Looking for a good laugh? You’re in the right place. The Chicago area is world-famous for its dynamic comedy scene, which includes improv, stand-up, live theater, and sketch.
From the city to the suburbs, Chicagoland is home to some of the most legendary comedy theaters in the world. It has also served as the launchpad for some of the most iconic comedians of all time, including many of the biggest stars from Saturday Night Live and The Office.
Dreaming of finding a home near one of Chicago’s best comedy venues? Want to live in a spot where you can laugh your head off, seven nights a week? While you’ll find amazing comedy all over the area, there are a few neighborhoods that pack a ton of funny into just a few blocks. Here are five Chicagoland communities perfect for comedy lovers:
Lakeview is one of Chicago’s most eclectic and unique neighborhoods. While many people identify this area with the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, the neighborhood is also a major hub for many different styles of comedy.
For classic Chicago-style improv, look no further than the Annoyance Theatre & Bar on Belmont, which also puts up daring musicals and comedy revues. Nearby, ComedySportz Chicago makes audiences of all ages laugh with high energy games. Just a few blocks away, you’ll find independent performers ready to make you smile at the Playground Theater and The Juicebox.
An enormous performing arts complex, Stage 777 plays host to all sorts of comedy performances throughout the year, and is the home of several of the city’s biggest comedy festivals. For stand-up fans, Chicago’s Laugh Factory is a go-to spot to see local up-and-comers as well as national touring acts. The historic Athenaeum Theatre also hosts an eclectic roster of podcast tapings, stand-up shows, and other live events throughout the year.
Nestled just north of downtown, Old Town is a Chicago neighborhood with lots of history and character. And when it comes to all things comedy, this is a community that’s definitely known for its characters.
Located in the heart of Old Town, you’ll find The Second City, a world-renowned comedy complex that hosts shows every night of the week. In addition to its mainstage reviews, Second City hosts touring performers, and is a hot spot for the next generation of comedy superstars looking to put up entertaining new shows. Interested in learning more about how to hone your comedy chops? The Second City is also a training center, with classes in everything from video production to improv to sitcom writing.
Just a short trip away from Second City, Zanie’s is a Chicago comedy institution. This beloved club has been showcasing stand-up performers from around the country since the 1970s.
Located in Chicagoland’s northwest suburbs, Schaumburg is a bustling community that serves as one of the area’s biggest commercial hubs. This is a lively and active neighborhood, with lots of unique things to see and do — including some of the state’s very best live comedy.
Ready to take part in comedy history? The Chicago Improv Comedy Club, located in the Woodfield Mall, is part of a historic national chain. You’ll find a diverse and hilarious slate of performers at the Improv, which also serves up a hearty menu of food and drinks.
Schaumburg also puts you close to some of suburban Chicagoland’s other hot comedy venues, including the Zanie’s outpost conveniently located in Rosemont.
Lincoln Park is one of Chicago’s most recognized neighborhoods, full of greenspaces, restaurants, boutiques, and some of the best theater and comedy venues you’ll find anywhere in the country.
For comedy and sketch, look no further than The iO Theater. This popular comedy venue hosts shows on four stages, seven nights a week. It’s also a go-to spot for up-and-coming comedians looking to learn the ropes of improv and sketch, thanks to its robust training program.
For plays that make you laugh and think in equal measure, Steppenwolf Theatre should be on your radar. This legendary Chicagoland company puts up a balanced season of laugh-out-loud comedies and jaw-dropping tragedies, while also hosting unique performances and innovative comedy shows in its intimate 1700 Theatre.
For touring comedians and off-the-beaten-path entertainment, Park West is a popular spot. This unique theater houses a wide variety of performers in comfortable, vintage digs. You’ll also find a unique blend of comedy stylings at the Greenhouse Theater Center, which hosts solo shows, comedy nights, and modern musicals all year long.
Just north of Lakeview, North Center is a small neighborhood, with lots of big entertainment to offer.
This quiet area is home to some of Chicago’s most active independent theater spaces, including the Cornsevatory and the Bughouse Theater. Meanwhile, CIC Theater hosts a variety of scripted and improvised shows in an intimate blackbox theater; the CIC is also a popular training center for students who have already perfected their comedic voices at Second City or iO. North Center also puts you close to all of the comedic action happening in Uptown and Andersonville, where you’ll find the high-octane innovation of the Neo-Futurists and lots of retro laughs at the Chicago Magic Lounge.
Ready to Keep Exploring?
Looking to find a home in one of Chicagoland’s most hilarious neighborhoods? We get you. At Baird & Warner, our agents are hyperlocal experts who can help you find the spot that tickles your funny bone, while making the buying process easier at every step of the way. And with mortgage and title services in-house, our one-stop-shopping approach takes the hassle out of closing on your new home.