1) The Second City
The popular venue is located in Lincoln Park on the corner of North Avenue and Wells Street. Since opening 60 years ago, Second City became renowned for starting the careers of many celebrity comedians. Amy Sedaris, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Steve Carell, and Tina Fey all started their careers as stand-up, improv artists at the destination. The facility has a main stage and several side stages that regularly host shows. The facility also has a training center where new and experienced comics have the chance to improve their techniques.
2) iO Theater
The expansive 33,000-square foot complex opened in 1981 and was initially known as the ImprovOlympic. The club is located on Kingsbury Street in Lincoln Park. Since opening, the facility has also spawned the careers of many modern-day comics, including Amy Poehler and Mike Meyers. The interior features four stages, a restaurant and various bars in addition to a beer garden.
3) Laugh Factory
The famous Laugh Factory began in Hollywood in 1979. In 2012, the club expanded to Chicago and entered the former Lakeshore Theater on Broadway Street. Along with a regular lineup of local talent, the club often hosts celebrity entertainers. The venue also offers open mic nights and hosts contests.
4) The Comedy Clubhouse
The facility is found on Ashland Avenue in Wicker Park. The popular club encourages B.Y.O.B. and regularly hosts stand-up performances by both
local and nation-wide talents. The club also hosts group improvisations and offers workshops for budding comics of all ages. Club alumni have gone on to star in a variety of popular television shows that include Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.
5) The ComedySportz Theatre
The Belmont Avenue club turns stand-up and improv into a sport. The family-friendly shows feature teams that attempt to outperform each other. A referee keeps score and maintains decorum during the evening. Audience participation is highly encouraged. Novice comics also have the opportunity to take classes. The facility has a bar that serves adult beverages and mocktails along with snacks.