10 Metro Detroit Comedy Spots Sure to Make You LOLMay 26, 2023 | Story by Tiffany Dziurman
From Hamtramck to Waterford, you’ll find a variety of comedy clubs sure to make you LOL! With some of today’s biggest comedic stars having been born in metro Detroit, including Keegan-Michael Key, Lily Tomlin, Tim Meadows, David Spade, Ken Jeong, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and David Allen Grier, to name a few, it’s not hard to see that Detroit has earned its comedy chops. Here are ten of the best comedy clubs to visit in metro Detroit this spring.
Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, Royal Oak
Billed as Michigan’s “First Ever Comedy Club,” Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle has been a staple for laughing out loud since 1979. Comedians Dave Coulier and Tim Allen started their careers at Ridley’s. Since 1990, the club has kept the laughs coming in the former Daily Tribune newspaper building in downtown Royal Oak. If you’re 18 or older, you’re welcome to take a seat at this nationally recognized comedy club, which hand-picks comedy talent from around the United States and Canada. The venue features intimate lighting and a classic stand-up comedy club vibe. You can view the club’s own Hall of Fame photograph wall featuring the comedians who have performed there over the years. TikTok and Instagram comedian Scott Seiss will be at the club in August. The menu is light on food and heavy on drinks, with traditional cocktails and mocktails. This is where comedy and history come together to create a night to remember.
Detroit House of Comedy, Detroit
One of the area’s most recent comedy clubs is Detroit House of Comedy, which opened in 2022. This club brings the nation’s top headliners to the heart of Detroit on Woodward Avenue. Enjoy the laughs along with a fully stocked bar and a full menu. The club is open to comedy lovers 16 years of age or older, and they will check IDs. The club suggests you assume all shows are R-rated and research the comics you want to see if you’re unfamiliar with their material. But don’t feel you have to work hard for a good time. The Detroit House of Comedy serves the laughs in a “comfortable yet authentic” comedy experience. Six levels of seating in a half-moon shape facing the stage is similar to an amphitheater seating style. Each table seats four.
Go Comedy! Improv Theater, Ferndale
Looking for something a little different? Visit Go Comedy! Improv Theater in Ferndale. No need to travel to Second City in Chicago because this club has been offering some of Michigan’s “finest local improvisers” for almost 15 years! The venue also showcases sketch comedy shows, including Oakland County’s longest-running improv game show. Are you interested in an improv or comedy career? Register for the club’s Improv Academy and workshops to hone your comedic sense of timing. The club doesn’t have a minimum age but suggests anyone under 18 be accompanied by an adult. Small round tables feature a single candle and two-to-four seats. Enjoy a full bar and a snack menu if you like chips, candy bars, and fruit roll-ups. Otherwise, you might want to have dinner before or after a show.
Big Tommy’s Parthenon and Comedy Club, Novi
Since 2013, this family-owned restaurant and comedy club in Novi features indoor and outdoor dining before or after a comedy show. You can also enjoy cocktails and appetizers during the show. The club hosts live comedy shows every month and features local and national acts. Those 18 or older can attend the live comedy shows, which usually include an MC, a featured act, and a headliner, and run for about 45 minutes.
Independent Comedy Club, Hamtramck
As its name implies, the Independent Comedy Club in Hamtramck is run by comics for comics. The club is inside Ant Hall, part of Planet Ant Theatre, and has shows every Friday and Saturday. You’ll feel at home in the theater-style row seating and delight in seeing some of the “brightest up-and-coming comedians” and their contemporaries in a casual, intimate space made for laughs and entertainment. Planet Ant is a nonprofit professional arts and performance venue that trains artists in improv comedy, sketch writing, acting, burlesque, and more. The most notable alumnus of Planet Ant Theatre is comedian Keegan-Michael Key.
One Night Stans Comedy Club, Waterford
One Night Stans Comedy Club in Waterford is a dream come true for Stan Moore, the owner and operator of a local plumbing business. Why open a comedy club? Because Stan loves comedy and created a venue in 2018 with local comic Mike Green just for stand-up acts. The intimate 300-seat club features low ceilings to “make you feel like you’re part of the action: and boasts no obstructed views. A full lounge and bar will quench your thirst for a good drink. Those 18 and older are welcome on “most nights,” so call the venue before buying tickets.
The Roxy Rochester
A brand-new venue is opening in metro Detroit this summer. The Roxy Rochester, nestled downtown, promises to be an entertainment venue featuring comedy and live music. This venue combines local history with entertainment since it’s in a building that once housed the city’s first Baptist church (1885-1973) and the popular retailer Village Shoe Inn. The Roxy Rochester plans to open in June and will offer a cocktail lounge and event space. Be sure to come before or after dinner since The Roxy Rochester offers beer, liquor, wine, and finger foods.
Tony Roney’s Comic Vibe, Detroit
Located inside the Starter’s Bar and Grill in Detroit, Tony Roney’s Comic Vibe hosts weekly shows at 8 and 10 p.m., either at Starters or at the Joy Manor Boutique Banquet Hall in Westland. The club also hosts an annual comedy competition at the Ford Community Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. On any given night, clubgoers may see comedians who have appeared on HBO, BET, or Comedy Central.
Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, Ann Arbor
Since 1984, the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase has hosted stars such as Ellen Degeneres, Drew Carrey, and Chris Titus and promises to provide the “best in comedy entertainment.” Doors are open to everyone 18 and older. The club offers a fully stocked bar and light snacks while watching the show. Intimate seating in and around the stage makes you feel part of the show. Rolling Stone Magazine once called the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase “one of the best clubs between the coasts.”
The Magic Soiree, Troy
If you’re looking for a unique dinner theatre night, check out The Magic Soiree inside Camp Ticonderoga on the Sylvan Glen Golf Course in Troy. The award-winning British comedy magicians Lady Sara and Keith Fields serve as hosts for the evening. The duo has headlined shows around the world. An evening at The Magic Soiree begins with a close-up magic act at your table and ends with a comedic stage show. Ticket prices include dinner, tip, and tax. A cash bar is available.