Montreal is home to the most well-known comedy festival in the world, Just For Laughs, and has a thriving underground comedy scene that has produced stars like Sugar Sammy, Mike Ward, DeAnne Smith, Joey Elias and others. Weekly open mic nights around the city provide a venue for both seasoned and emerging acts. Since comedy is typically open ground for a plethora of challenging, sometimes offensive topics, be prepared for the same at many of these events. If it’s your thing though, watching local artists work out their sketches in the intimate setting of a dive bar, or a local comedy troupe rehearsing to go on tour can be a hilarious and magical night indeed. Here is a list of some the best comedy clubs and open mic nights each week.
Comedy at the Art Loft
Comedy At The Art Loft happens every Friday night at a residential loft on the Plateau. It’s a bilingual event that will be one-year-old this December. The comedy night has hosted nearly 50 editions and was voted #1 Best Comedy Night in this year’s Best of MTL readers poll by Cult MTL. It’s a casual, BYO and “green-friendly” event that typically draws a full house. There’s also a live DJ and dance party after.
Every Friday at 4152 St-Laurent #203, doors 9 p.m., show 10:30 p.m., $5 before 10 p.m./$10
2. There’s Something Funny Going On @ the Blue Dog Motel
Monday night comedy at this cozy dive bar is a fun and informal event. The lineup usually includes a mix of new and seasoned comics with a featured headliner. It tends to be a small crowd, over half of whom may be the performers themselves on some nights. It’s a small and intimate space, but very friendly, and the organizers will make you feel immediately at home. If you prefer to hide near the back at comedy shows, be aware that the seating places you up close to the performers and heckling the audience is not unheard of.
Every Monday at the Blue Dog Motel, 3958 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., PWYC
3. Montreal Improv
Montreal Improv on St Laurent offers bilingual shows every week. It’s the city’s only theatre dedicated to improv comedy with a special focus on narrative-based improv, or improvised plays. With both local performers and guests from all over Canada and around the world, shows here can be hilarious and a great night out. They offer diverse programming throughout the week.
Address: 3713 Boul St-Laurent #202
Comedyworks is Montreal’s oldest comedy club and an institution in the comedy scene in Montreal. It’s well known for hosting Just For Laughs shows during the annual festival and has a variety of events each week. Many famous comedians have performed here over the years, both before and after they became famous, and it’s been a cherished venue for standup comedy for years.
Address: 1238 Bishop St
5. The Comedy Nest
The Comedy Nest is another one of the official venues for the Just For Laughs Festival and has been hosting comedy for over 30 years. The club is played by some of the best comedians in North America and has hosted performances by Russell Peters, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Harland Williams, and Dennis Leary to name a few. The venue holds about 160 people in a cabaret-style setting. Newbie Tuesdays and Comedy Lab Wednesdays are fun $5 cover nights where newbies and pros try out new material.
Address: 2313 Rue Sainte-Catherine West, inside the Pepsi Forum