Stand-up comedy is a minimalistic performing art, which has spread around the world. It is performed on many levels, from free open-mic shows at dive bars, to stadium performances with world celebrities.
|“||When you are doing stand-up comedy, you are the writer, producer, director, sometimes bouncer.||”|
—Attributed to Dane Cook
Most large English-speaking cities have a stand-up comedy scene, or at least comedians on tour. English-speaking comedy venues can be found even outside the Anglophone world, and are a good place to find English-speakers if you travel alone.
- New York City is considered the cradle of modern stand-up comedy. The urban decay in the 1970s and 80s brought venues of alternative culture.
- Los Angeles
- Jamestown, New York – hometown of iconic comedienne and TV star Lucille Ball and also, beginning in 2018, of the National Comedy Center, a combination museum dedicated to the history of stand-up and performance venue for the annual Lucy Comedy Fest each August.
- Montreal is home to the annual Just for Laughs Festival (Festival Juste pour Rire) of stand-up comedy, which takes place each July.
- Stockholm; while most venues are Swedish, the city has a growing English comedy scene
- Hong Kong
- Quatsch Comedy Club, Original club in Berlin other venues in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf. A famous (they claim to be Germany's first) comedy club that has many of its shows broadcast on TV under the same name
Some high-end shows are available by pre-booking only. While some comedy clubs are free of charge, others are supported by tipping, or have a minimum drink policy for visitors.
The only acceptable use of mobile phones is to take still pictures of the comedians. Audio or video recording of a comedy performance is bad manners, as comedians are careful not to spread their material.
While a drink can make you more prone to laugh, don't get too drunk to enjoy the show.
Don't heckle. You are likely to make the show worse for everyone. Have patience with rookies and less successful comedians; even the best comedians used to be in their shoes.
Comedy does commonly challenge taboos and norms, and the material might be offensive. If you cannot stand a performance, leave the room silently.