Chicago's Best Local (and Free!) Comedy Shows

Updated June 26, 2018

Most, if not all great comedians started by doing stand up at local bars, coffee shops, and improv venues. Chicago has a vibrant and prolific stand up comedy scene. Classes and success stories are abundant from comedy houses like Second City, Improv Olympics/iO Theater and Comedy Sportz, where you can have a laugh most, if not every night of the week. There are plenty of clubs showcasing Chicago's stand up talent like Zanies or Comedy Bar. Aspiring Chicago comedians not only flock to these well known venues, but also to bars and coffee shops hosting free and low cost comedy performances.

Related: Open Mic Nights in Chicago

Weeds Tavern in New City/Lincoln Park has comedy night on Tuesdays at 9pm, and is also a great spot to enjoy an authentic Chicago Handshake. For those who prefer PBR to Old Style, head to Goldie's Pub on Sundays for cheap beer, stand up comedy and open mic. Goldie’s has dollar PBRs, video games, classic nintendo, pool/billiards, free pool Mondays, 2 dart boards, and you can bring in outside food (yes! BYOF).

Timothy O'Toole's in Streeterville is a solid sports bar showing sporting events and UFC, and also hosts the Comedians You Should Know series Thursday nights.

The Book Cellar is an independent book store with author signing and other literary events, in addition to comedy nights hosted by The Kates.

Gallery Cabaret has something for everyone on Thursdays, starting with Cupcake Comedy open mic from 7-8pm. Immediately following open mic comedy, watch a comedy showcase from 8-9 followed by musical open mic at 9:30pm.

Gorilla Tango Theatre supports up and coming artists and comedy troupes, and is host to unique comedy shows and self-produced numbers by local performers.

The Village Tap hosts Camp: A Comedy Show, featuring fresh talent, high energy and plenty of weirdness, every Monday night at 8:30pm.

Chicago Comedy Shows by Day of the Week


The Village Tap, Camp: A Comedy Show, 8:30pm.


Weeds Tavern, New City, 9pm


Chicago Joe's, Comedy Tub Show

Timothy O'Toole's, Streeterville, Comedians You Should Know

Gallery Cabaret Cupcake Comedy open mic 7-8pm with showcase from 8-9


Goldie's Pub stand up comedy and open mic