LA’s Burgeoning Comedy Scene

Picture courtesy of blmiers2 Flickr

Picture courtesy of blmiers2 Flickr

When living in Los Angeles, days can get pretty rough while dealing with parking tickets, working with divas, and the endless barking of your neighbor’s tiny little excuse for a dog. When is it time for a break?

The time, my friends, is now. Laughter is not only a healthy form of stress relief, it also happens to be plentiful in our fair city. Los Angeles rivals New York as a form of Mecca for all kinds of comedy, and as hard working and deserving residents should, we reap the benefits.

It’s a revolutionary time for comedy, stand up in particular. No, we aren’t witnessing first-hand the progression of the world’s newest George Carlin or Richard Pryor, but rather the rapid weakening of the comedy club monopoly. Back in the day, when we wanted a good laugh, we’d have to shell out our hard earned cash for gas, parking, cover, and let’s not forget, the two drink minimum. These days, performers are using the power of Facebook, Twitter, and the like to produce their own shows. Those who don’t like clubs get stage time, those who can’t afford clubs can finally see top comedy for free, and the club owners are starting to look at their visitors more like fragile customers rather than dollar signs.

Free shows aren’t for everyone. They tend to attract a more indie crowd, which as you may guess, is a little more liberal on what crosses the line. A punchline which may or may not involve punching babies in the face could even seem mild at a showcase like this. That said, the experience is one of a kind, and most likely a “very LA” experience. Los Angeles has always been a city that’s had free events, and this new uprising is a golden addition.

Even open mics are starting to defy traditional values. They’re not all terribly disappointing and depressing anymore! Tsunamedy is one of these new set-ups re-defining the open mic scene. Showing a group of comics desperate for stage time is not only funny, but also very tight and supportive.

There’s really no excuse for you not to go out and support live and free comedy. If the fact that the shows are free isn’t enticing enough, some of the indie productions are also hilarious and highly recommended. There is the rapidly expanding Holy Fuck on Tuesdays, complete with drink deals and super comfortable seating. On alternating Mondays, we have Brunch in a quirky restaurant in Echo Park. A simple Google search or visit to the Comedy Bureau will give you more information on free comedy than you ever thought you wanted.

Timo Yates

Timo Yates is a Fine Arts student at the University of Southern California. You can check out his personal website at

Be first to comment