By: Jorge Azze
There’s nothing better than a good laugh, the kind where you have to clutch your stomach, gasp for and wipe your tears. If you’re looking for something different to do while in town, check out one of Miami’s comedy clubs and venues. Spread throughout the city, you’ll find somewhere near you just waiting to get those gut-busting laughs out of you.
The Miami Improv is a Coconut Grove staple. Known by many as Miami's premier stand-up comedy venue, The Improv is located at 3390 Mary Street in the historic Mayfair in the Grove. The comedy club features shows year round and has hosted big comedy names such as Gabriel Iglesias, Mike Epps, Chris Kattan and Pablo Francisco at various stages in their careers from scouted talent as up-and-comers to established touring names.
Shows at The Miami Improv have a two drink minimum, which works out well because everything is funnier after a few drinks. Hit their fully stocked bar for an expansive selection of high-end spirits, domestic and imported beers and an extensive wine and bubbly selection. Besides huge laughs and a full bar, the Miami Improv also boasts a full dinner menu featuring classics such as nachos and burgers as well as Caribbean fare like conch fritters, grilled snapper and Jamaican jerk chicken wings – perfectly appropriate in Coconut Grove, a historic area with a rich Bahamian influence. Catching a show at The Miami Improv in Coconut Grove is the perfect end to a full day of exploring, shopping and sailing or the perfect beginning to a night out in the Grove.
Just The Funny
Located on Coral Way just off SW 32nd Avenue, Just The Funny has been making Miami laugh with improv and sketch comedy since 1999. Shows start at just $5 and are never more than $15 per person, so it’s an affordable alternative to some of Miami Beach’s more pricey and bigger venues. With performances at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, the experience and the area are a great alternative to busy nightlife hubs like Downtown and Miami Beach and a glimps into a more local and residential area of Miami.
Coral Way features several great intimate restaurants like Romeo's Cafe, Portobello Restaurant the authentic Maria's Greek. If you want to keep the fun going after the show, downtown Coral Gables just a few blocks away features great bars and restaurants from upscale eateries to craft beer bars and popular cocktail lounges.
South Beach Comedy Festival
The South Beach Comedy Festival has become a premier comedy festival in no time. Only in its 8th year, the South Beach Comedy Festival has become a must see event for all comedy lovers, with several shows in multiple venues over four days in late April. The festival puts on shows at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, the historic Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road and at a free outdoor stage on Lincoln Road on the corner of Euclid Avenue. Past South Beach Comedy Festival performers include comedy mega-stars like Will Ferrell, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart and Wanda Sykes.
The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater
When comedy's biggest names come to Miami, they usually perform at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater. The Fillmore opened in 1950, has a capacity of 2,705 and has hosted generations of entertainment's biggest stars over the years. Located on the corner of Washington Avenue and 17th Street, The Fillmore features a full bar and a concession food menu. As the name of the theater indicates, comedy legend Jackie Gleason performed here, as well as many appearances by Bob Hope and Jack Benny, among others. More recently, as the main venue of the South Beach Comedy Festival, The Fillmore has hosted Tracy Morgan, Mike Birbiglia, Will Ferrell and many more. The venue also features a smaller, more intimate stage called Backstage at The Fillmore, which regularly hosts up-and-coming comedians and acts.
The Colony Theater
Another historic Miami Beach venue, The Colony is a 430 seat entertainment venue on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road. Recently refurbished, the Colony originally opened in 1935 as a Paramount Pictures movie theater. The Art Deco theatre hosts performances of all kinds throughout the year, such as musical acts, operas and comedy shows, as well as film screenings. The theatre has been bringing in big names over the past few years, including comedians Craig Robinson, Amy Schumer and Adam Carolla, as the history and intimacy of the venue attracts many talented perfumers.
Laughing Gas Comedy Improv Theatre Company
The Laughing Gas Comedy Improv Theatre Company was started in 1992, making it the longest running improv theatre troupe in South Florida. Laughing Gas performs Saturdays at The Main Street Playhouse in Miami Lakes, with curtain call at 11 p.m. and only $10 per show. The comedy troupe also has regular shows all around South Florida, having performed at the New Theatre in Coral Gables, The Miami Improv at Coconut Grove and the University of Miami to name a few.
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