlining at the Funny Bone have made the late-night talk show circuit, appearing on Comedy Central or The Conan O’Brien show.  The Funny Bone’s website teases possible big name drop-ins at their open-mic nights saying, “You never know who will show up.”

Since it’s re-opening in 2011, The Peabody Opera House has proven to play a key role in the St. Louis comedy scene. Formerly the Kiel Opera House, the venue was home to the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. In recent years, the venue has welcomed comedians like Jimmy Fallon, Lewis Black and Jim Gaffigan. The interiors of the opera house are exquisite and worth a visit on their own. The venue seats over 3,000 guests which makes for a less intimate experience, but that’s something that the comedy enthusiast will often sacrifice to see an acclaimed comedian.

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