Some of America’s most beloved comedians were born and bred in the Philadelphia area – Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, David Brenner and Joey Bishop, just to name a few. Stand up comedy is an art form, and Philadelphians take it seriously. Philly comedy aficionados may be a tough crowd, but we appreciate good standup when we hear it. For a night of explosive belly laughs, check out these top comedy clubs in the City of Brotherly Love.
Bye Bye Liver: The Philadelphia Drinking Play
2120 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Bye Bye Liver is a 90-minute sketch comedy show that will have your stomach convulsing. A fabulous cast acts out a series of skits each Saturday night, all having to do with drinking and drunkenness. Bar scene fans absolutely adore the boozed-up humor, and some audience members are even asked to participate in some of the interactive fun and game segments. The drinks flow and the laughs keep coming.
Comedy Works Bristol
1320 Newport Road
Bristol, PA 19007
Comedy Works may be in the burbs, but it has been bringing top local talent to the Philly region for more than two decades. On five days of the week, Georgine’s is simply a local watering hole and restaurant, but on Friday and Saturday evenings, the joint becomes a free-for-all as standup comics work the crowd. Dinner shows are available on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. for less than $40 per person. It’s just $15 per person on Fridays and Saturdays if you want to skip the chow and just spring for the chortles and chuckles.
Helium Comedy Club
2031 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
This behemoth club has been shaping the Philly comedy scene for years. Offering a three-act show with an opening act, feature and headliner, this is the place for big, notable names like Norm MacDonald, Rich Vos and Christopher Titus. Two bars with decent seating, a great pub food menu and reserved seating also add to the fun. The club’s annual Philly’s Phunniest tournament has been giving local comics a chance to compete since 2006, and newcomers can take advantage of a weekly open mic night.
The N Crowd
257 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
If you’re looking for an inexpensive Friday date night that will leave an impression, catch The N Crowd in Old City. The hilarious improv group really knows how to engage the crowd, and the talent often comes up with on-the-spot games. A small stage and limited seating promote audience participation, so don’t be shy about volunteering in a skit. Instead, get ready for laughs speeding at you at 100 miles an hour.
Philly Improv Theater
2030 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Philly Improv Theater bills itself as “home of Philly’s best comedy.” With sketch acts like Goat Rodeo and Guilty Pleasures, it well earns that reputation. Be prepared for some quirky, alternative comedy by newbies that are sure to hit the big time soon. Tickets are budget-friendly, and it’s BYOB.
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.