In the summer of 2012 we compiled a list of the city’s top recurring stand-up comedy nights. The honorees included The Meltdown (Nerdist Showroom), Set List (various), Tomorrow! with Ron Lynch (Trepany House), The Josh and Josh Show (Bar Lubitsch), The Super Serious Show (formerly of Cafe-Club Fais Do-Do, currently at The Virgil) and This Is Not Happening (previously at the Improv, now at the Comedy Store and on Comedy Central). All of them continue to deliver quality comedy, and they’ve helped inspire a crop of “new” (*gained prominence in the past three years) offerings. Those weekly and monthly stand-up shows, highlighted below, have proven themselves to be exciting and hilarious additions to L.A.'s ever-evolving comedy scene.
2 Girls 1 Pup (Tailwaggers)
Do your four-legged friends deserve more laughter in their lives? Every first Sunday of the month, Monique Madrid, her dapper pooch Comet and a rotating guest host invite dog lovers to enjoy stand-up comedy, complimentary “pupcorn” and raffles for pet-parent prizes. Dogs, meanwhile, can dress up for the red carpet photo shoot, safely socialize in a community environment and partake in plenty of their own fido-friendly goodies. The $5 admission, raffle proceeds and donations benefit the nonprofit Tailwaggers Foundation, which provides funding for organizations that treat sick and injured animals. 1929 N. Bronson Ave., Hollywood; (323) 464-9600, 2girls1pupshow.com.
Andy Kindler’s Particular Show (Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics)
Making a quintessential comics’ comic laugh is no small feat. And when that comic is master misanthrope Andy Kindler, it's even harder. The Maron and Bob’s Burgers vet hosts his favorite fellow performers every third Friday of the month — and any premises too cutesy, hacky or toothless will incur Kindler's unique brand of eye-popping ridicule. Between sets, he isn’t shy about offering commentary on everything from social issues and pop culture to personal outrages and his own career lowlights. It’s as real – and revealing – as live comedy gets. 7522 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; nerdmeltla.com.
Church (UCB Sunset)
Sleep in Sunday morning and so you can stay out late that night at Church. The show began in January 2014 as a workout room in Highland Park’s converted The Church on York and is now a weekly stand-up night at Upright Citizens Brigade’s Sunset location. Rotating hosts Julian McCullough, Sean O’Connor, Beth Stelling and Brent Sullivan keep the waning hours of every weekend upbeat with a mix of established and developing talent. Plus, the comfy theater seating beats the old Church's hard wooden pews any day of the week. 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Feliz; (323) 467-6600, sunset.ucbtheatre.com.
Good Heroin (Stories Books and Café)
Intelligent audiences and a strong sense of community bolster Matt Ingebretson and Dave Ross’s young weekly event, an heir to the Greenwich Village coffeeshop shows of the '60s. (Perhaps the title’s a nod to Lenny Bruce?) Spending a Saturday night sans alcohol might go against the comedy grain, but enjoying big-name drop-ins and the odd platter of free brownies on a canopied back patio of an indie bookstore is an intimate, refreshing alternative to the weekend crush. 1716 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 413-3733, goodheroin.tumblr.com.
Good Looks (Play)
The Arts District continues its determined resurgence, with more and more DIY live shows popping up in the fashionable 'hood. Every last Tuesday of the month, Ian Karmel and Andrew Michaan break out folding chairs, a sound system and neon signage inside a multi-use converted-warehouse space for a free night of comedy. Amid rustic-chic brick walls, exposed beams and assorted theatrical props, the vibe is loose, the lineups stacked (Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Reggie Watts, Pete Holmes) and the sense of downtown pride unshakable. 1018 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; goodlookscomedy.tumblr.com.
Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen (The Virgil)
When Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal moved their beloved variety staple from Brooklyn to the West Coast in January 2013, they transformed the established Monday-night comedy circuit and christened retro cocktail bar The Virgil as the go-to L.A. venue for experimental stand-up. (Arrive early for 7 p.m. happy-hour specials.) Sketch, music, performance art and other miscellaneous interludes keep the pace flexible and unpredictable, and after more than a decade together onstage the ever-rising duo’s unflaggingly goofy chemistry remains rock-solid. 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com.
Loud Village (The Hollywood Improv)
Following the success of the game-changing bimonthly event Comedy Night at Best Fish Taco, promoter Jeremy Burke (50 First Jokes, Beer Brats and Comedy Bingo at The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel’s Spare Room) has expanded his Loud Village brand to include stints at SXSW, holiday events at the Troubadour and large turnouts every second and fourth Thursdays at Hollywood Improv. There's a comedy-party vibe at the Hollywood Impov shows, where young, slick-skewing audiences drawn to names like Chris D’Elia, Anthony Jeselnik and Nick Kroll discover the harder stuff (Bill Burr, Duncan Trussell, Eric Andrè). 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 655-9050, hollywood.improv.com.
Roast Battle (The Comedy Store)
Two years in, co-creator, host and referee Brian Moses and roastmaster general/advisor Jeff Ross’s “verbal boxing match” still packs the upstairs Belly Room late-night on Tuesdays. The head-to-head insult competition is as in-the-moment and un-PC as live comedy gets; the crowds, celebrity judges, cast and crew never knowing how low the personal blows will land. Featured at Just for Laughs Montreal, the New York Comedy Festival and SXSW, Roast Battle is even rumored to be in talks for a Vice series. 8433 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 650-6268, thecomedystore.com.
Tig Has Friends (Largo)
Comedy fans who marveled at the 2014 Grammy-nominated Tig Notaro: Live or streamed terrific Netflix documentary Tig know Mark Flanagan’s 280-capacity theater as the venue where Notaro revealed to the audience – and subsequently to the world – that she’d recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now with HBO special Boyish Girl Interrupted out this month and an Amazon series produced by Louis CK and Diablo Cody in the works, the calendar-hopping monthly continues to regularly sell out and to attract the highest-profile alternative comedy icons around. 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com.
Unnecessary Evil (Westside Comedy Theater)
Celebrating its third anniversary this November, Unnecessary Evil is the most consistently well-booked stand-up event west of the 405. (Certainly the best in an alley off a pedestrian mall.) Rivers Langley, Neel Nanda and Tushar Singh’s Friday showcase prides itself on quality and variety, with guests running the full stylistic spectrum. Damon Wayans, Hasan Minhaj, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Ron Funches, Demetri Martin, Ali Wong, Hannibal Buress and even Yakov Smirnoff are among those gracing lineups as the venue’s reputation continues growing. 1323-A Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; (310) 451-0850, westsidecomedy.com.
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