City Cast

The Best Comedy Venues in the DMV

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on August 22
Fabrizio Copano performing at Room 808.

Fabrizio Copano performing at Room 808. (room808dc/Instagram)

If you’ve lived in D.C. long enough, you’ve likely been dragged to one (or several) of your friend’s stand-up open mics and experienced the secondhand awkwardness that follows. But I urge you to give the scene a second chance. The DMV has a host of great venues that launched the careers of comedy legends, including Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence, and Wanda Sykes. Here are some of the best.

Room 808 (Petworth):

This tiny venue feels super underground while still bringing in some big comedy names from around the country. Go for their weekly Speakeasy Comedy Showcase featuring up-and-coming local comedians. They don’t serve food or alcohol, but the venue allows you to BYOB.

DC Improv (Downtown):

Probably the most iconic of D.C.’s comedy scene, DC Improv hosts everything from student showcases and open mics to comedians from HBO and Comedy Central. It’s a great place to hone your own stand-up skills.

This venue attracts more big-name comedians, almost all their shows are ticketed, and the venue is much more formal. They also have a full menu.

Paris Sashay performing at Hotbed Comedy in Adams Morgan.

Paris Sashay performing at Hotbed Comedy in Adams Morgan. (hotbedcomedy/Instagram)

Hotbed Comedy (Adams Morgan):

After seven years at Big Hunt, Underground Comedy opened its own comedy club in AdMo. They have a full bar and lots of free shows.

This org hosts monthly comedy shows in the tunnels under Dupont Circle. They’re hosting a DC Comedy Festival on Sept. 11 with nearly 100 talented local and international comedians.

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