So you’re after a fun night out, and watching stand-up comedy in Melbourne is at the top of the list. Well, you’re in luck, because Melbourne, and its neighbouring inner suburbs, has some of the best comedy clubs, pubs and rooms in the world! Really! Lonely Planet writer, Tim Richards, ranks North Melbourne’s The Comic’s Lounge as the world’s number 7, and it’s no surprise given the the Melbourne’s comedy festival is the largest in Australia, and the third largest in the world!
So where to go when you’re spoiled for choice? Here’s our list of Melbourne comedy rooms, compiled by the the Hard Knock Knocks alumni.
Basement Comedy Club
When: Friday & Saturday, 8 pm
The Basement Comedy Club, as the name suggests, is in the basement, and in the same venue as . Not that that affects the quality of comedy. It’s just as good above as it was below ground level. In fact, Basement Comedy has some of the best established and new Australian comedians on the circuit and is an excellent alternative to The Comic’s Lounge on a Saturday.
Comedy at the Coopers Inn
When: Every Friday, 8 pm
Where: Coopers Inn, 282 Exhibition St, Melbourne
Woo-hoo! Another great CBD comedy room. Each Friday, you’ll typically get a relatively well known headliner, and then a selection of equally funny, but less well known, newer acts. This is another venue that is competing against the larger and more established Comic’s Lounge.
Comic’s Lounge, The
When: Tuesday to Sunday, 8 pm
Where: 26 Errol St, North Melbourne
Price: $20 to $37
As mentioned above, The Comic’s Lounge is one of the most successful comedy clubs in Australia. For an up and coming comedian the Comic’s Lounge is the comedy Mecca, and performing with one’s name blazoned behind them as they perform is a significant feather in a comedian’s cap. Also, due to the room’s popularity, they have the pic of top comedians, both local and international.
Dave O’Neil’s Comedy Funhouse
When: Every Wednesday
Where: The Grandview Hotel, 429 Heidelberg Rd, Fairfield
Comedian Dave O’Neil runs this weekly room (when he’s not making TV shows, performing in Spicks and Specks reunion shows, or gigging around the country). As can be expected from a highly respected comedy veteran, the line up is always top-notch and worth far more than the very, very reasonable price of $12.
When: Sunday 7.30pm
Where: Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets , 80 Smith Street, Collingwood
The lads that produce this curated comedy room each week put the punch into punchline, with in your face marketing on the socials that work. Most shows are sold out with real punters, and while the room is small (around 20 seats), it’s a perfect room for stand-up. Think Moulin Rouge meets Buffalo Bill basement.
First Friday Comedy
When: First Friday of the Month, 8 pm
Where: Elwood Lounge, 41-51 Glen Huntley Road, Elwood
Produced by comedy siblings, who are passionate about comedy, First Friday Comedy is a great little room that has quality acts and the occasional headliner. As the name suggests, the show is on the first Friday of the month, so don’t turn up any other Friday.
Kings of Comedy
When: Every Friday and Saturday, 8 pm
Where: Colonial Hotel, 585 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Kings of Comedy is the new kid on the block, and is quickly becoming a popular Friday destination in Melbourne’s CBD. The club includes ‘features’ and ‘headlines’, and we’re not actually sure of the difference, but typically both acts are excellent and semi-famous at the very least.
Hard Knock Knocks
When: Last Thursday of the month
Where: Roxy’s, 2 Alfred Lane South Melbourne
The School of Hard Knock Knocks hosts a graduation performance on the last Thursday of the month, with newbie comedians performing alongside seasoned professionals. The audience is normally large – between 60 to 100 people – and full of friends and family of the new comedians, so every joke becomes just a little bit funnier. If you’re thinking of trying stand-up comedy yourself, then attending one of these shows will help ease you into the prospect of getting up on stage.
Spleen (Comedy at Spleen)
When: Every Monday, 8.30 pm
Where: Spleen Bar, 41 Bourke St, Melbourne
In a Melbourne stand-up comedian’s journey, Comedy at Spleen is second only to performing at The Comic’s Lounge. While a free show, Spleen attracts some of the biggest names in comedy, who might not necessary be on the ticket, often turning up by surprise. The up and comers performing will also be on their best game, knowing that making a great impression at Spleen can boost a comedy career, or at the very least, ensure an invitation to return. If you’re a new comedian yourself, then getting along to Comedy at Spleen makes for good research. Oh, but do be prepared for a tight squeeze as an audience member as the bar is popular!
“Too squishy for me but if you don’t mind feeling a bit sardine like the comedy as I said is great.” – Judy Stutz.