The best comedy clubs in London

Because we could all do with a laugh right now…

If you’ve cast so much as a fleeting glance over a newspaper recently you’ll know there’s not a huge amount to smile about right now. Floods. Coronavirus. Brexit. It’s all a bit, well, depressing. The good news, however, is that the capital is stuffed full of top-grade comedy clubs just waiting to help you forget about the world’s issues for a hilarious hour or two – and, unlike most London shows, you normally don’t need to book months in advance. Here is our edit of the best comedy clubs in London…

Best in Central London: The 99 Club, Covent Garden & Leicester Square

If you’re a live comedy newbie looking for guaranteed laughs, few London comedy clubs are better than The 99 Club – it has, after all, been voted the capital’s best for no fewer than eight years in a row. With two locations in Covent Garden and Leicester Square, it’s open seven nights a week and boasts some of the biggest names in comedy – you’ll have caught almost every one of its acts on Live At The Apollo, Mock the Week or Would I Lie To You. Upcoming headliners include Sindhu Vee, Darren Harriott and Hal Cruttenden.


Best in East London: Backyard Comedy Club, Bethnal Green

backyard comedy

The capital’s largest purpose built comedy club, Backyard has been entertaining the East End for more than 20 years. A rotating cast of comics pitch up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday promising an evening of stellar comedy – Dave Chapelle, Dara O’Brien, Russell Howard and James Acaster have all recently performed – while it’s also a favourite spot for big names to test out their new material. There’s also pool, table football and ping-pong to keep you entertained during intervals.


Best in South London: Laugh Train Home at The Four Thieves, Battersea

Good comedy in a great boozer? Count us in. Every Wednesday night, Battersea’s Four Thieves pub opens its doors to some of the UK’s best comedians, including Iain Stirling, Rob Beckett and Zoe Lyons, for a raucous night of stand-up. Shows start at 8.30pm but head over straight from work and avail yourself of the pub’s gourmet street food menu, remote control car racing track, retro arcade machines and virtual reality games. This one has first date written all over it.


Best in West London: Headliners Comedy Club, Chiswick

Chiswick may be best known as a safe haven for young families seeking high-end coffee shops and pristine yoga studios but, every Friday and Saturday, it also becomes West London’s top destination for great comedy. Housed within the George IV pub, Headliners Comedy Club has played host to household names including Michael McIntyre, Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey and has raised raucous laughter from over 150,000 guests since it opened in 2002.


Best in North London: Camden Comedy Club, Camden

Tucked above The Camden Head pub in, you guessed it, Camden, you’ll find the equally imaginatively named Camden Comedy Club. But, what it may lack in punny nomenclature it more than makes up for in quality talent. Open seven days a week, this is your go-to for a mid-week pick-me-up, and the offering includes improv, sketch, stand-up, Edinburgh previews and even workshops and masterclasses for budding comedians.


Looking for more gain out suggestions? These are the UK cultural highlights to look forward to 2020…

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